NS Scoreboard: SSN Round 12 2024

NS Scoreboard: SSN Round 12 2024

Writers: Jenny Sinclair, Elly McNerney, Katrina Nissen, Ian Harkin, Andrew Kennedy, Georgia Doyle

Photographers: Clinton Bradbury, Hannah Howard, May Bailey

Cover Photo: Clinton Bradbury



Adelaide Thunderbirds 73 def Melbourne Vixens 58

Melbourne Mavericks 72 def Sunshine Coast Lightning 71

Queensland Firebirds 61 def NSW Swifts 60

West Coast Fever 68 def GIANTS Netball 65




Georgina Sulley-Beales – umpired her 50th national league match.


Record crowds have turned up to Super Netball in 2024. West Coast Fever’s crowds have been immense all year, and their entertainment has been next level. Image: Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Sports Photography





Lauren Frew (Thunderbirds) – ankle injury. Frew was a question mark even to play Round 12, but then sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and returned to the bench wearing a moon boot.

Donnell Wallam (Firebirds) – missed the game against Swifts through illness.





News of the Week


It was revealed by the ABC’s Britt Carter during the week that the Melbourne Mavericks had tried to stop their training partner, Uneeq Palavi, from playing for Tonga during the Pacific Series, as there was a chance she could debut in Super Netball. Palavi chose to play for her country, but unfortunately Hulita Veve (Firebirds) and Kelea Iongi (Central Pulse) weren’t released from their teams, leaving Tonga questioning the positioning of the series during Australia and New Zealand’s domestic seasons. 

Palavi has since temporarily joined the Swifts as a replacement for Sam Wallace-Joseph – who mutually parted ways with the club – and has impressed under the post. 


Uneeq Palavi receiving flowers for her recent Swifts debut. Image – May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports


The fight for fourth place is still going with the Melbourne Mavericks and the Queensland Firebirds still within a mathematical chance of contending finals. Mavericks currently sit on the same points as Sunshine Coast Lightning who have a superior percentage, while the Firebirds must win their next two matches and hope Mavericks drop at least one, for them to make their first finals campaign since 2018. 

Against all odds, interim co-coaches Katie Walker and Roseless Jencke have won their last two games in charge of the Firebirds. Prior to that it looked certain that the Firebirds would hold the wooden spoon at season’s end. 


Queensland Firebirds celebrate their come from behind win. Image – May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports


2025 signing announcements have started with the Firebirds kicking things off by announcing Hulita Veve as the first athlete to sign on for the club next season. She joins Lara Dunkley, Macy Gardner and Ruby Bakewell-Doran who each signed multi-year contracts this season. 


Hulita Veve has just signed a new contract with the Queensland Firebirds. Image – May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports


Super Netball Reserves

Thunderbirds 67 def Vic Fury 56
Fever 68 def GIANTS 47



The rookies


After a long wait, Vixens midcourter Zara Walters returned from a lower back injury and took the court against the Thunderbirds. In what was an unhappy game for Vixens, Walters was a shining light. Up against the strongest defence in the competition, she demonstrated her potential with 20 feeds, nine assists, one gain, and three pickups in 40 minutes of court time. It was just her fourth game at this level, and she clearly has a big future. 


Uneeq Palavi can’t do anymore to convince clubs she is worthy of a full time SSN contract. During her 49 minutes of court for the Swifts, she potted 37/43, including two supershots, and pulled in 3 rebounds and 2 pickups, for just two turnovers. And that’s despite limited training time with the athletes around her. 


Olivia Wilkinson had an important 20 minute cameo for Fever, at a time when starting goal attack Shanice Beckford was starting to flag. Wilkinson finished with 4/6, with her two misses coming from supershot range, but more importantly, she is handling the pressure of Super Netball much better, giving up just 1 turnover during her time out on court. 


Olivia Wilkinson had another important cameo as she goes from strength to strength each week. Image: Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Sports Photography


Zara Walters provided a different style of play for Latty Wilson to think about. Image Hannah Howard/On the Ball Media


Uneeq Palavi made the most of her call up for the Swifts – will she get an SSN contract next season? Image – May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports



Diamond watch


Georgie Horjus continues to push her case for a Diamonds debut later this year, with yet another strong performance this week against the Melbourne Vixens. Starting in the game in wing attack before moving into goal attack after an injury to Lauren Frew without a sweat, Horjus’s versatility will be a huge plus in the Diamonds environment. 

