Contributors – Jenny Sinclair, Katrina Nissen, Esther Nelson, Amy Cooper, Jane Edwards & Ian Harkin

Photographers – Clinton Bradbury, Kirsten Daley, Danny Dalton, Nick Bleeker, May Bailey



GIANTS d Magpies 66-54 (19-8, 19-13, 14-17, 14-16)

Fever d Swifts 63-55 (13-17, 13-11, 18-15, 19-12)

Lightning d Vixens 56-51 (15-11, 16-9, 15-16, 10-15)

Firebirds d Thunderbirds 68-57 (22-15, 16-13, 14-16, 16-13)



1 Giants Netball  8 124.53%
2 Sunshine Coast Lightning 8 114.95%
3 Queensland Firebirds  4 106.35%
4 NSW Swifts  4 96.12%
5 Melbourne Vixens 0 84.3%
6 Collingwood Magpies  0 82.71
7 Adelaide Thunderbirds  0 81.34%
8 West Coast Fever  -4 120.75%



Molly Jovic (Collingwood) – foot

Geva Mentor (Collingwood) – lower back

Kiera Austin (Giants) – ACL (season)

Kristian Manu’a (Giants) – Calf 

Amy Parmenter (Giants) – sick 

Liz Watson (Vixens) – foot (season)

Ash Unie (Lightning) – ACL (season)

Maddie Hinchliffe (Lightning) – foot

Sarah Klau sustained an elbow to her eyebrow during the third quarter of the Swifts v Fever match. She left the court to receive treatment and change her dress (blood rule) but returned to the court.  A shoutout needs to go to the Fever’s medical team who treated Klau as the Swifts doctor did not travel with the side. Also, special mention to Tayla Fraser who helped clean up the court. 

Sunday Aryang will also be sporting a sore mouth, after an errant elbow collected her braces. It left her in some discomfort, although luckily didn’t appear to cut her mouth. 


Sarah Klau receiving medical attention for a gash on her forehead. Image Bradbury Photography


Kiera Austin – on the road to recovery after last week’s ACL injury. Image Danny Dalton



With her second goal of the match, Romelda Aiken (Firebirds) also scored her 2,000th Suncorp Super Netball goal. The towering Jamaican didn’t even know about the upcoming milestone until just before the match. 



Amy Sligar had a brilliant SSN debut for GIANTS netball. The youngster played at wing defence for three quarters, finishing with 2 pickups, just 6 penalties and no turnovers. While she didn’t come up with any intercepts, she was a good match up for Kelsey Browne (Collingwood) – no mean achievement. 


Amy Sligar was Netball Scoop’s Rookie of the Week. Image Danny Dalton



Amy Sligar’s name comes up again, as she added a goal assist to her stats with a screamer of a pass from the midcourt straight to Jo Harten under the post. In just her first game, her confidence to let the ball fly, and pinpoint passing, showed why GIANT’s Netball rate the youngster so highly.

Thunderbird, Shamera Sterling is vying for the ‘nicest athlete’ title at the end of the season. Last week she consoled Kiera Austin. This week, she welcomed Gretel Bueta back to the court with a quick cuddle and a ‘welcome back, congratulations on Bobby and Happy Mother’s Day’ all before the game started. We love your work Shammy.


Shamera Sterling showing that rivalries only start when the whistle does. Photo: Nick Bleeker, The Goal Circle Podcast


While most results went as expected, many tipped Swifts to overcome the Fever in WA. For much of the game it looked likely to happen, with the Fever midcourt in particular having a nightmarish start. At the end of the first quarter, the Swifts trio of Paige Hadley, Maddy Proud and Lauren Moore racked up 59 Nissan Netpoints, compared to Emma Cosh, Verity Charles and Jess Anstiss on -23.5. Charles left the court in the second quarter, and while the new midcourt of Cosh, Anstiss and Stacey Francis-Bayman took some time to settle, they worked into the game. 

