NS Scoreboard: SSN Round 6, 2024

NS Scoreboard: SSN Round 6, 2024

Writers: Ian Harkin, Katrina Nissen, Jenny Sinclair, Georgia Doyle

Photographers: Aliesha Vicars, Mia Mammoliti, May Bailey, Simon Leonard, Joshua Collins

Cover Photo and Copyright: Mia Mammoliti/ClixbyMia



Sunshine Coast Lightning 64 def Melbourne Vixens 57

West Coast Fever 57 def Adelaide Thunderbirds 56

Melbourne Mavericks 69 def Queensland Firebirds 62

NSW Swifts 77 def GIANTS Netball 52




Shimona Jok became the second highest goal scorer in Super Netball, after she hit 3500 goals during Round 6


It’s hard to believe that Shimona Jok missed out on a contract this season, and is currently replacing the injured Sasha Glasgow. Image Joshua Collins




Courtney Bruce (Lightning) – calf
Kate Eddy (Vixens) –  knee
Zara Walters (Vixens) –  low back
Kelsey Browne (Fever) –  knee
Tayla Fraser (Mavericks) – lower leg 
Maddy Proud (Swifts) –  knee


A knee brace and crutches don’t look promising for Kate Eddy. Image Aliesha Vicars.





News of the Week


In a major coup for the sport, newly appointed Netball Australia board member Liz Ellis has also been elected as Chair. Ellis has wide ranging experience from the grass roots to the elite, with experience also in governance and management. While Ellis has said that she’s not to be viewed as a one person saviour for netball’s recent woes, there’s little doubt that her expertise and passion will provide a much needed breath of fresh air. 


17 players across seven clubs have so far missed at least one game due to soft tissue injuries in the past five rounds, raising questions about what role the shortened pre-season could have had. Clubs had two to three months less training due to the Collective Player Agreement stand-off, which may have impacted their strength and conditioning phase and led to the unprecedented injury rate.


Eleanor Cardwell is one of 17 players who’ve missed at least one game this season through injury. Image Joshua Collins


Jamie-Lee Price received the first send off of the season, under recent changes to World Netball rules. Price went to the bench for two minutes, following a late challenge to Allie Smith where Price took out her landing space. While the umpire was quick to send Price to the bench, it wasn’t the worst hit we’ve seen dished out this season. 


Jamie-Lee Price became the first player from SSN to be sent off under the new World Netball rules for dangerous play. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography


We love to see it! With eight Jamaicans in the league, 6 of them went head to head in an incredibly athletic Fever v Thunderbirds match. The rivalry was immense on court, but shortly after the game finished, the six joined forces in a dance that entertained the crowd. After the match, they were all heading to Fowler-Nembhard’s home to share a traditional meal.



The rookies


Leesa Mi Mi played a crucial role in Lightning’s win. The young centre produced 30 feeds and 2 intercepts, but more importantly, she is learning how to give the world’s best wing attack, Liz Watson, room to do her thing. When a wing attack is as dominant as Watson, one of the centre’s key roles is to be able to work around her, giving her time and space in which to weave her magic. 


In the absence of Courtney Bruce, Ash Ervin was immense in Sunshine Coast Lighting’s win. Ervin took on Diamonds’ shooter Sophie Garbin and finished with 9 gains, including 3 intercepts, 7 deflections, 3 rebounds and 3 pickups. Ervin kept Garbin to 34 goals, and looks like being a star of the future.


Sunshine Coast Lightning were delighted with their win. Ash Ervin, right, was instrumental. Image Aliesha Vicars.


Lili Gorman-Brown had her best match in Swifts’ colours. In the absence of Maddy Proud, there is far more responsibility on her shoulders now and she responded well. She finished with 16 assists and played a fine support role to Paige Hadley who controlled the midcourt.


Jordan Cransberg made an immediate impact for Fever when she took the court late in the first quarter. With Alice Teague-Neeld blanketed by opponent Latanya Wilson, Cransberg provided some much needed speed and change of direction. Later shifting into centre, Cransberg was Fever’s best performed feeder, and also contributed an intercept and two pickups. Speaking post-match, she welcomed the opportunity to thrive in a high-pressure situation, banking the experience for future rounds. 


Jordan Cransberg took the game on, as she used her speed and angles to bypass Latty Wilson. Image and ©clixbymia_©Mia_Mammoliti_



The shooting circle


Shimona Jok was a standout in the Mavericks’ win over Firebirds. She shot 50 goals at 91%, took three rebounds, and had zero general play turnovers. Firebirds simply had no answer to her and the combination with Eleanor Cardwell was a winner. This was Mavericks’ most clinical attacking display of the season and points to an exciting second half of the season.


While Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard finished with a strong 50/51 she was clearly rattled by the attention paid to her by Shamera Sterling-Humphrey with 6 uncharacteristic turnovers, and some visible emotion on her face at some of the calls against her. Her fellow Jamaican is perhaps the only keeper in the world who can match Fowler-Nembhard for athleticism.



Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard was put under huge pressure by Shamera Sterling-Humphrey and Latty Wilson, as well as Tilly Garrett in earlier stages of the match. Image and ©clixbymia_©Mia_Mammoliti_



The midcourt


Round 6 saw some stellar performances from a range of centres, and here are some of the best. 

Tayla Williams – 30 feeds, 2 intercepts, for only 2 turnovers. Has future Diamonds’ centre written all over her.

Molly Jovic – 37 feeds, 4 deflections for only 2 turnovers. Been incredibly strong in recent weeks. 

Paige Hadley – 42 feeds, 4 gains including 3 intercepts, for 3 turnovers. The veteran midcourter keeps getting better.

Leesa Mi Mi – 30 feeds, 2 intercepts for 2 turnovers – the best game the rookie has played yet. 


Molly Jovic gets a ball off under pressure from Kim Ravaillion. Image Simon Leonard.


Paige Hadley turned in a vintage performance at centre. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography



The defenders


It was the exciting new combination of Ash Ervin and Tara Hinchliffe that caught our eye this week. With the former a rookie, and the latter returning from an ACL injury, they’ve had limited court time together, but looked like a well-oiled machine in the circle. The pair combined for a colossal 18 gains, which included 7 intercepts, 3 rebounds and 6 pick-ups. 

Hinchliffe was unlucky to rupture her ACL just as she was breaking into the Diamonds, while Ervin looks to be a star of the future. She was certainly one of the few keepers to trouble Silver Fern Grace Nweke since she’s burst on the scene, matching the Kiwi for reach and elevation at last year’s Fast 5. 


Having had an injury interrupted few years, Em Mannix is back to her brilliant best for the Vixens. She’s anchored the defensive end, and once again turned in a fine performance this round. Mannix finished with 10 gains, including 4 intercepts and 3 rebounds. 


Kadie-Ann Dehaney is having a stellar season at West Coast Fever, and earned MVP honours against the Thunderbirds this round. While Dehaney only had four gains, her 10 deflections wreaked havoc in the circle, and put doubt into the Thunderbird’s feeder’s minds. A starting role suits the keeper as she’s gone from strength to strength, while Dehaney has also spoken about how happy she is with fellow Jamaicans in the team. 


Kadie-Ann Dehaney had the best game of her career. Image and ©clixbymia_©Mia_Mammoliti_





Eleanor Cardwell played her first full 60 minutes at goal attack in the Mavericks win over the Firebirds. More accustomed to goal shooter, many had been questioning her ability to run out a full game and a tactical move from the Mavs helped her stay out there for the whole game. The majority of Mavericks centre passes went to their defenders, with Amy Parmenter leading the way with 16, while Kim Jenner and Maisie Nankivell both recorded 13.

Second phase was then dominated by Molly Jovic with 21, followed by Cardwell with nine. This move allowed Cardwell to sit off the line, and then get depth on either second or third phase. The benefits of this were two fold – it allowed Cardwell time to rest while the ball was brought to her, and also made it easier for her to link with Shimona Jok, with feeds closer to the circle a much safer option than those launched in from distance.



Stat of the week


In the Fever v Thunderbirds game, the much anticipated clash between Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard and Shamera Sterling-Humphrey was great to watch. And it was interesting statistically. When Sterling-Humphrey comes up against Fowler-Nembhard, she plays differently to how she plays against other shooters. There is less flying for intercepts. All her attention is focussed on containing Fowler-Nembhard and trying to put her off her game. The end result is that these two great players tend to nullify each other statistically.

In round six, Fowler-Nembhard was rattled early on and eventually gave up six turnovers, twice as many as she had in any other game this year. Meanwhile, Sterling-Humphrey had just two possession gains, which is half as many as she had in any other game this year. Both players recorded clearly their lowest NNP score of the season. In fact, Sterling-Humphrey had her lowest NNP score since round 11, 2021. Guess who she was playing against that day. 

