Tag: beth cobden

2020 SSN: Season preview- Adelaide Thunderbirds

AFTER an extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season is set to commence on August 1. Draft Central takes a look at each team, starting off with the Adelaide Thunderbirds. 

Coach: Tania Obst
Captain: Layla Guscoth and Chelsea Pitman
2019 finish: 7th 

Breaking their 27 game losing streak in Round 1 against the Fever last year, the Thunderbirds seemed to uncover a new lease on life attacking the ball with intensity. Unfortunately they could not maintain that style of play throughout the season only notching up two more wins. Riddled with injuries, England Roses midcourter Beth Cobden was ruled out early with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and co-captain Layla Guscoth missed the second half of the season after rupturing her Achilles. Sasha Glasgow also went down late in the season with an ACL topping off what had been a trying season for the Thunderbirds. They will be keen to put that to bed in 2020 and put their foot down. Adelaide well and truly proved they have the defensive firepower to change the course of the game, something they will be hoping to build on this season to register more wins. 

2020 predictions/expectations:

With the key loss and retirement of long bomb specialist Maria Folau and uncertainty surrounding Glasgow’s return the Thunderbirds shooting end oozes plenty of youth and inexperience when it comes to connections. Welcoming quickfire goal shooter and Spar Proteas star Lenize Potgieter the Thunderbirds attack will rely heavily on her to deliver while the likes of Samantha Gooden and Charlee Hodges will also have a challenge on their hands stepping into a new-look side. The midcourt remains relatively unchanged with Chelsea Pitman the key through the attacking third with her clever ball placement, speed on the pass, strong circle edge positioning and vision into the circle. Her output will be key to ensuring the goalers get good access. Defensively Adelaide are littered with ball winners, none bigger than Shamera Sterling. The Jamaican goal keeper took the competition by storm last year, using her long arms, speed off the mark and pressure over the shot to win ball back and cause havoc. The versatility of Kate Shimmin also worked wonders for the Thunderbirds while Shadine van der Merwe also slotted into the team seamlessly with her hands over pressure and strength to swing into circle defence or wing defence. The return of Guscoth will also be huge for the Thunderbirds with the England Roses representative able to have an impact with her calming nature, skill to win ball back and tagging style of play. 

Key player to watch:

New to the Thunderbirds this season, Potgieter is a real playmaker and staple hold under the post for any team. She is quick on her feet, able to change up the angles in an instant and more importantly score quickly and accurately. Having played with the Steel in the ANZ Premiership last season and spending time with the Queensland Firebirds midseason the Proteas goal shooter is well aware of what it takes to perform at SSN level. She is unfazed by the physical nature of the game, instead relying on her strong holds, baseline drives and range to do all the talking. She is an exciting prospect for the Thunderbirds this season given it will be her first full SSN season and has proven time and time again on the international stage that she is a true competitor, able to read the play and command the ball. 

Team list:

Sasha Glasgow
Samantha Gooden
Layla Guscoth
Charlee Hodges
Maisie Nankivell
Hannah Petty
Chelsea Pitman
Lenize Potgieter
Kate Shimmin
Shamera Sterling
Shadine van der Merwe

What if … the 2019 season was not riddled by ACL injuries?

2019 PROVED to be the year of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries with a staggering amount of players succumbing to the injury and bringing their season to an abrupt end. With players forced to the sidelines, clubs had to find injury replacements and look to various other leagues such as the Australian Netball League (ANL) and ANZ Premiership to find someone to fill the void of their injured stars. Four out of the eight teams in Suncorp Super Netball got through the season unscathed when it comes to ACL related injuries.

But what if there were not as many ACL injuries? Would the Suncorp Super Netball ladder have looked different?