The game was played on even terms for most of the match, and it wasn’t until the last three minutes of the match that Fever pulled away, courtesy of some match winning intercepts by Anstiss (2) and Courtney Bruce (1), along with two missed supershots by the usually reliable Sam Wallace. 


One of the interesting stats on Champion Data is the gains to goals conversion rate – how effective teams are at converting any turnovers they create – and Round 2 threw up a few surprises. Fever led the way with a 77% conversion rate, closely followed by the Vixens on 73%. Most of the teams were languishing 20% or more below that, an area that – if cleaned up – could convert to premiership points.

Fever 77%

Vixens 73%

Lightning 57%

Giants 55%

Magpies 52%

Swifts 50%

Firebirds 44%

Thunderbirds 40%



Netball Scoop wishes a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums and mums-to-be out there. Our thoughts are with Suncorp Super Netball’s international athletes, who are a world away from their own mums, and particularly Phumza Maweni and Jhaniele Fowler, who will be missing their own children very much.  Read about Phumza Maweni’s inspiring story here.


Happy Mothers Day to our international athletes. Phumza Maweni has had to leave her child at home with her parents. Image Kirsten Daley


Happy Mother’s Day, Ash Brazill. Image Danny Dalton


With commentators largely staying in their home states, due to the difficulties of Covid related travels, there are some new to commentary, but familiar faces, being featured on screen. In Round 2 fans enjoyed hearing pearls of wisdom from sideline experts Kim Green, Nat Medhurst, Josie Janz-Dawson and Sharon Finnan-White OAM. With their widespread knowledge of netball and understanding of the game, their sideline snippets are rapidly becoming a highly rated feature of the coverage. 


Kim Green has been an impressive addition to Channel 9’s netball commentary team. Image Danny Dalton


Between commentator blunders, timer and scoring issues and blood on the court, the Fever v Swifts game had it all. Tim Gossage, drafted as a play by play commentator due to Covid related travel difficulties, proved that even the most highly experienced sports presenters can make the odd error. In the pre-game chat he enthusiastically told viewers to “Get a comfy spot, get the porn”. We know what you meant Tim – what’s better than a comfy couch and a bucket of popcorn to watch the netty!

Fans were left totally bemused by the timer issues, with the clock counting upwards at times, while there was no continuity at all with the scoring. Champion Data (in whom we trust!) showed a final result of 63-55, the graphics overlay on the TV 61-55, while the commentators called it at 66-58. Confusion much??

Perhaps the lack of focus came from the long blood delay – Sarah Klau bled profusely over the court and her uniform. Cue a long break while the court was wiped clean of blood, although when play resumed Klau was still being patched up. Luckily she passed the concussion protocol, and took the court shortly afterwards. 


Once again the Thunderbirds defensive end had a strong outing, coming up with 15 gains (9 intercepts, 21 deflections), compared to the Firebirds 9 gains (5 intercepts, 16 deflections). Unfortunately the Thunderbirds were unable to capitalise, with the attacking unit causing 19 of their teams 28 turnovers. Hopefully the Adelaide team will be able to sort out their error rate quickly, and put some wins on the board. 



With Saturday night’s gaffe from commentator Tim Gossage, netball Twitter had far too many great tweets to choose from. So, keep your eye out for a collection of some of our favourites later in the week. 

In the meantime, let’s appreciate the playful banter between the media teams from NSW Swifts and West Coast Fever. 







Shooting Volume

Jhaniele Fowler (Fever) – 55/60 91.7%

Cara Koenen (Lightning) – 42/46 91% 

Shimona Nelson (Magpies) 40/43 93%


Goal Assists

Emma Cosh (Fever) – 23

Steph Wood (Lightning) – 22

Kelsey Browne (Magpies) – 21



Jacqui Newton (Magpies) –  8 (4 intercepts, 1 deflection with gain, 3 rebounds)

Sam Poolman (Giants) – 8 (4 intercepts, 1 deflection with gain, 3 rebounds)

