Scoop Preview: SSN 2023 Round 8

Scoop Preview: SSN 2023 Round 8

By |2023-05-06T09:34:58+10:00May 5th, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Welcome to round eight, Inclusion Round. We head into the second half of the regular season with West Coast Fever, Adelaide Thunderbirds, NSW Swifts and Melbourne Vixens making up the top four. Will they stay that way, or will another side force their way into the playoffs? This round may tell us more with three vital clashes.

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 seven

And here is our Mid-Season Report Card

Shamera Sterling and Jhaniele Fowler in action. Image Martin Poole/Speedlite Photography


Geva Mentor made life difficult for Donnell Wallam in round four. Image Aliesha Vicars



Nissan Arena, Saturday, May 6, 5pm AEST
(7pm NZ, 4:30pm SA, 3pm WA, 8am UK)


Round eight begins with the third edition of the Pride Match between Queensland Firebirds and Collingwood Magpies. These were the two teams who began it all. On eight points, Collingwood would still be holding out some hope of a finals spot, but on just four points, surely Firebirds are too far back. In any case, neither team will want to lose this one. Both are coming into this game off losses in round seven, Firebirds going down 72-60 to Vixens, and Magpies being defeated 52-47 by Thunderbirds.

This week, Firebirds have received the bad news that Macy Gardner is out for up to six weeks with a fractured wrist from the heavy fall she had in last week’s match. Fresh from leading Tonga to victory in the recent PacificAus Sports series, Hulita Veve comes in and is a very handy replacement. But even so, coach Bec Bulley will be disappointed she is without the services of Gardner who has been one of her best players in recent weeks. The team fell apart when she was off court last week.

Donnell Wallam has been the star for Firebirds, but she will come up against Geva Mentor who she had a real battle with in round four. Last week, Mentor had an incredible eight gains, five intercepts, three rebounds and nine deflections in the match against Thunderbirds. In combination with defensive partner Jodi-Ann Ward, Magpies are picking up lots of possession. Sadly, it’s being squandered at the other end. Sophie Garbin has been struggling badly in recent weeks, so it will be interesting to see who coach Nicole Richardson uses at goal attack to come up against the in form Ruby Bakewell-Doran. Wing attack Kelsey Browne will be an important player for the Magpies in her 100th match. It’s also a milestone game for Ward who will be playing game number 50.

Magpies should be confident of a win here if past results are any indication. These two teams have met 13 times in Super Netball and Collingwood leads the head-to-head 10-2 with one draw. Firebirds haven’t beaten Magpies since the final round in 2020. When these teams met in round four, we saw one of the strangest matches imaginable. Firebirds outscored Magpies by seven goals in the first, second, and fourth quarters combined. But Magpies steamrolled Firebirds in the third quarter (the only quarter they won) to the tune of 23-8 and took the match. Incredible.

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

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


Jo Harten and Elle Cardwell hug after the coin toss before the match. Image: Hannah Howard | On the Ball Media

International teammates all smiles before round four. Image: Hannah Howard | On the Ball Media


Ken Rosewall Arena, Saturday, May 6, 7pm AEST
(9pm NZ, 6:30pm SA, 5pm WA, 10am UK)


This is a vital game. Just as Collingwood would still consider themselves a chance of making finals, so would GIANTS Netball, also on eight points. And like Magpies, they have history on their side in this match against the second-placed team from Adelaide. In all, there have been 13 matches between these two teams and GIANTS have dominated. They lead the head-to-head record 11-2. And the winning run continued in round four when they finished strongly to beat Thunderbirds 59-54 on their home court. It’s Thunderbirds’ only defeat of the year so far.

So, while they aren’t favoured to win this clash, GIANTS should be thinking that despite their poor start to the year, they have an opportunity to win this match and set themselves up for a run at the finals, especially depending on results in the two matches on Sunday. Thunderbirds on the other hand, will just be looking to consolidate their top two position. Since that round four defeat, they have had three straight victories, including wins over both of last year’s grand finalists.

Things could have been quite different for GIANTS. They’ve been involved in six straight matches with a winning margin of five goals or less, but been on the wrong side of the ledger in four of those matches. When they get things right, they are a dangerous team. Jamie-Lee Price and Amy Parmenter were the stars in the round four match between these sides. Parmenter did a good job of shutting down the Thunderbirds’ attack, while Price was instrumental in the great last quarter which saw GIANTS finish over the top. Whoever opposes Price, they will have their hands full.

