Netball Scoop – Suncorp Super Netball – Round 3, 2021

Contributors – Jenny Sinclair, Emily Klaffer, Kate Cornish, Esther Nelson, Katrina Nissen & Ian Harkin

Photographers – Marcela Massey & May Bailey 



Collingwood Magpies 60 def Adelaide Thunderbirds 56 (16-16, 16-14, 12-14, 16-12)

West Coast Fever 69 def Sunshine Coast Lightning 54 (12-21, 19-10, 21-12, 17-11)

NSW Swifts 55 def Melbourne Vixens 43 (18-8, 14-11, 12-16, 11-8)

GIANTS Netball 67 def Queensland Firebirds 60 (14-14, 23-16, 17-11, 19-13)



(After Round 3)









Kiera Austin (Giants) – ACL (season)
Kristian Manu’a (Giants) – Calf 
Liz Watson (Vixens) – foot (season)
Ash Unie (Lightning) – ACL (season)
Maddie Hinchliffe (Lightning) – foot
Maddy Proud- appeared to injury her ankle (Swifts) 
Kadie-Ann Dehaney – winded following an elbow to the solar plexus (Vixens) 
Mwai Kumwenda – calf cramp (Vixens) 

After rupturing her ACL pre-season, Ash Unie is on the road to recovery. Image Marcela Massey


A recovering Liz Watson made the trip up to Sydney with the Vixens. Image May Bailey



Congratulations to Mwai Kumwenda who achieved 3000 national league goals.

Congratulations to the following SSN players who were named in the England Roses fulltime program for 2021: Stacey Francis-Bayman, Jo Harten, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Helen Housby and Geva Mentor 



Sophie Dwyer was on fire in just her third game of the season. Having to replace Kiera Austin as the starting goal attack would be no easy feat but Dwyer has slotted in seamlessly. Her composure against the Firebirds saw her shoot 19/25, with 13 goal assists, 2 gains, 1 intercept, 10 centre pass receives and 2 pick ups. She had the highest number of Nissan Net Points for the GIANTS, ending the game on 88.5



Maddy Turner’s (Swifts) footwork was on display during her match on the weekend, as she picked up six gains. But she was at her absolute best in the third quarter when she was shifted back to goal keeper. Forgetting the positional swap, she went flying down court in transitional defence, only to be reminded by her wing defence that she wasn’t actually supposed to be in the centre third of the court. Maddy whisked straight back into the circle, and luckily neither of the umpires noticed her transgression. 

Maddy Turner offside

In usual Swifts’ form, they turned the offside incident into a hilarious clip.

Fan opinion was divided over whether Jess Anstiss ball disposal was legal at point. She fell to the ground, somewhat regained her footing, then passed off. Fortunately photographer Marcela Massey captured the perfect photo, and it seems that Anstiss did in fact dispose of the ball correctly. According to the INF rule book point 9.4.1viii “A player may not throw or play the ball while lying, sitting or kneeling.” So there you have it folks – her knees were (marginally) off the ground.

One for the umpires to call – was the disposal by Jess Anstiss legal or illegal. Image Marcela Massey



The NSW Swifts media department earned Netball Scoop’s inaugural Golden Bib award for off-court Team of the Round.

Their social media presence is exceptional, combining a great mix of information, banter and straight talking when needed. This week they called out NRL’s Ricky Stuart’s disparaging remarks about netball, then lightheartedly teamed up with the Melbourne Vixens to change their fixture to a hair-braiding session. 

West Coast Fever received our on court team of the round. After a shaky start that saw them sink to a 10 goal deficit, they completed a 25 goal turnaround to win by 15. Captain Courtney Bruce was imposing, and after a quiet first quarter where she didn’t impact on the stats sheet, she picked up six gains (5 intercepts, 1 rebound) and a pick up in the remaining three quarters. Cara Koenen scored 15 goals against her in the first quarter, but she and Peace Proscovia could only manage a combined 22 goals in the remaining three quarters. 



A figure that might surprise many is that the Collingwood Magpies have the second highest number of gains across the first three rounds, and sit comfortably in second place for gains that are converted to goals across the first three rounds. Unfortunately, their turnover rate is also the second highest, meaning if they can figure out how to hang onto the ball, their effectiveness should shoot up accordingly.