Shamera Sterling (Thunderbirds) – 7 (4 intercepts, 1 deflection with gain, 2 rebounds)


Centre Pass Receives 

Laura Scherian (Lightning) – 27

Emma Cosh (Fever) – 24

Lara Dunkley (Firebirds) – 21 

Maddie Hay (Giants) – 21 



Sam Gooden (Thunderbirds) – 6/10

Tippah Dwan (Firebirds) – 5/5

Jo Harten (Giants) – 4/10



Shooting Accuracy (all shots) 

Firebirds – 89.6%

Lightning – 87.3%

Fever – 87.1% 



Magpies – 21 (7 intercepts, 6 deflections with gain, 8 rebounds)

Giants – 20 (12 intercepts, 4 deflections with gain, 4 rebounds)

Thunderbirds – 17 (10 intercepts, 4 reflections with gain, 3 rebounds) 



Magpies – 30

Thunderbirds – 27

Giants – 25 



Vixens – 65 (50 contact, 15 obstruction) 

Magpies – 61 (56 contact, 5 obstruction)

Firebirds – 59 (44 contact, 15 obstruction)

Lightning – 59 (47 contact, 12 obstruction)





Harten 37/45 (82%)
Dwyer 23/31 (74%)
TOTAL 60/76 (79%)

Super shots 6/14 (Harten 4/10, Dwyer 2/4)
Assists 54 (Price 20)
Gains 20 (Poolman 8)

Nelson 40/43 (93%)
Sinclair 11/16 (69%)
McCollin 3/5 (60%)
TOTAL 54/64 (84%)

Super shots 0/5
Assists 48 (Browne 21)
Gains 21 (Newton 8)

Penalties: Magpies 61-35
Turnovers: Magpies 30-25

Match report – Giants v Magpies

By Esther Nelson

It was the game of the rookies as a number of stalwarts on both sides were out of action for the GIANTS’ first home game at Ken Rosewall arena. The GIANTS were missing Keira Austin, Kristiana Manu’a due to injury and a late change with Amy Parmenter missing the game due to illness. Amy Sligar had her GIANTS debut at wing defence and performed admirably.

Maggie Lind and Fiona Thenmann debuted for the Magpies at wing attack and goal defence respectively. Molly Jovic and Geva Mentor were noticeably absent. In the first half the Magpies struggled to contain Jo Harten at goal shooter as well as effectively score off their centre passes, with 11 turnovers in the first quarter. It looked like an easy win for the GIANTS going into half time. But the Magpies managed to come back in the second half, winning both quarters 17-14 and 16-14 respectively.

 WHO dominated?

Jamie-Lee Price was dynamite for the GIANTS, especially in the first half, with a total of 4 intercepts and 95.5 Nissan Net Points, the most for any player during the game. The battle between Price and Ash Brazill was fierce with Price winning most of the time leading to a change in the second half.

Jo Harten was dominant with her shooting at 94% for the first three quarters when she was in the goal shooter position. Her switch out to goal attack in the final quarter was less successful.

WHAT worked?

It was the tale of two halves. In the first half the GIANTS had a very good flow with Harten directing traffic down the court and winning in the circle against Jacqui Newton in goalkeeper. Newcomer Sophie Dwyer was solid and was helpful in confusing the space.

New coach Nicole Richardson clearly had some inspiring words for the Magpies during the half-time break as in the third quarter the Magpies had a resurgence.  Switching their players around meant a tougher defence line and better flow down the court. Ash Brazill moved to her familiar wing defence position and Kelsey Browne and her speed at centre was a better match for Price (Browne achieved a total of 93 Nissan Net Points). The circle feeds from Browne at centre to Shimona Nelson helped Nelson sink 14/15 shots in the third quarter and 11/11 in quarter four.

WHAT needs improvement?

The Magpies need to come out and play at a high intensity from the beginning rather than building into the game. Their penalty count was relatively high at 54 compared to the GIANTS 32 and their intercepts were relatively low at (Magpies 7 v GIANTS 13).