At times in round four, Thunderbirds fell back into their bad old ways of poor decision making in attack and not rewarding their defenders. Shamera Sterling, Latanya Wilson and Matilda Garrett came up with 15 gains between them in that game and once again they will be dangerous here. It will be up to the attacking players to treasure the possession they get. Eleanor Cardwell and Tippah Dwan are forming a stronger combination as the season goes on. It will be interesting to see if GIANTS choose the in form Lauren Moore or will Matilda McDonell get the job against Cardwell. Amy Sligar is out this week due to concussion and has been replaced by Taylah Davies.

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

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


Jo Weston and Liv Lewis against Jhaniele Fowler in the 2022 grand final. Image Clinton Bradbury/Bradbury Photography


John Cain Arena, Sunday, May 7, 2pm AEST
(4pm NZ, 3:30pm SA, 2pm WA, 5am UK)


Here we are again. In recent seasons, these two teams have developed a great rivalry, culminating in two grand final appearances for one title each. This is again a vital game when it comes to ladder positions. Fever currently sits on top of the ladder with six wins and will be wanting to win this one to stay ahead of the chasers. Meanwhile, fourth placed Vixens have won four games and will be desperate to stay in that top four.

There have been 16 previous clashes between these two teams and Melbourne Vixens lead the head-to-head 8-6 with two draws. Importantly, West Coast Fever has won the last three matches, including last year’s decider. In round one, Fever won a thriller by just one goal, 62-61, with Jhaniele Fowler shooting the winning goal right on full time. In that match, Fever got out to a good lead early and won the first quarter, before Vixens came back strongly, winning the last three quarters and levelling the match before Fowler had the final say.

The Fever trio of Fowler, Sasha Glasgow, and Alice Teague-Neeld will again be the big attacking threats that Vixens somehow have to counter. Olivia Lewis has been playing some outstanding netball for Vixens in recent matches and she will likely have the unenviable task of coming up against her former teammate Fowler. But it’s not all about the Jamaican goal shooter. The ball needs to be stopped before it gets to her, so Vixens will need to curtail the effectiveness of Glasgow and Teague-Neeld.

For Vixens, Liz Watson has hit top form in the past couple of matches. In the second half of last week’s match against Firebirds, it was like a switch had been flicked and it was back to the dominant Watson we’re used to seeing. She had 20 assists in the second half and Kiera Austin also came to life after a poor first half. In what could be a high scoring encounter, Watson, Austin and Mwai Kumwenda will have to be on song from the start. Fever captain Courtney Bruce has had a slightly quiet start to the year, but one suspects a big game is just around the corner. Her battle with Kumwenda will be a highlight.

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

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


Steph Wood trying to get free at the centre pass in round five. Image Marcela Massey


Ken Rosewall Arena, Sunday, May 7, 4pm AEST
(6pm NZ, 3:30pm SA, 2pm WA, 7am UK)


This is another game that’s absolutely crucial in regards to the ladder. NSW Swifts currently sit in third, while Sunshine Coast Lightning is fifth. Next week, Lightning plays Vixens, so these next two rounds will probably decide their fate. This is like an eight point game, with both teams wanting the four points for themselves and also to take four points off a possible challenger. A win for Swifts here would shore up their position in the top four.

These teams have met 15 times previously and Lightning leads the head-to-head 9-6. In round five this year, Swifts won an absolute thriller 64-63 on the Sunshine Coast. Helen Housby nailed a super shot to put Swifts in front in the last minute, then a Lightning error allowed Swifts to play out time which they are so good at doing. Swifts are the comeback queens of 2023. They currently sit third with four wins, but incredibly, they’ve trailed at three quarter time in all six of their matches that have gotten that far this year.

Once again, it will be the usual suspects for Swifts that Lightning needs to watch. Paige Hadley had probably her best game of the season last week and her combination with Maddy Proud in the midcourt is sure to prove a handful for the opposition. Up front it’s Housby and Romelda Aiken-George who are doing the job each week and they will be a tough match up for Karla Pretorius and Kadie-ann Dehaney. In the round five encounter, Housby shot 18/20 including three super shots. She also had 15 assists and 23 centre pass receives.

For Lightning, it’s no big secret that the shooting combination of Steph Wood and Cara Koenen carry a lot of the hopes for the team, so a lot of responsibility for Swifts’ winning chances hinge on the performance of Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner. Lightning will also be looking for strong games from Annie Miller, Laura Scherian and Mahalia Cassidy in the midcourt. They will be without Shannon Eagland who unfortunately ruptured her ACL in last week’s match. Ava Black has been elevated to take her place this round.

Shooters – Romelda Aiken-George, Helen Housby, Sophie Fawns
Midcourt – Paige Hadley, Maddy Proud, Allie Smith, Tayla Fraser
Defence – Maddy Turner, Sarah Klau, Teigan O’Shannassy

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

Swifts won the Carol Sykes trophy in round 7 against GIANTS. Image: Danny Dalton

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