The Adelaide Thunderbirds were hit pretty hard with English international Beth Cobden struck down early in the season. With a relatively inexperienced line-up and new connections forming across the court it was hard to replace the high calibre player who oozed composure and versatility. Ruled out for the remainder of the season, the Thunderbirds missed her ability to stand up under pressure and think her way through the tricky passages of play. But unfortunately, the injuries did not stop there with youngster and shooting sensation Sasha Glasgow going down in Round 13 with an ACL injury of her own. Prior to that, the 21-year-old showcased her dominance under the post with her strong holds, accuracy to post and rangy shooting abilities. These two key injuries ultimately had an adverse effect on the Thunderbirds’ ability to compete consistently and at the highest level possible.

Despite making it to the finals, 2019 was a season of what ifs for the Magpies and one littered with injuries. Co-captain Madi Browne ruptured her ACL in the pre-season Team Girls Cup and failed to take the court throughout the season and it is fair to say that her presence was well and truly missed out on her court. Her slick ball movement, spatial awareness and dynamism makes her hard to stop when on song. Towards the tail end of the season sister, Kelsey Browne also fell victim to the ACL curse, ruling her out for the remainder of the season and putting a dampener on their finals hopes. It was clear that the connection both Browne sisters had with their goalers and fellow midcourters was lacking despite recruiting the services of Kimiora Poi to help fill the void.

Overall, it was a difficult season for the Firebirds, only winning a handful of games throughout the year and also riddled with injuries. In Round 5 Mahalia Cassidy’s season was cut short with the talented midcourter suffering her second ACL injury. Her speed and endurance was missed across the court with the fancy footed centre court player able to exploit any bit of space and deliver the ball into the goalers. Cassidy’s absence had an impact on the Firebirds’ drive through the middle and reliability with the centre known for her consistent and strong defence.

While the NSW Swifts went on to win the coveted 2019 SSN premiership it was without their inspirational captain Maddy Proud who did her ACL midway through the year. Proud was arguably in career best form with the midcourter consistently showcasing her strength around the circle edge and quick hands. The Swifts showed plenty of grit and determination throughout the season but with recruits like Kayla Cullen and Katrina Rore both plying their trade for the club it put them in good stead to come out on top. The versatility through the midcourt added an extra element of class to the already strong and well-connected Swifts outfit.

If the Thunderbirds were given a clear run at the competition free from injury they could have potentially registered more wins, while Collingwood could have gone further into the finals series given their midcourt depth and versatility. While the Firebirds struggled to generate wins, the option to bring Cassidy on could have given them that extra element of unpredictability to their starting line-up. Although the Swifts reaped in the rewards it would have been interesting to see how they competed with the likes of Proud amongst the mix for a whole season.

Top 15 SSN training partners: #2 Beth Cobden

WITH a number of netball leagues across the world being suspended due to COVID-19, the Draft Central team is making a case for the top 15 training partners stepping up to the Suncorp Super Netball plate in 2020. Coming in at number two is injured Adelaide Thunderbirds and England Roses midcourter, Beth Cobden. This countdown is purely opinion-based, taking into consideration recent form, individual potential and future development.

While a somewhat contentious and questionable player to not make the top of the list given she has international caps with the Roses, Cobden is only a training partner while she is currently down and out of the squad with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, the likelihood of her making the cut earlier in the Super Netball season is questionable because she is still going through rehabilitation. However, the aim with Cobden being a training partner is to enable her to work back up to match fitness through the Australian Netball League (ANL), which could see her return to the fray at some point during the season. 

A highly talented defensive midcourter, Cobden’s speed and agility allows her to impact both on and off the ball, using her lithe frame and tactical mindset to create plays down the court. With plenty of experience behind her, the 27-year-old midcourter can dominate by shutting down her attacker, not always playing the obvious game by intercepting and deflecting but instead using her body work to block easy drives.

With plenty of versatility to rotate through the midcourt, Cobden is just about a shoe-in to make it onto the Super Netball stage once more in 2020 if a position opens up, able to have an impact in any midcourt position thanks to her clever read of the play and ability to transition between attacking and defensive mindsets.