As the Diamonds look for the next starting goal attack after the international retirement of Steph Fretwell, Horjus is putting her hand up as she went head to head with Diamonds defender Jo Weston.  Horjus finished the match with 27 feeds, 15 goal assists and 10 goals shooting at 90 percent. 


Georgia Horjus and Romelda Aiken-George of the Thunderbirds celebrate their win. Image Hannah Howard/On the Ball Media



The shooting circle


There’s so many differences to the Vixens team this season – a constantly changing line due to injury, no imports out on court, an all-Diamond shooting circle, not to mention a total of six of them – if Em Mannix is included as an invitee – sprinkled across the court. Kiera Austin and Sophie Garbin have been combining perfectly, but perhaps the biggest change is the Vixens ability to shoot from range. 

They’ve been banging in supershots all season, and put up 11 successful ones in their match against the Thunderbirds, at a healthy 69%. Kiera Austin continues to lead the way with 7/10, while Sophie Garbin nailed 3/5 and Lily Graham 1/1. It’s not a tactic that’s been employed by the Vixens too often in the past, and is an important reason they sit on top of the table. 


While we are on the topic of supershots, Giants led for over half the game against Fever, thanks to a healthy supershot percentage of 73 (11/15). In contrast, Fever were woeful, putting up just one successful shot from eight attempts, at 12%. It’s a figure they’ll urgently need to address to make headway in the finals. 


Kiera Austin finished with an impressive 7/10 in the supershot zone. Image Hannah Howard/On the Ball Media


Sophie Dwyer and Jo Harten had a hot hand at the post. Image: Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Sports Photography



The midcourt

Tayla Fraser played her best game for the Mavericks this round, after moving south in the hunt for more court time in her preferred mid court positions of wing attack and centre. Despite being the presumed incumbent wing attack for the start up side, she found herself stuck behind Maisie Nankivell, preferred for her attacking flare and pre-existing connection with Eleanor Cardwell. 

With Molly Jovic out for the last two weeks due to concussion, Fraser has had her chance to prove her value as a starting player. In the match against Lightning, she topped Mavericks Nissan Net Points with 106, a career high, and only behind Liz Watson for the match. This score was courtesy of 21 goal assists, 27 feeds, one intercept and only two turnovers. The patient style of play drilled into her at the Swifts was on full show, opting to reset to the line multiple times rather than forcing the ball into the shooters. She added a steadiness to the attacking end that Mavericks are often lacking with Nankivell and Jovic, while still bringing the speed needed to accommodate Eleanor Cardwell out at goal attack. 


Lightning’s Liz Watson was immense in a losing side, doing everything she could to help them across the line. The Australian captain finished with a whopping 54 feeds, 33 centre pass receives and four pickups for just two turnovers – an incredible feat given how much she handled the ball. 



The defenders


What a difference a line change can make. With Fever 8 points behind Giants at half time, they’d only picked up two gains and struggled to contain supershot weapons Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer who banged in seven from range by the main break. 

Coach Dan Ryan shuffled his line. Only Kadie-Ann Dehaney stayed in place at goal keeper, while Fran Williams came on at goal defence, and Sunday Aryang and Jess Anstiss shuffled forwards to wing defence and centre respectively. It had an immense impact, as Giants scored just 9 in the 3rd quarter, to Fever’s 20. While the last quarter was drawn, in the second half Fever picked off eight gains, and restricted the Giants to just four supershots.


In ominous signs for their opposition come finals, Thunderbirds plucked 18 gains in their win against the ladder leading Melbourne Vixens. In contrast, the Vixens could only claim 6, the key difference between the two sides. Shamera Sterling-Humphrey was at her brilliant best, finishing with nine gains, while Latanya Wilson and Tilly Garrett chimed in for four each. 