For the GIANTS they had a great first half but flagged in the second with the game becoming scrappy in parts. Consistency across all four quarters is a necessity for the GIANTS to be successful this season.

Maddie Hay is starting to own the wing attack position but needs to be less anxious against the more physically confident wing defences like Brazill.

Both teams obtained a number of deflections (GIANTS 18, Magpies 18) but neither team were able to convert to a gain very successfully.

WHERE was it won?

The Giants took control of the game from the beginning, making it hard for the Magpies to bring the score line back. The Magpies tried to utilise the super shot, but Gabby Sinclair missed all four of her super shot attempts.

WHERE was it lost?

Brazill lost the battle with Price at centre and became frustrated which showed during her play. Sam Poolman seemed to take the measure of Nelson early on and Nelson’s lack of confidence in the circle meant the Magpies conceded too many opportunities to score off their own centre pass early on.

HOW did she do that?!

Newcomer Sophie Dwyer played really well considering she went from being an impact shooter during round one to the starting seven goal attack position in round two due to Austin’s ACL injury. Dwyer plays a very different game to Austin but has built a good connection with Harten during the pre-season. Dwyer prefers to stay in the circle giving two options to the feeders, making it more difficult for defenders who have to play more of a one-on-one style of game.

Quotes – 

“We were definitely happy with our first half but it got a bit scrappy in the second half so there is a lot to take away for next week….out of the half time break they (the Magpies) definitely were a bit more physical on us and we didn’t step up to their level of intensity.”

MVP: Jamie-Lee Price (Giants)

Starting lineups:

Giants: GS Harten, GA Dwyer, WA Hay, C Price, WD Sligar, GD Brandley, GK Poolman

Magpies: GS Nelson, GA Sinclair, WA Browne, C Brazill, WD Bragg, GD Ward, GK Newton


Ken Rosewall Arena is GIANTS Netball new home venue. Image May Bailey.


Jamie-Lee Price on a strong lead to the ball against Mel Bragg. Image Danny Dalton


Jo Harten’s leadership has been exceptional in the start to the season. Pictured here against Fiona Themann, a late replacement for the injured Geva Mentor. Image Danny Dalton



Fowler 55/60 (92%)
Glasgow 4/5 (80%)
Teague-Neeld 2/5 (40%)
TOTAL 61/70 (87%)

Super shots 2/5 (Fowler 1/1, Glasgow 1/2)
Assists 51 (Cosh 23)
Gains 13 (Aryang 5)

Wallace 34/38 (90%)
Housby 10/14 (71%)
Garbin 9/9 (100%)
TOTAL 53/61 (87%)

Super shots 2/6 (Wallace 1/3, Housby 1/3)
Assists 46 (Proud 17)
Gains 6 (Turner 2)

Penalties: Fever 47-43
Turnovers: Swifts 23-22

Match report – Fever v Swifts

By Amy Cooper

WHO dominated?   

While the final score might not show it, the game was an arm wrestle from the start. 

Both teams showed early nerves with multiple turnovers in the opening minutes. West Coast Fever botched their first centre pass and opening misses from both New South Wales Swifts shooters Samantha Wallace and Helen Housby showed that both teams were feeling the pressure, but the Swifts were the first of the two to settle, leading 17 to 13 by the first break.

Wallace, who was having a relatively quiet game to start by her standards, saw Sophie Garbin take the court in goal shooter . While the Fever worked hard to get back in the game, her impact was felt with 7 from 7 attempts in the 2nd quarter, leading Swifts 2 ahead going into half time.

By the third quarter, the time in possession had evened out with the Swifts slowing the Fever’s pace.  An injury timeout saw Wallace return to the court in the break. Fever responded by injecting long range shooter Sacha Glasgow into the game. Both teams utilised the supershot, creating a deadlock before the final break.

Swifts coach Briony Akle made sweeping changes in the last quarter, with Tayla Fraser on at Centre and Garbin moved into goal attack for Housby.