Thanks to solid Roses partnerships across the court – namely Chelsea Pitman through the midcourt and Layla Guscoth and Kate Shimmin in defence – not to mention Cobden played and trained with the Thunderbirds before she went down to injury last year, Cobden will well and truly slot right into the side if she is required.

TOP 15 SSN TRAINING PARTNERS SO FAR:

#15 Ashlee Unie (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
#14 Ruby Barkmeyer (Melbourne Vixens)
#13 Tippah Dwan (Queensland Firebirds)
#12 Matisse Letherbarrow (GIANTS Netball)
#11 Chelsea Blackman (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
#10 Sunday Aryang (West Coast Fever)
#9 Latika Tombs (GIANTS Netball)
#8 Sharni Lambden (Collingwood Magpies)
#7 Jacqui Newton (Melbourne Vixens)
#6 Allie Smith (Melbourne Vixens)
#5 Elle Bennetts (GIANTS Netball)
#4 Brooke Allan (Magpies Netball)
#3 Tayla Fraser (NSW Swifts)
#2 Beth Cobden (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

2020 Suncorp Super Netball team lists finalised

THE finalised team lists for the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season have now been announced, with most sides sticking to a similar lineup to their 2019 list in a bid for consistency after an abundance of changes over the 2018/2019 off-season.

While plenty of changes have occurred and replacement players are still yet to be announced, the 2019/20 signing period closed at 5pm Monday evening with 10 2019-listed players not returning in 2020: Maria Folau, Beth Cobden and Kelly Altmann (Thunderbirds), Kim Green (GIANTS), April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion (Magpies), and Caitlyn Nevins, Laura Clemesha and Tippah Dwan (Firebirds).

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS
Shamera Sterling
Hannah Petty
Kate Shimmin
Sasha Glasgow
Cody Lange
Chelsea Pitman
Layla Guscoth
Maisie Nankivell
Shadine van der Merwe
Lenize Potgieter

GIANTS NETBALL
Caitlin Bassett
Jamie-Lee Price
Jo Harten
Matilda McDonell
Teigan O’Shannassy
Kiera Austin
Sam Poolman
Kristiana Manu’a
Amy Parmenter
Madeline Hay

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES
Ash Brazill
Geva Mentor
Molly Jovic* injury replacement for Kelsey Browne
Matilda Garrett
Nat Medhurst
Shimona Nelson
Gabrielle Sinclair
Melissa Bragg
Madi Browne
Jodi-Ann Ward

MELBOURNE VIXENS
Emily Mannix
Kate Moloney
Liz Watson
Jo Weston
Kadie-Ann Dehaney
Caitlin Thwaites
Tegan Philip
Kate Eddy
Mwai Kumwenda
Tayla Honey

NSW SWIFTS
Sophie Garbin
Maddy Proud
Maddy Turner
Sam Wallace
Helen Housby
Lauren Moore
Paige Hadley
Nat Haythornthwaite
Sarah Klau
Kayla Cullen

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS
Gabi Simpson
Gretel Tippett
Kim Jenner
Tara Hinchliffe
Romelda Aiken
Ine-Mari Venter
Rudi Ellis
Jemma Mi Mi
Macy Gardner
Lara Dunkley* injury replacement for Mahalia Cassidy

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING
Laura Scherian
Cara Koenen
Steph Wood
Annika Lee-Jones
Peace Proscovia
Phumza Maweni
Karla Pretorius
Maddy McAuliffe
Laura Langman
Jacqui Russell

WEST COAST FEVER
Alice Teague-Neeld
Courtney Bruce
Ingrid Colyer
Jess Anstiss
Jhaniele Fowler
Olivia Lewis
Shannon Eagland
Stacey Francis
Verity Charles
Kaylia Stanton

2019 SSN season team review: Adelaide Thunderbirds

WITH a new coach at the helm, the Adelaide Thunderbirds kicked the year off in style, breaking the winless drought of the previous season with an emphatic win over the West Coast Fever in Round 1. But their season was plagued with inconsistency, unable to string together four quarter performances, while also being struck with multiple injuries to key players across the court.