NNP Scores this season:

Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard
151.5, 131.5, 103, 104.5, 132.5, 67.5

Shamera Sterling-Humphrey
117.5, 115, 88, 88.5, 95, 35.5



Rolling stat of the season


Heading into round six, Fever had a truly astonishing centre pass to goal rate of 85.2%. But things changed when Thunderbirds’ defensive pressure forced them into error. Fever committed a season-high 23 turnovers and finished the game with a centre pass to goal rate of just 67.9%. In fact, Thunderbirds fared better at 74.1% which was an improvement on their season average. 

After six rounds, this is where each team sits. Fever’s average has dropped, but they still sit clearly at the top of the pack. Giants have the lowest centre pass to goal rate in the competition after a poor effort in their game against Swifts (62.5%). Mavericks were at the bottom heading into round six, but had a much better performance against the Firebirds (79.0%).

Centre pass to goal % (Rounds 1-6)

82.7% – Fever (306/370)
72.8% – Lightning (276/379)
71.7% – Thunderbirds (228/318)
71.7% – Swifts (253/353)
69.7% – Vixens (225/323)
69.5% – Firebirds (257/370) 
65.9% – Mavericks (222/337)
65.5% – Giants (234/357)



The games


Vixens v Lightning

Vixens suffered their first defeat of the season as they went down 64-57 to the Lightning. Vixens were without Kate Eddy and despite a tremendous game from Emily Mannix, they missed Eddy’s tenacity in defence. They also committed more turnovers than they would have liked in attack. Lightning rebounded well from the disappointment of the previous week’s scoring controversy, to put in a strong showing, particularly in the second quarter which they won 20-11. MVP Leesa Mi Mi had her best game in Lightning’s colours, while Ash Ervin and Tara Hinchliffe combined for 18 possession gains.   


Former Vixens teammates Kate Moloney and Liz Watson embrace after their clash on Saturday. Image – Aliesha Vicars


Fever v Thunderbirds

The game of the round didn’t disappoint, with Fever taking out a 57-56 win over Thunderbirds after trailing for much of the match. With six Sunshine Girls out on court, a huge crowd was treated to an incredible spectacle of athleticism in a largely defensive match. Defensive pressure meant that both sides were forced into uncharacteristic errors and turnovers, and were quick to make changes to turn the tide in their favour. The introduction of Jordan Cransberg was vital for Fever, as she provided an element of speed against the ranginess of opponent Latanya Wilson. However it was defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney who was the star of the show, earning MVP honours. 


Firebirds v Mavericks

Firebirds fell to their fourth straight defeat as Mavericks leapfrogged them on the ladder with a 69-62 win in Brisbane. Mavericks didn’t make a single substitution or positional change throughout the match as they outplayed Firebirds from the outset. The damage was done in the first half as a clinical Mavericks side shot out to a 37-27 lead. Firebirds tried to claw their way back in the second half, and scored eight super shots to one, but the Mavericks had the game safely in hand. Shimona Jok starred up front for Mavericks and was named match MVP. Her combination with Eleanor Cardwell was crucial to the performance. 


Donnell Wallam gets her hands on the ball – just! Image Simon Leonard.


Swifts v Giants

Swifts took out the 17th NSW Derby with a dominant 76-52 win over Giants at a packed Ken Rosewall Arena. It was a close and frenetic first quarter, during which Jamie-Lee Price became the first player sent off in Super Netball since the updating of rules regarding dangerous play. As the match wore on however, Swifts gradually gained greater ascendancy as Giants’ error rate continued to climb. They finished the match with 33 total turnovers compared to Swifts’ 22. For Swifts, Paige Hadley was incredible, racking up 25 goal assists, four gains, three intercepts, three deflections, and two pickups. She was a deserving MVP. 


Helen Housby was fired up by the Swifts game, after consecutive losses. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography


Swifts win the first Carole Sykes Memorial Trophy of 2024. Image: May Bailey/Clusterpix Sports Photography




Team / Pld / Pts / %
1 . FEVER . 6 . 24 . 129.2
2 . VIXENS . 6 . 20 . 110.4
3 . THUNDERBIRDS . 6 . 16 . 114.3
4 . SWIFTS . 6 . 12 . 101.3

5 . LIGHTNING . 6 . 8 . 96.8
6 . MAVERICKS . 6 . 8 . 90.0
7 . FIREBIRDS . 6 . 4 . 86.6 
8 . GIANTS . 6 . 4 . 81.9



Next Round

Sat, May 25 – 5:00 pm – LIGHTNING v FIREBIRDS
Sat, May 25 – 7:00 pm – THUNDERBIRDS v SWIFTS (6:30pm local time)
Sun, May 26 – 2:00 pm – MAVERICKS v GIANTS
Sun, May 26 – 4:00 pm – FEVER v VIXENS (2pm local time)


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