Another figure worth looking at is GIANTS Netball and the Queensland Firebirds sitting at the wrong end of the gains to goals table. Both teams would be looking to tidy this up as teams start to gel on court. 

Gains to Goals as a Percentage averaged across the first three rounds:

Fever 82%
Magpies 76%
Lightning 73%
Swifts 63%
Vixens 62%
Firebirds 58%
Thunderbirds 48%

There has been a lot of talk about the supershot and which players are having the most impact for their teams. After Round 2 Thunderbird, Sam Gooden was praised for her 6/10 supershots. But in Round 3, Gooden’s accuracy rate on the supershot has dropped to 52%, having hit 15/29 all up since the season commenced.

For the Magpies, Gabi Sinclair is sitting on 43% accuracy for her 9/21 after 3 rounds. Fever’s Sasha Glasgow has maintained her super shot accuracy of 66%, popping in 4/6 after 3 rounds. A surprise packet is the normally highly accurate Steph Wood, who is sitting on 4/10 (40%). Despite Jo Harten’s dominance under the post on Sunday afternoon, she dropped her accuracy to 42% on the super shot. Firebird, Gretel Bueta sunk 3/7 on Sunday which dropped her previous accuracy of 60% to 53%.  Tippah Dwan was at 73% but her 4/9 in Round 3 dropped her to 60%. Who will be the next super shot star to stand up to the pressure? 


Courtney Bruce piling on the pressure over Steph Wood’s shot. She finished with 1/5 from supershots, and 16/22 one pointers. Image Marcela Massey



It’s rare that weekend matches are overshadowed by off-court action, but that was the case this week, with two major talking points emerging.

Netball Australia announced announced governance reforms which will see the board and Super Netball League Commission merge. Four directors have resigned, including Chair Paolina Hunt, with Marina Go taking up the reins. There was angst on social media when it emerged that the board would be comprised up of five males and four females, with no athlete or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives. In her column Liz Ellis believes this will be addressed within the year. 

One of the biggest storms in recent memory was created when Daily Telegraph columnist Paul Kent paraphrased NRL coach Ricky Stuart saying “If I can’t have tough conversations with my better players I might as well coach netball.” While Stuart later made a half-baked, smirking apology, stating that he’d had a laugh about it, and hoped netball enjoyed the publicity, there was widespread ire in the netball community. A statement was released by Netball Australia, while luminaries such as Liz Ellis, Lisa Alexander and Annie Sargeant weighed in. NSW Swifts continued their excellent social media form calling Stuart out, but one of the most striking responses came from Puma. 


Puma AU Instagram Graphic

Puma Australia got behind netballers to to call out condescending and outdated views on netball.


Jessica Currie (@Jess_M_Currie) spoke for many fans on Twitter when she said that what we are doing is “pointing out the broader impact of language on the world we live in…..Exposure to sexist language leads to tolerance of discrimination further up the pyramid – that’s why we call you on it…..It’s about impact, not intent.”


Jessica Currie shared this powerful graphic by Ziibiing.


One fan favourite who’s been missing in action this year is umpire Michelle Phippard. She hasn’t featured in any of the three rounds so far this year. 



No, this is not the tweet of the week – but it certainly got @ConciergeMaree fired up. Lassie’s indeed!! Sadly, it’s typical of some people’s view of “women’s sport”.


@ConciergeMaree’s classic response.




Shooting Volume

Jhaniele Fowler (Fever) – 59/61 (96.7%)
Sam Wallace (Swifts) – 48/48 (100%)
Jo Harten (Giants) – 44/53 (83%)


Gabrielle Sinclair (Magpies) – 5 
Sam Gooden (Thunderbirds) – 4 
Tippah Dwan (Firebirds) – 4 


Jodi-Ann Ward (Magpies) – 8 (4 intercepts, 4 rebounds)
Sarah Klau (Swifts) – 7 (2 intercepts, 3 deflections with gain, 2 rebounds)
Maddy Turner (Swifts) – 6 (1 intercept, 3 deflections with gain, 4 rebounds)