Position: 7th
Percentage: 88.17%
Win-loss: 3-2-9

Overview:

After a hot start to the year the Thunderbirds faded in and out, showing glimpses of brilliance on the court. The newly formed side took some time to gel and were forced to bring in injury replacement players with England Roses pair Beth Cobden and Layla Guscoth both struck down with season-ending injuries. The recruitment of Shamera Sterling in the off-season brought plenty of excitement to the team with the Jamaican international renowned for her aerial ability and hands over pressure. She paired well with veteran Kate Shimmin who proved she still has plenty in the tank, running hard and regaining possession for her side. The Thunderbirds fought hard, challenging some of the top teams with Maria Folau and Chelsea Pitman showcasing their experience and composure in the front end with their silky movement and clever ball placement. The midcourt was subject to a lot of change throughout the course of 2019 with Shadine Van der Merwe brought into the squad for Cobden while Kelly Altmann and Hannah Petty rotated through centre providing good bursts of speed. Young up and coming goaler Sasha Glasgow also flexed her muscles in the circle with her silky footwork.

Shining light:

21-year-old goal shooter Glasgow really came into her own this season but unfortunately did not get the finish she would have liked, rupturing her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in Round 13. Glasgow relished the opportunity of having Folau out the front, making full use of her shooting counterpart’s experience, ball placement and general netball know how. The goal shooter grew in confidence as the season went on, developing her movement in the circle and accuracy to post, often displaying impressive rebounding ability for a shorter goal shooter. She backed herself from range and worked the circle well to edge closer to the post, displaying her quick feet and connection with the midcourt. Although she will be sidelined next year with injury, Glasgow showed plenty of promise absorbing the pressure and owning the space with her strong holds.

2020 predictions:

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have secured the services of South African shooter Lenize Potgieter for next season and while her fellow starting goaler is still unknown, she will provide a good target under the post. Potgieter will offer good stability under the post with her accuracy and clever movement a real feature of her game. If the Thunderbirds retain long bomb specialist Folau the two could create a damaging duo given their experience, accuracy and movement.

SSN: Possible trade options heading into 2020

WITH the end of the season quickly approaching and the list of uncontracted players from each team officially announced we analyse what each side may look for heading into 2020 and which players could fill that role.

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Adelaide Thunderbirds:

Beth Cobden
Maria Folau
Kelly Altmann
Chelsea Pitman
Layla Guscoth

Five players are out of contract for the Adelaide Thunderbirds who steadily built into the season, showcasing glimpses of brilliance throughout the year. The Thunderbirds have already signed South African international Lenize Potgieter for 2020 with the goal shooter no stranger to the Suncorp Super Netball stage after coming in as a replacement player with the Firebirds. Sasha Glasgow has already committed to the club however will not take the court next season after suffering an ACL injury in Round 13 meaning the Thunderbirds could be looking for another shooter if Folau does not sign on. The Thunderbirds will be wanting to top up their stocks and retain players through the middle third with Altmann, Pitman and Cobden all out of contract at season’s end. The midcourt has been the Achilles heel for Adelaide throughout the season, unable to transition the ball down the court with ease, making this a likely focal point heading into next season.

GIANTS Netball:

Amy Parmenter
Kristiana Manu’a
Sam Poolman
Matilda McDonell

The GIANTS had a major shakeup at the end of 2018 and are still in an adjustment period but have plenty of star power across the court despite Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett still finding their feet in the circle. But with all four defensive players out of contract they could be searching for someone like April Brandley to provide that experience down back. Brandley is out of contract with the Magpies and could be a crucial member in the GIANTS defence if she was to defect to NSW, given her read of the play and impressive timing. The GIANTS have struggled with consistency through the midcourt during the season but given Amy Parmenter’s exciting start to her career she could be one the GIANTS look to quickly sign on once more for coming seasons.