Fever stepped up their defensive pressure, with key intercepts coming from both captain Courtney Bruce and centre Jess Anstiss. The defence provided great supply to the Fever shooters, allowing them to finally dominate in the final few minutes and bring home a win in front of their home crowd in over 650 days.

WHAT worked?   

The Swifts focused on applying defensive pressure outside the circle, confusing the Fever feeders when looking for the irrefutable presence of Goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler. This initially paid dividends with several sloppy balls making it hard work for even the great Fowler to pull in, and this miscommunication saw several feeds sail untouched over the baseline.

For the Fever, the defensive combination of Bruce and Sunday Aryang, with Stacey Francis-Bayman and Jess Anstiss out in front, made life difficult for the Swifts, shutting down space in the circle and confusing the feed. It had an impact, with Wallace scoring 16 less goals than in round 1. Fever’s hands-over pressure right throughout court, made life difficult for their opponents. 

WHAT needs improvement? 

The Fever mid court players had a rough start with multiple errors, seeing all three positions in the negative for Nissan Net Points at the end of the first quarter. While the powerhouse of Bruce combining with youngster Aryang provided great defensive turnover and supply for the shooters, the flow faltered at the transverse line multiple times.

Fever reshuffled the mid court, bringing Stacey Francis-Bayman on in wing defence and moving Anstiss into centre while Charles took the bench. The new combination took time to settle, but proved effective as the Fever won the final three quarters. 

With both teams on relatively level terms throughout much of the game, it was the Swifts composure in the final few minutes that proved their unravelling. 

WHERE was it won? 

In the third quarter Swifts goal keeper Sarah Klau copped a heavy knock, sending her off the court with the blood rule, forcing the change with Lauren Moore. Fever did not hesitate to exploit the 12cm height difference, feeding in multiple high balls into the Jamacian under the post, taking the lead for the first time since the first quarter.

Klau returned to the court after a concussion test and looked fired up to make up the deficit but Fever had gained the confidence to come home strong.

WHERE was it lost? 

Still in it till the dying minutes, the Swifts missed two important supershots and Fever defenders capitalised on this, quickly moving the ball down court to make the Swifts pay for their final quarter gamble.

Fever stormed home, scoring 9 of the last 10 goals of the game.

HOW did she do that?! 

The ever dominant Fowler shot at 58 at goals at 92%, but it was the supershot on the final buzzer that sent the 5,000 plus home crowd into a frenzy, and reminding the Swifts that she can do it all.

Earlier in the match, midcourter Jess Anstiss decided to chime in with a goal of her own. A pass over the circle instead dropped through the net, and was picked off by Fowler in a play-on situation.

Quote – Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich – “Usually when you look at a scoreline and you’ve won by eight you’d feel a bit different, but that just shows the ferocity out there with the competition between the two teams,”

“I was just really proud of our girls that whilst we didn’t execute well in parts of the game, we held in there and when it mattered most is when we dug deep. That’s the part where we’ve evolved as a club.”

MVP: Courtney Bruce (Fever)

Starting lineups:

Fever: GS Fowler, GA Teague-Neeld, WA Cosh, C Charles, WD Anstiss, GD Aryang, GK Bruce

Swifts: GS Wallace, GA Housby, WA Proud, C Hadley, WD Moore, GD Turner, GK Klau

When it counted at the end of the match, Courtney Bruce came up with a pivotal intercept. Image Bradbury Photography


Jhaniele Fowler and Sarah Klau had a great tussle. Image Bradbury Photography


Fever’s hands’ over pressure disrupted Swifts’ line of sight. Image Bradbury Photography


Emma Cosh had her best outing for Fever, while Maddy Proud was dominant for the Swifts. Image Bradbury Photography



Kumwenda 25/26 (96%)
Barkmeyer 12/18 (67%)
Stanton 10/16 (63%)
TOTAL 47/60 (78%)

Super shots 4/10 (Kumwenda 2/3, Barkmeyer 1/3, Stanton 1/4)
Assists 33 (Moloney 14)
Gains 14 (Weston 4)

Koenen 43/47 (92%)
Wood 9/13 (69%)
Proscovia 3/3 (100%)
TOTAL 55/63 (87%)

Super shots 1/2 (Wood 1/2)
Assists 50 (Wood 22)
Gains 16 (Pretorius 5)

Penalties: Vixens 66-61
Turnovers: Vixens 24-20

Match report – Vixens v Lightning

by Jane Edwards

WHO dominated?   

