Scoop Preview: SSN 2023 Round 13

Scoop Preview: SSN 2023 Round 13

Cover image: Aliesha Vicars


Even though it was almost a certainty already, the results of round 12 have confirmed officially that the current top four teams will be the ones playing finals. However, as last week showed, the order of the top four teams is still very much up in the air. There were two upset results and the other two matches were tight. The bottom four teams are proving to be quite dangerous at the moment and no team can take any game lightly.

In Australia, the matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports and Kayo. In New Zealand, the matches will be shown on Spark Sport. And in the Pacific Islands, two games of each round will be shown on PacificAus TV. Elsewhere in the world, you can stream all the games on Netball Australia TV.  You can also follow live scoring and statistics thanks to Champion Data.


Before we get on to this week’s games, check out our wrap of Round twelve

Ash Brazill reacts as the Magpies upset Thunderbirds. Image: Aliesha Vicars.



A Jamaican catch up in round three – Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Shamera Sterling, Latanya Wilson. Image: Marcela Massey



Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Saturday, Jun 10, 6:30pm SA Time
(9pm NZ, 7pm AEST, 5pm WA, 10am UK)
Umpires: Georgina Sulley-Beales and Rachael Stebbings

The head-to-head record between these two teams is heavily in Sunshine Coast Lightning’s favour. They’ve won 10 matches to Adelaide Thunderbirds’ three. But their last meeting in round three was a resounding win for the Adelaide team, 66-42 on Lightning’s home court. This was their most dominant team performance of the year, not only restricting Lightning’s attack at one end, but converting opportunities well at the other. Eleanor Cardwell scored 51 goals.

It was a far cry from Thunderbirds’ disappointing performance last week when they suffered a shock 53-50 loss to Collingwood in round 12. The team looked flat and just couldn’t come up with the answers against a Magpies team riding a wave of emotion. Statistically speaking, Shamera Sterling had her quietest game since round three of 2022, so she will be especially keen to get involved this week.

Out of the running for finals, Lightning is simply trying to finish the season as best they can. They’re also coming off a loss, albeit a respectable 69-65 defeat to the defending champions Fever in Perth. One of the highlights of last week was the effort of youngster Ash Ervin at goal keeper up against Jhaniele Fowler, It will be interesting to see if she also gets the start this week against Cardwell.

The big match up will be in the Lightning shooting circle. Cara Koenen and Steph Wood are always vital to the success of Lightning, and in round three, Sterling and Matilda Garrett collected 12 possession gains between them for Thunderbirds. Wood had her poorest game of the season. If the Thunderbirds defence gets on top in this battle, that will go a long way to getting them another much-needed victory. This match will be played at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and a good crowd will be expected.

Shooters – Eleanor Cardwell, Tippah Dwan, Lucy Austin
Midcourt – Georgie Horjus, Tayla Williams, Maisie Nankivell, Hannah Petty
Defence – Latanya Wilson, Shamera Sterling, Matilda Garrett

Shooters – Cara Koenen, Steph Wood, Charlie Bell
Midcourt – Laura Scherian, Mahalia Cassidy, Annie Miller, Ava Black
Defence – Karla Pretorius, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Ash Ervin

Jamie-Lee Price and Verity Simmons challenge for the ball. Image: May Bailey


RAC Arena, Sunday, Jun 11, 12pm WA time
(4pm NZ, 2pm AEST, 1:30pm SA, 5am UK)
Umpires: Bronwen Adams and Tim Marshall

This should be a good match between two great rivals. For West Coast Fever, hoping to climb the ladder, they need the win and will be favoured to get it. But it’s not a good opponent for them to come up against. It may surprise some that in 15 matches between these two teams, GIANTS lead the head-to-head 8-6, with one match drawn. There’s also a history of very close matches between these two, with five of the past six clashes decided by margins of one to three goals.

It was another close finish when they met in round two this season. In that match in Sydney, Fever established a good lead in the first three quarters, before GIANTS stormed home in the final quarter. Fever just managed to hold on 74-73. Fever’s last quarter fade outs have become something of a trend this season, and it’s a trend that is surely worrying for coach Dan Ryan.

Fever has led at three-quarter time in all of their 12 matches this season, but only gone on to win four last quarters. Ryan will be hoping to rectify the situation before the finals begin as it threatens to derail their campaign. Even last week against Lightning, Fever established a good first half lead before allowing Lightning back into the game. It was a feeling of relief rather than excitement when they were able to hold on.

This match is likely to be a high scoring one, and prepare for a barrage of super shots. These two teams hold the record for highest scoring match in Super Netball. Fever has the shooting combination of Jhaniele Fowler and Sasha Glasgow, with Alice Teague-Neeld and Verity Simmons doing the feeding. If allowed to do their thing, they can score at will. But at the other end, you have a mixture of Sophie Dwyer, Jo Harten and Matisse Letherbarrow in the circle, with Maddie Hay and Jamie-Lee Price supporting in the midcourt. This will be Price’s 150th National League game.