Collingwood Magpies:

April Brandley
Gabrielle Sinclair
Kim Ravaillion
Madi Browne

With a relatively inconsistent season in 2019 the Collingwood Magpies will be looking to build consistency and narrow the gap between their best and worst form. Although Madi Browne has been out for the season with an ACL injury she could be a key cog in attack for the Magpies next season given her experience and class with ball in hand. That being said, Kelsey Browne has been a key player this season in the Magpies lineup and has resigned to the Pies, meaning there could be some intteresting news to come. With Matilda Garrett on the bench and Brandley out of contract the Magpies could have a new look defensive line-up if Brandley moves on, allowing the youngster to take the starting position in front of Geva Mentor.

Melbourne Vixens:

Caitlin Thwaites
Tegan Philip
Ine-Mari Venter
Mwai Kumwenda
Renae Ingles (retired)
Kadie-Ann Dehaney

The Melbourne Vixens have maintained a relatively steady line-up but could be hit hard during the trade period with five players out of contract – and none of their four current goalers signed back to the club as of yet. The Vixens are on the brink of farewelling fan favourite Renae Ingles after announcing her retirement, meaning the wing defence position has well and truly opened up. With the Vixens searching for someone to fill the void Swift, Kate Eddy could be a shoe in. The former Victorian Fury player offers plenty of skill and versatility – something that the Vixens have lacked at times throughout the season and ultimately something they will need to address.

NSW Swifts:

Kate Eddy
Sarah Klau

The Swifts’ main aim heading into season 2020 will be to retain their key players, with each member of the squad playing an integral role in their rise to the top. Newly appointed Australian Diamond, Sarah Klau will be a hot commodity but given her connection with the Swifts she could be hard to lure across. Sophie Garbin and Natalie Haythornthwaite have signed back with NSW showing their commitment to the club meaning their front end will stay relatively the same, while the Swifts’ youth they have weaned up in 2019 could make a case for regular starting positions.

Queensland Firebirds:

Tippah Dwan
Jemma Mi Mi
Laura Clemesha (retired)
Caitlyn Nevins (retired)

In what has been a relatively disappointing season for the Firebirds they will be wanting to reinvigorate themselves heading into 2020, ultimately with the hope of making their way back into finals contention next year. Queensland will be wanting to add more depth to their defensive end with Clemesha retiring and young guns Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe still developing their craft. Jamaican and Melbourne Vixens goal keeper Kadie-Ann Dehaney is out of contract meaning she could be a plausible option for the Firebirds who lack an imposing defensive figure as well as height in the ring. While Erin Burger has recently been released from her contract she could return for 2020 to replace the retired Caitlyn Nevins and injured Mahalia Cassidy while Jemma Mi Mi could still sign on with Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

Phumza Maweni
Karla Pretorius
Madeline McAuliffe
Jacqui Russell
Laura Langman

With three of their key players out of contract the Lightning will be looking to secure their services quick smart. Both Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni have proven to be a dynamic duo in the circle, causing all sorts of headaches for opposition attack and if Lightning want to maintain their winning legacy they must secure them quicksmart. It is hard to see them leaving the club given their dominance however both Klau and Dehaney could be handy inclusions if they do not stay with their current teams or find alternative clubs. All eyes will turn to Laura Langman and whether or not she will stay given coach Noeline Taurua announced that she will not be with the Lightning in 2020.

West Coast Fever:

Kaylia Stanton

After a flash in the pan season in 2018 the West Coast Fever failed to live up to the hype this year and will be wanting to make amends heading into 2020. With only Stanton out of contract, expect the Fever to have a very settled line-up and build on their inconsistent form in hope to get back to their best. Jhaniele Fowler was a standout under the post once again while they lacked versatility and excitement at times across the court. They have plenty of young up and coming players with Olivia Lewis and Jess Anstiss both a shining light down in defence.