Lightning’s Cara Koenen had a fabulous game at GS, outplaying both of her Vixens opponents Emily Mannix and Kadie-Ann Dehaney. She shot 42 from 46 for the match, and found space beautifully by moving lightly on her feet and pulling the ball in reliably on short feeds from Wood or the circle edge. She was replaced by Peace Proscovia for eight minutes at the start of the fourth quarter, but had to be brought back into the game to anchor the Lightning attack when the Vixens had a bit of a run-on.

Maddy McAuliffe was determined not to allow Vixens’ second-gamer Hannah Mundy to have an easy transition to Super League. She works brilliantly to create the illusion that a WA is in space to receive a pass, then suddenly closes the gap with her long reach to cause a clean deflection or bad hands turnover. Her craft is opaque – it shows up not in her own statistics with intercepts and gains, but in a thorough blanketing of her opponent: Mundy had no centre pass receives in the first quarter, and only four in the second, with a total of nine feeds for the first half. This forced the Vixens to rely heavily on Stanton for receiving and feeding, and their attack was constantly looking back to the defenders in the centre third for an outlet pass. McAuliffe was a worthy MVP in this match, against more eye-catching performances by attackers and defenders.

WHAT worked?   

The understanding between Steph Wood and Cara Koenen is a delight to watch. Wood barely receives the ball before she moves it swiftly on to her GS, who plays high in the circle leads back easily to space at the post. The Vixens defenders are so busy attempting to stick tight to their opponent that they are not even thinking about cross-circle intercepts, and the ball comes in so fast that they are stuck flat footed as the shooters turn quickly to wrong-foot them in a moment. While the Vixens attack end is by necessity a work in progress, the defensive combination that carried off last year’s premiership is unchanged. The Lightning attack outplayed them comprehensively – they had only four defensive gains in the first half. Wood and Koenen constantly confused the defenders’ space, so that they lost track of who was behind them and their anticipation of where the ball would go to next.

Lightning’s defence is light on its feet, and deceptively disruptive. The Vixens had 19 general play turnovers in the first half, caused by persistent but clean on-the-body contesting

WHAT needs improvement? 

The timing of Vixens leads and passes was frequently too regular.  Every Lightning defender was putting strong physical pressure on leads, and there was little variation in ball speed to alter the tempo in attack. Kumwenda in particular was limited by the inability of her feeders to see how to create space for her with ball placement.

WHERE was it won? 

The Vixens had scored five goals to one in the first three minutes of the final quarter, and had cut Lightning’s lead from a game-high of 13 in the second quarter to a six goal deficit. Mannix and Weston combined again to win the ball on Lightning’s fourth centre pass, and the Vixens had a shot on goal to cut the lead to five with their own centre pass next. Lightning squashed the revival flat when Barkmeyer’s uncontested shot cruelly bounced out. The LIghtning defenders brought the ball carefully down the court to secure the turnover goal. Their serene demeanour on this passage of play carried them through the final ten minutes as the Vixens played at a desperate pace to cut down the lead, ending up only five goals behind by full time.

WHERE was it lost? 

Lightning dominated the Vixens attack in the second quarter, when the Vixens were able to convert only seven of their twelve centre passes. They were 13 goals behind at one stage, and scored only nine for the whole quarter. Although they turned it around in the second half, when they won both quarters with some more spirited intensity from Ruby Barkmeyer at GA, the eleven goal lead that Lightning held at half time was too large to run down.

HOW did she do that?! 