Goal Assists 

Kelsey Browne (Magpies) – 25
Verity Charles (Fever) – 24 
Laura Scherian (Lightning) – 20 
Jamie-Lee Price (GIANTS) – 20 


Paige Hadley (Swifts) – 3 
Kim Ravaillion (Firebirds) – 3 
Jo Weston (Vixens) – 3 

Centre Pass Receives

Steph Wood (Lightning) – 24 
Laura Scherian (Lightning) – 24
Kate Moloney (Vixens) – 19  


April Brandley (Giants) – 26 
Phumza Maweni (Lightning) – 18 
Jodi-Ann Ward (Magpies) – 18 


Kelsey Browne (Magpies) – 8 
Kaylia Stanton (Vixens) – 8 
Gretel Bueta (Firebirds) – 7 

Nissan Netpoints

Jhaniele Fowler (Fever) – 106
Sophie Dwyer (GIANTS) – 88.5
Kim Ravaillion (Firebirds) – 85.5




Magpies – 29 
Thunderbirds – 28 
Firebirds – 24 

Centre Pass to Goal Rate (%)

Fever – 77%
Swifts – 77%
GIANTS – 74%


Magpies – 62 (52 contact, 10 obstruction)
Firebirds – 65 (52 contact, 13 obstruction)
Lightning – 61 (43 contact, 18 obstruction)


Firebirds – 17 (10 intercepts, 4 deflections with gain, 3 rebounds)
Swifts – 16 (4 intercepts, 6 deflections with gain, 6 rebounds) 
Magpies – 14 (7 intercepts, 3 deflections with gain, 4 rebounds)
Thunderbirds – 14 (11 intercepts, 1 deflection with gain, 2 rebounds)


Firebirds – 8 
Magpies – 6 
Thunderbirds – 6 

Side line commentator Bianca Chatfield found an expert in the crowd during the Lightning-Fever game, none other than former Aussie coach Jill McIntosh. Image Marcela Massey




Nelson 36/38 (95%)
Sinclair 18/22 (82%)
TOTAL 54/60 (90%)

Super shots 6/9 (Sinclair 5/8, Nelson 1/1)
Assists 48 (Browne 25)
Gains 14 (Ward 8)

Potgieter 23/25 (92%)
Gooden 17/25 (68%)
Horjus 10/13 (77%)
TOTAL 50/63 (79%)

Super shots 6/12 (Gooden 4/8, Horjus 2/3)
Assists 44 (Nankivell 16)
Gains 14 (Garrett 5)

Penalties: Magpies 62-49
Turnovers: Magpies 29-28

Match report – Magpies v Thunderbirds

By Emily Klaffer

Captain Geva Mentor and midcourter Molly Jovic were much needed returns from injury for the Magpies in the battle of the 6th and 7th placed teams. Both teams were desperate for a positive result, having failed to prevail in the opening rounds of the season. The game started at a blistering pace, with a strong display in defence from the Thunderbirds led by goal keeper Shamera Sterling against familiar opponent and fellow Jamaican Shimona Nelson. 

The match was a see-sawing affair with no more than four goals the difference across 60 minutes. The heart-thumping final five minutes was owned by the Magpies after Thunderbirds shooter Lenize Potgieter was called for a held ball under the post.

Geva Mentor continued to manage a back injury, and was slightly out of form with no gains or intercepts. She racked up 13 penalties and a turnover to finish the game. 

Matilda Garrett of the Thunderbirds played against her old side for the first time on their home court and rewarded her coach with two intercepts less than ten minutes in.

Thunderbirds still continue to struggle to replace previous captain Chelsea Pittman but have reason to find solace in the combination of captain Hannah Petty and Maisie Nankevill in C and WA respectively, who started the match. 

Samantha Gooden of the Thunderbirds got the start after an outstanding performance last week with six supershots from ten attempts, her position in GA was shared with Georgie Horjus, with both switching between GA, GS and WA.

What Worked Well?

With the introduction of the Supershot and the rolling sub rule, many teams are opting to rotate their seven. New Magpies coach Nicole Richardson selected to keep her starting seven for the entirety of the game, in stark contrast to the rounds 1 (24 changes) and 2 (28 changes). Letting players grind it out or turning to the bench is a big decision for coaches, particularly for the Magpies due to the games closeness throughout. 