Injury rate rises as fight for finals intensifies

AFTER a blockbuster Round 13 of netball there has been plenty of intrigue and upset with a host of players going down with injuries. In fact, there are only two teams that have not been affected by injury throughout the season with the GIANTS and Sunshine Coast Lightning maintaining a relatively stable line-up. Collingwood Magpies confirmed speedster Kelsey Browne has done her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) after starting goal shooter Sasha Glasgow‘s fall seemed unassuming but has also been confirmed as an ACL. Results regarding fellow Thunderbirds shooter Emma Ryde are still unconfirmed.

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There have been a multitude of severe injuries this season with Glasgow’s ACL the sixth of its kind since the beginning of 2019, sparking plenty of debate amongst the netball community about the workload of athletes as well as court surfaces. In Round 3 English international Beth Cobden also suffered a season ending ACL injury shedding a light on the extreme physical nature of the game. Browne will join sister and fellow midcourter, Madi Browne who tore her ACL earlier in the year during the pre-season Team Girls Cup. Queensland Firebirds midcourter Mahalia Cassidy was struck down with an ACL in Round 5 while Swifts captain Maddy Proud‘s season similarly came to a devastating halt after rupturing her ACL in Round 7.

While ACL injuries have been the big talking point of the season, there has been no shortage of short-term injuries throughout the 2019 season with Helen Housby and Natalie Haythornthwaite both spending time on the bench due to niggles. Meanwhile teammate Kate Eddy has been ruled out for the rest of the season following ligament damage to her ankle, forcing the Swifts to make a host of changes to their squad.

West Coast Fever have gone through relatively unscathed but have felt the pinch at times with captain Courtney Bruce missing the first few games with an arm injury after falling heavily in the opening round and now ruled out of the final round with scans revealing a small pneumothorax (collapsed lung). Meanwhile Jamaican shooting machine Jhaniele Fowler also found herself on the sideline with injury but fortunately made a quick recovery. Makeshift goal attack Kaylia Stanton was also been forced to the bench for a few rounds with the Fever missing her drive and accuracy to the post. Despite injuries to South African shooter Ine-Mari Venter pre-World Cup and young gun Tayla Honey during the preseason, the Vixens have remained relatively settled with the nine other players staying fit, helping them to build some good momentum.

Adelaide have arguably been hit the hardest with Cobden going down early while co-captain Layla Guscoth followed suit during the World Cup, rupturing her Achilles. While Ryde is uncertain to play again this season despite no announcement as yet, Glasgow’s ACL ultimately rules her out for a larger portion of next season. Meanwhile, the Queensland Firebirds have had a heavily disrupted season with youngsters Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner sustaining injuries throughout the course of the season. Lynchpin Romelda Aiken also missed games due to bone stress on her tibia while Tippah Dwan failed to play a game due to a foot injury after being elevated to Firebirds squad.

Both the GIANTS and Lightning have escaped relatively unscathed in season 2019 with neither side forced to bring in replacement players so far.

Half-dozen Vixens lead Super Netball list of uncontracted players

SIX Melbourne Vixens are yet to be signed for the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) Season, named among a list of 36 uncontracted players on SSN lists announced by the league.

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Three of those 36 players – Queensland Firebirds’ Laura Clemesha and Caitlyn Nevins as well as Melbourne Vixens’ Renae Ingles – have announced their retirements, leaving 34 players available to move clubs – or potentially to another league, if they wish to do so. The Vixens have been one of the most stable teams in recent years, but their two recruits from last off-season, shooters Caitlin Thwaites and Ine-Mari Venter both come out of contract, as does Mwai Kumwenda and Tegan Philip with all four deserving of starts but only two able to do so in the goaler positions. It means a club seeking a shooter could well enquire about one of their services. Up the other end of the court, Sunshine Coast Lightning’s three international stars in Laura Langman, Phumza Maweni and Karla Pretorius all come out of contract, as well as Madeline McAuliffe and Jacqui Russell. Considering Queensland’s retirements, in particular the loss of Clemesha and her experience in defence, the Firebirds could look at the defensive pairing of Maweni or Pretorius if either could be prised from the club. Though the Vixens’ other uncontracted player is up the the defensive end in Kadie-Ann Dehaney who might look to start at an SSN club.