Shooters – Jhaniele Fowler, Sasha Glasgow, Emma Cosh
Midcourt – Alice Teague-Neeld, Verity Simmons, Jess Anstiss
Defence – Sunday Aryang, Courtney Bruce, Kim Jenner, Rudi Ellis

Shooters – Sophie Dwyer, Matisse Letherbarrow, Jo Harten
Midcourt – Maddie Hay, Jamie-Lee Price, Amy Parmenter, Amy Sligar
Defence – April Brandley, Matilda McDonell, Lauren Moore


Helen Housby bracing for impact in round three. Image Danny Dalton.


Nissan Arena, Sunday, Jun 11, 4pm AEST
(6pm NZ, 5:30pm SA, 4pm WA, 7am UK)
Umpires: Tara Warner and Rachael Ayre

This is another encounter where the favoured team will have to be on form or risk dropping the valuable four points. After winning eight matches in a row, NSW Swifts now sit on top of the ladder. But this is a real danger game. They’re coming up against a Queensland Firebirds team that is at home, in form and playing good netball.

These teams have met 13 times previously in Super Netball. Swifts are leading 8-5 in the head to head. The last encounter was a 74-71 victory for Swifts in Sydney. On that occasion, Firebirds led for much of the game, before Swifts clicked into gear in the last quarter and went on a run, establishing a winning lead and holding on. Interestingly, in that match, both teams were successful with the same number of shots, but it was Swifts’ three extra super shots that proved the difference.

Another feature of the clash in round three was the battle of the goal shooters. Romelda Aiken-George celebrated a win against her former team in game number 200, while Donnell Wallam put 60 goals on the board for Firebirds. Wallam goes from strength to strength in 2023, scoring 65 goals last week in the Firebirds’ win over Vixens. Aiken-George is not proving to be as prolific, but she has certainly been a major factor in Swifts’ lofty position on the ladder. Recruited initially as a training partner, she has in fact been the buy of the season.

Swifts are a settled team, they’re winning and everything is clicking beautifully for them. Goal attack Helen Housby in particular, is staking a claim for best player in the competition right now. The contest of Aiken-George and Housby up against the Firebirds defensive combination of Remi Kamo and Ruby Bakewell-Doran, will be a highlight. Swifts will be favoured to make it nine in a row, but they can’t afford to take Firebirds easy.

Shooters – Donnell Wallam, Mia Stower, Emily Moore
Midcourt – Lara Dunkley, Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Leesa Mi Mi
Defence – Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Remi Kamo, Ash Unie

Shooters – Romelda Aiken-George, Helen Housby, Sophie Fawns
Midcourt – Paige Hadley, Maddy Proud, Tayla Fraser, Lili Gorman-Brown
Defence – Maddy Turner, Sarah Klau, Kelea Iongi


Elated Melbourne Vixens. Image: Shaun Sharp | Moments by Shaun

Elated Melbourne Vixens after their win over Magpies. Image: Shaun Sharp | Moments by Shaun


John Cain Arena, Monday, Jun 12, 1pm AEST
(3pm NZ, 12:30pm SA, 11am WA, 4am UK)
Umpires: Justin Barnes and Nathan Begley

Well, won’t this be something on the King’s Birthday holiday. Firstly, it’s important for Vixens to win this if they want to climb any higher than fourth position on the ladder. But there’s so much more riding on the result than that. With Collingwood Magpies giving up their licence to compete in Super Netball, this will be the last ever Melbourne Derby between these two teams, and it’s going to be big.

The overall record between these two teams stands at 9-5 in favour of Vixens, and we all know what happened when last they met in round two. Magpies dominated most of the match and appeared in control, before a late comeback from Vixens, a comeback that was aided by being given consecutive centre-passes. Mwai Kumwenda eventually sealed a 62-61 win for Vixens with a super shot right on full time, but in the aftermath, that was overshadowed by the centre-pass controversy. Collingwood coach Nicole Richardson was livid.

With that in mind, rest assured that there will be no lack of motivation for Collingwood in what will be their 100th (and penultimate) match in Super Netball. They come into this game off an emotional win over Thunderbirds in their last Melbourne home game. They showed the form of a top side in that game. Goal shooter Shimona Nelson did the near impossible and outplayed countrywoman Shamera Sterling, while goal defence Jodi-Ann Ward continued her brilliant 2023 form.

For Vixens, they have now lost two matches in a row, and need to rediscover their best form quickly as the finals approach. Last week, Hannah Mundy was the star at wing attack in a shuffled midcourt, with Liz Watson at centre and Kate Moloney wing defence. It appears likely that this is the line up coach Simone McKinnis will be favouring from now on. Whatever is the case, Vixens will have to be at their very best in this one against a fired up opponent.

Shooters – Mwai Kumwenda, Kiera Austin, Kim Borger
Midcourt – Liz Watson, Kate Moloney, Kate Eddy, Hannah Mundy
Defence – Jo Weston, Emily Mannix, Olivia Lewis

Shooters – Shimona Nelson, Sophie Garbin, Kelly Singleton
Midcourt – Kelsey Browne, Molly Jovic, Ash Brazill, Maddie Hinchliffe
Defence – Jodi-Ann Ward, Geva Mentor, Jacqui Newton


Nicole Richardson sits in stunned silence after the match. Image: Shaun Sharp | Moments by Shaun

Nicole Richardson sits in stunned silence after the round two match. Image: Shaun Sharp | Moments by Shaun

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