However, the somewhat controversial decision to keeping all seven athletes on worked well, allowing each of them to build into the match. 

While the Magpies were guilty of giving away easy ball at times, they were able to convert 86% of their gains into a goal. This was in stark contrast to the Thunderbirds success rate of just 43%.  

Ash Brazill

Ash Brazill was on fire on Saturday. Photo: Aliesha Vicars

Where Was It Won?

The game could’ve been taken by both teams at any point – no one team took it by the neck as it was a close affair throughout. Because of this it was goal for goal in the last quarter and anyone’s game. Ash Brazil in her third game back was quiet in defence but showed her attacking prowess with fourteen centre pass receives, her only gain came in the last minutes of the game with a win in her defensive third, allowing the win to be snatched from the unsuspecting Thunderbirds. The question of where it was won can be simply answered in her effort to win the ball in the dying moments.

Where Was It Lost?

It’s often said that the team that remains calm during the ‘edge of your seat moments’ is the team that prevails. Collingwood stayed steady and vigilant during the final term and got a two-point shot after the siren to secure a four-goal win. Coach Nicole Richardson got up in the coaches box in the final minutes to indicate she wanted a one-point shot, a good option and one that required players to remain calm as it can be tempting to try and get an easy two points on the board. Thunderbirds weren’t able to use any composure to secure a win while Magpies used their experience in Nelson, Brown, Brazil and Mentor to do exactly that. The Thunderbirds also fell off the rails with the final shot, allowing Gabby Sinclair to get a sneaky two-pointer due to an out of play call.

“Super pleasing from my perspective” says coach Richardson “but the game still could have gone either way”. 

“It still wasn’t our best netball but to be able to play a game like that, grind it out and get the win is a great effort on the girls part”.

Who Dominated?

A hard one to pick as each player had their moments. Jodi-Ann Ward snatched up MVP after a strong defensive game, picking up four intercepts against a revolving door of GA opponents. She also got an impressive number of gains at eight to seal her spot as player of the match.  

“Molly’s got a big tank and a big heart”, said coach Nicole Richardson, after Jovic dominated throughout most of the game, particularly in the first quarter.  

Shimona Nelson continues to grow in confidence, shooting 35/37, while Kelsey Browne was busy with a game high 25 goal assists and 18 centre pass receives. 

Shamera Sterling came into the game late, with a flyer in the first moments of the third quarter, and finished with a solid two intercepts and four gains.

Finally, Potgieter continued on her way with only one miss in regular time, she’s consistently a steadying force for a disconnected Thunderbirds side.

Quote: Nicole Richardson, Collingwood Magpies coach 

“I still think we need a bit of belief as well, obviously confidence amongst the team in any sport, to build that winning culture, you actually got to get some consecutive wins.” “That belief in each other, the belief in your own game plan comes with wins so hopefully this is the step in the right direction.”

MVP:  Jodi-Ann Ward (Magpies)

Starting lineups:

Magpies: GS Nelson, GS Sinclair, WA Browne, C Jovic, WD Brazill, GD Ward, GK Mentor

Thunderbirds: GS Potgieter, GA Gooden, WA Nankivell, C Petty, WD Van Der Merwe, GD Garrett, GK Sterling


Koenen 28/30 (93%)
Wood 16/22 (73%)
Proscovia 9/9 (100%)
TOTAL 53/61 (87%)

Super shots 1/5 (Wood 1/5)
Assists 41 (Scherian 20)
Gains 4 (Hunt 3)

Fowler 59/61 (97%)
Glasgow 7/8 (88%)
Teague-Neeld 1/5 (20%)
TOTAL 67/74 (91%)

Super shots 2/4 (Glasgow 2/3)
Assists 62 (Charles 24)
Gains 9 (Bruce 6)

Penalties: Lightning 61-58
Turnovers: Lightning 22-16

MVP: Courtney Bruce (Fever)

Starting lineups:

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

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

In an MVP performance, Courtney Bruce shook off a quiet first quarter to finish with six gains. Image Marcela Massey


How the tactics change during super shot periods. Lightning defenders doubling down on Fever long range specialist Sacha Glasgow. Image Marcela Massey