Adelaide Thunderbirds have their fair share of uncontracted international stars, with Silver Ferns’ shooter Maria Folau, and English trio, Beth Cobden, Layla Guscoth and Chelsea Pitman all out of contract. Cobden and Guscoth are currently out on long-term injuries which makes their futures one to watch, while Kelly Altmann is also out of contract. At Collingwood, they do not have the same numbers of uncontracted players that the Vixens do, but injured co-captain Madi Browne, and Diamonds April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion are on the list, as is talented shooter Gabrielle Sinclair.

With the Magpies’ need for an extra shooter and a raft of midcourt options, a club like the GIANTS might look to add another star to its books, with Brandley giving them greater experience and certainly to team with Sam Poolman or Kristiana Manu’a in defence. In saying that, both those defenders are uncontracted, along with the rapidly improving Amy Parmenter and Matilda McDonell. Their neighbours the NSW Swifts have just the two players yet to sign, with Australia’s newest Diamond Sarah Klau no doubt a hot property on the market, and could be another target for Queensland, or perhaps GIANTS, while Kate Eddy is another important player who is yet to sign. West Coast Fever have a stable list and just have Kaylia Stanton who remains uncontracted, and with the addition of Alice Teague-Neeld this year, it will be interesting to see if another club can offer Stanton a starting spot. The other two players yet to be signed by their SSN club are Firebirds’ Jemma Mi Mi and the injured Tippah Dwan.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS: [5]

Kelly Altmann
Beth Cobden
Maria Folau
Layla Guscoth
Chelsea Pitman

GIANTS NETBALL: [4]

Kristiana Manu’a
Matilda McDonell
Amy Parmenter
Sam Poolman

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES: [4]

April Brandley (pregnant missing 2020)
Madi Browne (re-signed)
Kim Ravaillion
Gabrielle Sinclair (re-signed)

MELBOURNE VIXENS: [6]

Kadie-Ann Dehaney
Renae Ingles (retired)
Mwai Kumwenda
Tegan Philip
Caitlin Thwaites
Ine-Mari Venter

NSW SWIFTS: [2]

Kate Eddy
Sarah Klau (re-signed)

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS: [4]

Laura Clemesha (retired)
Tippah Dwan
Jemma Mi Mi
Caitlyn Nevins (retired)

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING: [5]

Laura Langman
Phumza Maweni (re-signed)
Madeline McAuliffe
Karla Pretorius (re-signed)
Jacqui Russell

WEST COAST FEVER: [1]

Kaylia Stanton (re-signed)

Thunderbirds assemble to beat ailing Firebirds

THE Adelaide Thunderbirds enjoyed their second win of the year, outclassing a determined, yet wounded Queensland Firebirds by three goals, denying them of their first win on the board for season 2019. The battle of the birds saw the two lower teams on the ladder fight for dominance all match, with both sides having moments of brilliance with turnovers aplenty. Both sides have struggled with injuries so far this season, with the Thunderbirds losing England wing defence, Beth Cobden in Round 3 while the Firebirds came in with another big blow to their starting seven, losing Romelda Aiken during the week with Kim Jenner already out of the side, making for an interesting match.

It was a strong start for the Firebirds with Gretel Tippett, shooting her 100th consecutive Suncorp Super Netball goal – the first Australian to do so, but it was a tale of missed opportunities as the Thunderbirds came out hard and fast to take control through the midcourt. The Firebirds were hit early with yet another injury for the season with speedy centre, Mahalia Cassidy going down with a suspected Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury, piling yet another name onto the Firebirds’ already stacked injury list.