It should not be a matter of wonder because she does it so often, but the way Karla Pretorius leaves her direct opponent to run with a leading WA and pull in a defensive gain is a thing of beauty. She won just such an intercept halfway through the third quarter when Hannah Mundy committed herself to a long hard lead to the corner pocket. Pretorius, tracking her all the way down the goal third, put on an extra burst to cut off the obvious pass from Kumwenda inside the goal circle. 

Quotes: Vixens coach Simone McKinnis – “I would like to see the sort of intensity and work rate and hunger and fight that we showed in the second half for the full game. It’s disappointing that we let that open up the way we did in the first half. If we can show what we showed in the second half, and particularly in the last quarter, I would be much happier. 19 general play turnovers in the first half is terrible, just not acceptable, and I did say that at half time.”

MVP: Maddy McAuliffe (Lightning)

Starting lineups:

Vixens: GS Kumwenda, GA Stanton, WA Mundy, C Moloney, WD Eddy, GD Weston, GK Dehaney

Lightning: GS Koenen, GA Wood, WA Scherian, C Cassidy, WD McAuliffe, GD Pretorius, GK Maweni

Laura Scherian used her speed to good effectiveness on court. Image Kirsten Daley


In an MVP performance, Maddy McAuliffe blanketed Hannah Mundy. Image Kirsten Daley


Cara Koenen continues to impress and improve with every outing. Image Kirsten Daley


Steph Wood’s strength on display, pulling in a ball against close pressure from Emily Mannix. Image Kirsten Daley



Aiken 34/37 (92%)
Bueta 18/22 (82%)
Dwan 8/8 (100%)
TOTAL 60/67 (90%)

Super shots 8/13 (Dwan 5/5, Bueta 3/6)
Assists 54 (Ravaillion 17)
Gains 12 (Hinchliffe 6)

Potgieter 29/32 (91%)
Gooden 16/21 (76%)
Horjus 4/6 (67%)
TOTAL 49/59 (83%)

Super shots 8/13 (Gooden 6/10, Potgieter 1/1, Horjus 1/2)
Assists 45 (Petty 19)
Gains 17 (Sterling 6)

Penalties: Firebirds 59-48
Turnovers: Thunderbirds 27-23

Match report – Firebirds v Thunderbirds

by Katrina Nissen 

WHO dominated?   

In the first quarter, Firebirds defender Tara Hinchliffe dominated. She picked up an early intercept which set up a goal-scoring surge by the home team. She followed that with another intercept, a deflection and a loose ball pickup, all the while not getting a single penalty for the quarter. 

WHAT worked?   

This week the Firebirds worked their triangular plays and resets exceptionally well. Rather than sticking to the channels which got clogged last week, they worked the ball all the way around the court. The defence came forward when needed to offer which allowed the attackers to exit and reoffer. 

The Firebirds ball speed was also on point. For the most part they flew through the court and, on occasion, did three touch plays from the centre pass. Kim Ravaillion showed her leadership by deliberately slowing play when needed. This was particularly necessary with the frenetic pace of Gretel Bueta, who needed the occasional settler. 

The taller shooting circle for the Thunderbirds was far more effective this week. Georgie Horjus was steamrolled by Kim Jenner in the first quarter with the defender easily matching pace with the nimble goal attack. Horjus proved herself a more effective feeder when moved out to wing attack. Sam Gooden’s height worked in the Thunderbird’s favour as she was a great target for them on the circle edge which allowed Lenize Potgeiter to set up shop under the post. The shooters  worked seamlessly in this fashion, with each staying out of the other’s way. 

Though it may not show on the scoreboard, the Thunderbirds defence and timeliness to the ball was better than the Firebirds. Their defence had arms over everything and finished the game with more gains and deflections than the Firebirds.

WHAT needs improvement? 

The turnover rate from both sides was quite high. The Firebirds notched up 24 turnovers with all athletes, except Tara Hinchliffe, coughing up 2-3 balls each across the match. 