Emma Cosh and Maddy McAuliffe played a game of cat and mouse throughout the match. Image Marcela Massey

Vixens Jo Weston continually had to adapt, as Swifts coach Briony Akle rotated her goal attacks throughout the match. Image May Bailey


Wallace 48/48 (100%)
Housby 3/5 (60%)
Garbin 2/5 (40%)
TOTAL 53/58 (91%)

Super shots: 2/3 (Wallace 2/2)
Assists: 50 (Hadley 17)
Gains: 16 (Klau 7)

Kumwenda 28/32 (88%)
Stanton 6/13 (46%)
Barkmeyer 5/8 (63%)
TOTAL 39/53 (74%)

Super shots: 4/12 (Kumwenda 2/5, Barkmeyer 1/3, Stanton 1/4)
Assists: 33 (Barkmeyer, Moloney 9)
Gains: 13 (Eddy, Dehaney 3)

Penalties: Vixens 55-51
Turnovers: Vixens 22-21

Match report – Swifts v Vixens

By Kate Cornish

WHO dominated?

It was a dominant full- court performance from the Swifts in their round three outing against the Melbourne Vixens. The Swifts were hoping for a win to match the excitement of playing in their first home game in over 600 days, and welcoming fans to their new home at Ken Rosewell Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.

The Swifts have been criticised over the past two weeks for letting commanding leads evaporate. Against the Vixens they did not want a repeat of squandering their lead, and from the first whistle it was evident they have worked hard over the week to ensure they came out with an intensity that spanned 60 minutes.

Sarah Klau was outstanding for the Swifts against the Vixens attacking line-up, with seven gains, two intercepts and six deflections she was wreaking havoc in an already unstable Vixens forward unit.

By her standards Klau had a quiet 2020 and when she is firing on all cylinders you understand just how important she is to her team. While the attacking line-up is usually steady for the Swifts, it is the defensive unit of Klau and Turner who can light up the court for the team in red. The confidence the group enjoys from converting deflections, rebounds and intercepts are what this team is built on.

If we are talking about goalkeepers who are finding their form early in season 2021, Klau would have to be in the conversation with names like Courtney Bruce, who also looks impressive early.

Sam Wallace, the Swifts goal shooter shot at an incredible 100% for the match. With 48/48 (that included two super-shots), there was little that could be done to stop her dominance on court. Post-match she credited her accuracy to putting in extra work this year, saying that the Swifts shooters did not have a day off this year.

Whatever extra work Wallace is doing, it is working. Aside from her accuracy, her ability to take a high ball under extreme pressure (and at times between Diamond defenders the calibre of Jo Weston and Emily Mannix) with such ease in this game, should make other teams worried. At one point she took the ball high in the air, sandwiched between both defenders, spun around on one foot and made the shot. ‘How to stop Sam Wallace’ should be at the top of all SSN coaches’ notepads after the performance she put on in this match.

WHAT worked?

Paige Hadley played her first full game this season in centre and in my opinion that is where you get the most bang for your buck with Hadley. When Head Coach Briony Akle was asked post-match why Hadley had not been moved into wing defense during the game as we have seen done in the previous two matches, she commented that there ‘had been no need to make the change’. It was the right move from Akle who allowed Lauren Moore to run out a full 60 minutes in the wing defense position and combine with Maddy Turner and Klau, forming a solid unit.

The leadership that Hadley brings to the Swifts when she is in centre can not be underestimated. Hadley controls just about everything the Swifts do from transition into attack; whether they break down court with speed or are more deliberate in their movement is dependent on what Hadley sees in front of her. She is the engine room of the team and has, over the past few seasons, found the right balance of maturity and passion. If the Swifts are to be real contenders in season 2021, the more minutes Hadley can play in centre the better their chances will be.

It was a tough day at the office for the Vixens, but they showed some brilliance, especially in their defensive end. Weston, Mannix, Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Kate Eddy hustle and scramble for every ball. They were doing a good job of crowding the space in the attacking end of the Swifts who, at times had to be very patient on their route to post.

Dehaney has been good for the Vixens when she has been on court. Though she only played 24 minutes in this match she enjoyed three intercepts and four deflections, which is not easy to accomplish against a Swifts team who is incredibly patient with the ball. You have to wonder if more minutes for Dehaney would have equated to an even better return on the stats board.