Fever shuffled their defensive line to win the game. Image: Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Sports Photography


Shamera Sterling-Humphrey just won’t be stopped after she finished with 9 gains. Image Hannah Howard/On the Ball Media





The loss of Donnell Wallam from the Firebirds team in their match against Swifts, led to an interesting tactical contrast. Without the option of the long bomb into a holding shooter, it took time for the Firebirds to adjust. Patience was the key. On occasions, the Firebirds’ attack looked very laboured and it was frustrating to watch at times. There were a lot of passes back to the transverse line, and both shooters, Tippah Dwan and Emily Moore, spent a lot of time outside the circle as the team waited and waited for an opening. But it worked. Firebirds finished the match with just 13 general play turnovers, which is a great performance considering they were playing without their regular spearhead up front. 

As the match wore on, their confidence grew, and no more so than in the final power five period. Against a Swifts team that was low on confidence, Firebirds were willing to take risks. Moore nailed two super shots to get the victory, the second one coming in a situation where some teams would have opted to look for the tactical safety of a one-pointer to level the scores. Instead, Moore had the confidence to go for the lead, and the team was rewarded when Swifts missed their final chance at the other end. 


Firebirds were deadly from two point range, despite Swifts’ defensive efforts. Image – May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports



Stat of the week


Super shots and the power five really came to the fore in round 12. During this season, there have been noticeable trends when it comes to which teams are suited to those five minutes at the end of each quarter. 

Thunderbirds have struggled at times during the power five, but in their case, they have been so good during regular play, that it hasn’t hurt them greatly. Again in round 12, they were outscored by Vixens 27-24 during the power five, but they blitzed the other 40 minutes of the match to the tune of 49-31. The end result was a 15 goal win. 

Lightning has been the best example of a team which has had trouble managing the power five period, and it has cost them victories. Round 12 summed up their season well. During regular play, they outscored the Mavericks 50-43, but during the 20 minutes that the super shot was in play, Mavericks outscored them to the tune of 29-21 and snatched a last minute victory. 

Giants are at the opposite end of the scale. They are considerably stronger during the power five than they are for the rest of the game. Against Fever, their prowess at the super shot almost brought them victory. During the power five, they outscored Fever 29-19, but Fever had the better of the rest of the game by a score of 49-36 and were able to take the points. 



Rolling stats of the season


With just two rounds to go before finals, it’s a good time to check on the stats leaders, to see which players are dominating the major categories. Firstly, to the shooters, and there’s no surprise who heads this list.

Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard (Fever) – 685/716 (95.7%)
Donnell Wallam (Firebirds)  – 484/565 (85.7%)
Sophie Garbin (Vixens) – 462/530 (87.2%)

Super Shots: 
Helen Housby (Swifts) – 65/101 (64.4%)
Sophie Dwyer (Giants) – 57/91 (62.6%)
Kiera Austin (Vixens) – 53/87 (60.9%)

Goal Assists: 
Liz Watson (Lightning) – 317
Alice Teague-Neeld (Fever) – 297
Maisie Nankivell (Mavericks) – 190

Centre Pass Receives:
Liz Watson (Lightning) – 330
Alice Teague-Neeld (Fever) – 260
Sophie Dwyer (Giants) – 247

Possession Gains:
Shamera Sterling-Humphrey (Thunderbirds) – 91
Latanya Wilson (Thunderbirds) – 69
Ash Ervin (Lightning) – 62

Shamera Sterling-Humphrey (Thunderbirds) – 42
Latanya Wilson (Thunderbirds) – 40
Emily Mannix (Vixens) – 27

Maddy Turner (Swifts) – 201
Sarah Klau (Swifts) – 180
Kim Jenner (Mavericks) – 175

General Play Turnovers:
Sophie Dwyer (Giants) – 68
Maisie Nankivell (Mavericks) – 58
Kiera Austin (Vixens) – 54


Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard once again tops the one point shooting statistics. Image: Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Sports Photography



The games


Thunderbirds v Vixens

Thunderbirds showed that they are on track to defend their Super Netball crown with a dominant 73-58 win over Vixens in Adelaide. After an even first quarter, Thunderbirds stepped up a gear in the second quarter and the visitors couldn’t match them. Once again, the defence worked its magic as Vixens struggled for consistency in their attacking third. MVP Shamera Sterling-Humphrey was at her best with nine possession gains as she kept Sophie Garbin quiet. 73 goals is Thunderbirds’ highest ever score in Super Netball, and a huge improvement on the 53 they scored when these teams met in round two. The versatile Georgie Horjus again proved to be a matchwinner in both goal attack and wing attack. Midcourter Zara Walters returned from injury for Vixens, and she was one of their better players. 