Of concern for the Thunderbirds was primary ball carrier, and captain, Hannah Petty notching 9 of the team’s 28 turnovers for the match. Matilda Garrett and Sam Gooden each had 4 turnovers with the rest of the side sharing the remainder. 

The Firebirds were far better at utilising the Thunderbirds unforced errors, by converting 70% to goals. Coach Megan Anderson, was happy with this, but expressed frustration at her side’s high turnover rate. 

WHERE was it won? 

The Firebirds blistering start to the match, set them up for a more steady run home. Although they lost the third quarter, they still stayed in touch with the side only dropping two goals. Of interest, is their low penalty count for the first quarter. They only conceded 9 penalties for the period and progressively got worse throughout the match. If they can keep a lid on those penalties moving forward, they will be formidable. 

WHERE was it lost? 

Thunderbirds coach, Tania Obst, potentially took too long to bring in changes. She waited until 10 minutes into the match, when her side were down by 10 goals, before bringing in Sam Gooden and then waiting until the third quarter to make more substantial changes. 

Interestingly, Obst waited until the third quarter to ring in wholesale changes. With internationals Shadine Van Der Merwe and Latanya Wilson on the bench, it seems an odd choice to let an inexperienced side try to claw back the deficit until the third quarter, when most of the damage had been done. 

HOW did she do that?! 

In the dying moments of the third quarter, Georgie Horjus launched a Hail Mary pass to Sam Gooden. Horjus was riding the sideline, midway down the centre third and sent the ball over the arms of Gabi Simpson, and directly to her goal attack, who also had Rudi Ellis and Kim Jenner defending her. For her part, Gooden took the ball well but was unable to convert the goal before the siren went. 

Quote –  Kim Ravaillion (Firebirds) on the surprise ‘mum’ lesson she brings to life as an athlete. 

I used to care so much about making a mistake or an error. I think now that I’m a mum, I know that I need to get on with it really quickly. Like, being a mum, you can’t dwell on the baby doing a poo, you just have to get on with it! So it’s a good mindset to have: just get on with your job.”

MVP: Kim Ravaillion (Firebirds)

Starting lineups:

Firebirds: GS Aiken, GA Bueta, WA Dunkley, C Ravaillion, WD Simpson, GD Jenner, GK Hinchliffe

Thunderbirds: GS Potgieter, GA Horjus, WA McDonald, C Petty, WD Nankivell, GD Garrett, GK Sterling

Kim Ravaillion

Supermum Kim Ravaillion played 55 minutes of the match. Photo Nick Bleeker, The Goal Circle Podcast


Sam Gooden of the Adelaide Thunderbirds

Sam Gooden proved the Thunderbirds’ better choice at goal attack this week. Photo: Nick Bleeker, The Goal Circle Podcast


Tippah Dwan and Matilda Garrett

Matilda Garrett (Thunderbirds) had a tough match against Gretel Tippett and Tippah Dwan (pictured). Photo: Nick Bleeker, The Goal Circle Podcast


Rudi Ellis

Rudi Ellis continues to get more court time for the Firebirds. Photo: Nick Bleeker, The Goal Circle Podcast


Romelda Aiken

Romelda Aiken takes in perfectly placed pass in front of Shamera Sterling. Photo: Nick Bleeker, The Goal Circle Podcast



Sat 15 May  3pm  Collingwood Magpies v Adelaide Thunderbirds, John Cain Arena 

Sat 15 May 7pm  Sunshine Coast Lightning v West Coast Fever,  USC Stadium 

Sun 16 May  1pm  NSW Swifts v Melbourne Vixens,  Ken Rosewall Arena 

Sun 16 May 5pm  Giants Netball v Queensland Firebirds,  Ken Rosewall Arena 



This year, Netball Scoop has teamed up with The Netball Show Podcast and The Netty Life Podcast to bring you all of our Suncorp Super Netball post-match interviews. Hear from your favourite players and coaches as they dissect the matches and get candid about ways they can improve throughout the season. 

Listen now on your favourite podcast apps.  



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