WHAT needs improvement?

The Vixens were always going to have a massive task trying to re-create the form they had last year. With Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip retiring at the end of last year, and then the news that Liz Watson would be out for the entire 2021 season, it seemed like an impossible mission. It is fair to say they are in a rebuilding stage, and you can see they have the bones of what will be a good team in the next few seasons, if not sooner.

It is amazing how much the goal attack position affects teams in SSN. While the Vixens are star-studded all over court, this position is the one they struggle to fill. Hannah Mundy is still finding her feet and feed as a very young wing attack, and while no one can fill the shoes on Watson, I feel like if she was afforded an experienced goal attack who could lead the line-up, she would look more comfortable.

Their options in the goal attack position are young Ruby Barkmeyer, who got the start today and Kaylia Stanton who they signed from West Coast Fever. Stanton is the more experienced of the two players, but it seems her confidence struggles have followed her from Perth to Melbourne. Again, this week she was responsible for eight turnovers, and was not able to sink the important shots when it mattered for the Vixens. Her shooting percentage was at 42% and she does not look comfortable on court.

Barkmeyer on the other hand, is still learning each time she steps out on court and as such it feels like she can be afforded more lenience in her performances. In this game she played the same number of minutes as Stanton (34 minutes) and contributed four turnovers herself, but it was unrelenting the pressure that the Swifts were applying that contributed to personal errors across the Vixens attack line up.

 As it stands Kate Moloney is covering so much court that her usual steadiness on feeds and drives to the top of the circle edge are missing as she is doubling back to offer and re-offer time and time again. She is doing a wealth of work for her team, but the work she is having to do is taking away the best part of her game, which is strong drives and her defensive presence. She led feeds to her shooters with 29 during the game, but I wonder how long she can sustain that sort of effort.  

However, this is not the time for Vixens fans to panic. Under the guidance of one the best coaches in our competition, Simone McKinnis, the Vixens will find their feet again. Barkmeyer has clearly been ear-marked as a player to watch in the future and while today was not her best outing in SSN, the Swifts had stepped up a level today and would have been a challenge for any team to stop. A positive for the Vixens was a spirited third quarter effort, they won that 15-minute period by four goals, unfortunately it was their first half errors and slow start that ultimately cost them a chance of being truly competitive in this match.

HOW did she do that?

Swift Maddy Turner took a beautiful intercept late in the game, tip-toed along the sideline and managed to not only keep the ball in play but in full flight passed it on to a team mate who was there to back up her effort. This moment summed up the Swifts game. Turner had no right to get hand to ball, let alone keep it in court and as had happened so many times during the game, there was another Swift on hand to consolidate the determination to win ball.

MVP: Sarah Klau (Swifts)

Starting lineups:

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

Vixens: GS Kumwenda, GA Barkmeyer, WA Mundy, C Moloney, WD Eddy, GD Weston, GK Mannix

Ruby Barkmeyer continues to improve with each outing for the Vixens. Image May Bailey


Sarah Klau was a worthy MVP recipient, helping herself to 7 gains. Image May Bailey


Sam Wallace shot another perfect game, finishing with 48/48. Image May Bailey


Harten 44/53 (83%)
Dwyer 19/25 (76%)
TOTAL 63/78 (81%)

Super shots 4/12 (Harten 3/9, Dwyer 1/3)
Assists 56 (Price 20)
Gains 11 (Brandley 5)

Aiken 23/29 (79%)
Bueta 21/28 (75%)
Dwan 8/14 (57%)
TOTAL 52/71 (73%)

Super shots 8/19 (Dwan 4/9, Bueta 3/7, Aiken 1/3)
Assists 43 (Ravaillion 16)
Gains 16 (Jenner 5)

Penalties: Firebirds 65-57
Turnovers: Firebirds 24-20

Match report – Giants v Firebirds

By Esther Nelson

For the GIANTS’ second home game in a row, it was an intense outing between two sides who looked very good in the pre-season. The GIANTS were still missing Kristiana Manu’a, who could return for round 4.