Romelda Aiken-George has had another huge season, after helping the Swifts to the finals last year. Image Hannah Howard/On the Ball Media


Mavericks v Lightning

Mavericks repeated their last minute heroics from their previous clash with Lightning to come away one goal winners, 72-71, as they played their inaugural match in Tasmania. Lightning edged out a lead in the first half courtesy of some crisp attacking work from Liz Watson and accurate long range shooting from Steph Fretwell, but Mavericks turned up the heat in the second half. Gabby Sinclair gave fans a sense of deja vu, sinking two super shots in the dying minutes of the game to seal the deal and keep the Mavericks final hopes alive in their maiden season. Tayla Fraser earned MVP honours for her tireless work through the middle in the absence of Molly Jovic, with 21 goal assists, one intercept and only two turnovers forcing Tracey Neville to consider her for more consistent court time even when Jovic returns. 


Swifts v Firebirds

Firebirds have kept their finals hopes alive after a thrilling 61-60 victory over the Swifts. The loss continues Swifts’ longest ever losing streak, as they’ve now dropped six consecutive games. Without Donnell Wallam, the Firebirds had to adjust to a shorter moving circle of Tippah Dwan and Emily Moore, and with their accuracy lower than they would have liked and only managing one offensive rebound, the Swifts were given ample opportunities to push out their lead several times throughout the match. While Sarah Klau was excellent in her coverage of  the Queenslanders’ front moves time and again, the Firebirds’ relentless midcourt reliably and patiently transitioned the ball to a shot with very little squandered possession. The clincher for the Firebirds was ultimately their prowess in the two-point zone, with the visitors nailing 12/19 to the Swifts 6/16. Macy Gardner was MVP with 22 assists and six pickups. Uneeq Palavi got her first SSN start and was solid for the Swifts in her 49 minutes, scoring 37 goals at 86%.


A nice moment between the two captains before the start of the Swifts and Firebirds game. Image – May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography


Fever v Giants

It was a see-sawing affair, as Fever snatched a three point victory from the Giants 68-65. Fever had a fast start, but the hot hands of Sophie Dwyer and Jo Harten meant GIANTS held the lead for much of the match. It was the Fever’s third quarter that caused the GIANTS to unravel, Fran Williams was dominant in defence, leaving the GIANTS to overwork the ball and commit errors. Greater defensive pressure through the court also allowed Kadie-Ann Dehaney to get her hands to more ball. Tilly McDonell did well to get her hand to some rebounds over Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard but it was too little too late as a held ball against Dwyer left them too short of time in the final quarter. Alice Teague-Neeld finished MVP with a game high 47 feeds and 36 goal assists.


MVP Alice Teague-Neeld taking the ball despite the Giants’ best efforts. Image: Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Sports Photography





Team / Pld / Pts / %
1 . VIXENS . 12 . 40 . 112.3
2 . THUNDERBIRDS . 12 . 36 . 122.7
3 . FEVER . 12 . 36 . 110.2
4 . LIGHTNING . 12 . 20 . 99.8

5 . MAVERICKS . 12 . 20 . 90.9
6 . FIREBIRDS . 12. 16. 92.0
7 . SWIFTS . 12 . 12 . 92.9
8 . GIANTS . 12 . 12 . 87.4



Next Round


Sat, Jul 06 – 5:00 pm – GIANTS v MAVERICKS
Sat, Jul 06 – 7:00 pm – FIREBIRDS v LIGHTNING
Sun, Jul 07 – 2:00 pm – VIXENS v FEVER
Sun, Jul 07 – 4:00 pm – SWIFTS v THUNDERBIRDS


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