GIANTS captain Jo Harten led her team to a convincing win and for Harten it was all about “patience and control”. It was goal for goal in the first quarter and a half until the GIANTS put their foot down in the latter half of the second quarter and they went on to own the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Firebirds were searching for an answer to a strong GIANTS offensive but were unable to find one.

Who dominated?

Harten and Sophie Dwyer dominated in the circle shooting 41/44 at 93% and 18/22 at 82% respectively. Dwyer scored 88.5 Nissan NetPoints for the game, the most of any GIANTS player.

Maddie Hay had a solid game in both attack (16 goal assists and 29 feeds) and defence (2 intercepts and 1 deflection).

Both defensive ends were busy with the GIANTS’ back trio picking off 11 gains, compared to the Firebirds 11, Gabi Simpson, Kim Jenner and April Brandley starring with 5 each. 

What worked?

The GIANTS played a solid game and instead of flagging in the second half as in the previous round, continued to get better as the game went on. Harten and Dwyer are building a solid connection and their accuracy is high. Although April Brandley had a number of penalties against her (26 penalties – the highest for the game), she managed 3 intercepts and 4 deflections and successfully tagged Gretel Bueta to lessen her impact on the game.

For the Firebirds a number of players had a good game and overall, the Firebirds had 7 more gains and 4 more intercepts than the GIANTS. Gabi Simpson’s performance was strong with 3 intercepts and Gretel Bueta’s shooting was consistent despite 7 turnovers.

What needs improvement?

The Firebirds had a number of positional changes throughout the game in an attempt to disrupt the GIANTS’ dominant play, particularly in the attack end. There were moments of brilliance (like Bueta’s signature layup in the third quarter) but the Firebirds lacked the connection to carry the ball through the court and convert gains to goals.

Kim Ravillion was statistically superior against GIANTS centre Jamie-Lee Price, although the two centres tended to nullify each other’s influence. Rather than their usual screaming intercepts and deflections Price and teammate Amy Parmenter had more impact by helping to move the ball down the court, allowing their attacking players to get closer to circle edge and successfully feed Harten and Dwyer.

The umpires missed errors by players on both sides, including a number of held balls and stepping calls. Their focus seemed to be on the circle rather than general play, which led to frustration on both sides at various times.

Where was it won?

At goal shooter Harten was in a commanding position during the game and neutralised both Firebird defenders. Harten even dominated Kim Jenner as goal defence, chasing Jenner off the line for the Firebirds centre pass each time.

The GIANTS gelled well as a team –  athletes were able to transition quickly, and their attacking players like Dwyer and Hay were successful defensively and their defensive players, Brandley and Parmenter, contributed greatly to feeding the ball down court with 15 and 13 centre pass receives each during the game.

Rudi Ellis had cameos in goalkeeper during quarters three and four, managing 3 intercepts, but by that stage the GIANTS had control of the game.

Where was it lost?

The disconnection between the Firebirds players. The forward line from goal shooter to wing attack combined for 18 of the Firebirds 24 turnovers, handing far too much ball back to their opponents. The Firebirds defensive end provided a steady flow of ball, picking up 17 gains to the GIANTS’ 12, but converted at a rate of just 59% compared to the GIANTS’ 75%.

How did she do that? Maddie Hay had a spectacular intercept during the fourth quarter. The former wing defence turned wing attack performed well against Australian Diamond and wing defence specialist, Gabi Simpson.


“I think we all tried hard individually but we were just a bit disconnected from each other…it was just one of those games where we felt like we were trying hard but we weren’t actually working together.”

Firebird’s coach, Megan Anderson.

MVP: Jo Harten (GIANTS)

Starting lineups: 

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

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

Sophie Dwyer was showing some amazing confidence under the post. Photo: May Bailey (from preseason hitout)


Jamie-Lee Price and Kim Ravaillion

Jaimie-Lee Price and Kim Ravaillion had another classic battle in the mid court. Photo: May Bailey (from pre-season hitout)


Round FOUR (all times local to location)

Sat 22 May 3pm –  Magpies v Firebirds (Silverdome)

Sat 22 May 7pm – Thunderbirds v Fever (Netball SA Stadium)

Sun 23 May 1pmLightning v Swifts (USC Stadium)

Sun 23 May 3pmVixens v GIANTS (John Cain 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 aps.  

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