Despite the individual strengths of Laura Clemesha and Tara Hinchliffe in defence, their rotation allowed too much space to Thunderbirds shooters, Maria Folau and Sasha Glasgow as they patiently worked their way around the circle, with Folau putting up her distinctive long range shots at a high accuracy to put her side in the lead early. The clean hands and rebounding efforts of Glasgow and Folau was solid, almost cancelling out the defensive efforts of their opposition. Glasgow was also not afraid to turn and shoot, sharing the load despite the boatload of pressure from the Firebirds’ defensive unit. Though the circle was uncontrolled at times, pressure from from captain Gabi Simpson was phenomenal on the circle edge as she kept Chelsea Pitman at bay and reduced feeds into the circle, meaning the goalers had to make the most of every opportunity. The Firebirds’ zone defence through the midcourt was impressive, putting pressure on each receive of the ball and causing turnovers as the Thunderbirds resorted to forcing the ball down the court before cleaning up their act and settling into a more patient play through the midcourt in the second half.

Defensively for the Thunderbirds, Shamera Sterling and Layla Guscoth were up to their typical tips and tricks, causing turnovers and creating stoppages around the circle to give time for a defensive setup. The Thunderbirds created six deflections in the first quarter alone – three to advantage – as well as three pickups and an intercept, credit to the smooth movement of Sterling and the immense pressure piled on throughout defence. The Thunderbirds put up four goals from gains in the first term alone, capitalising on opportunities better than the Firebirds as they forced turnovers to lead by five at quarter time. The Firebirds evened out goals from turnovers across the rest of the match, however the damage was already done.

Tippett was her usual solid self in the goal circle, using her strength and clever bodywork to put herself in a good position to receive feeds and put shots up under the constant hands-over pressure of Sterling and Guscoth, shooting 27 from 28 at 96 percent. In Aiken’s absence, Tippett worked well with both Amy Sommerville (6/10) and returnee, Abigail Latu-Meafou (18/22) in her first match back in Australia following time in New Zealand’s ANZ Premiership. Tippett found good space in the circle against the likes of Sterling, not allowing her the time or space to get front position. Latu-Meafou contributed well, settling midway through the second quarter and finishing out the match at 82 percent accuracy credit to her smooth movement, footwork and speed off the mark. Circle feeders, Jemma MiMi and Caitlyn Nevins were patient in their approach, wary of Sterling’s reach and prepared to pass around to ensure clean possession in the circle, though the likes of Maisie Nankivell, Kelly Altmann and Hannah Petty were consistent blockages around the edge of the circle, making it hard to feed in with ease.

It was a big battle for the four points with the final quarter looming and the Firebirds down by seven goals, before shooting eight in a row to take a one-goal lead – their first of the game – before the Thunderbirds got a final quarter goal on the board. Credit to the Thunderbirds for wrestling back the lead and the all important win, finding a hole in the Firebirds’ defence and composure. Despite a quieter second half, Sterling pulled a vital turnover out of the bag to steal back the lead and bring back some of the consistency they built on early. Pitman’s hands-over pressure at the centre pass was exceptional, helping to boost the intensity and lift her side with minutes to go. Though the momentum ended with the Firebirds, it was the Thunderbirds who had the composure to use the ball better in the final quarter to get the three-goal win and seven premiership points on the ladder.

STARTING LINE-UPS:

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS | Sasha Glasgow
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD | Maisie Nankivell
GD | Layla Guscoth
GK | Shamera Sterling

Queensland Firebirds:

GS | Amy Sommerville
GA | Gretel Tippett
WA | Caitlyn Nevins
C | Jemma MiMi
WD | Gabi Simpson
GD | Tara Hinchliffe
GK | Laura Clemesha

Magpies swoop on all eight points against Thunderbirds

AFTER a disappointing loss last round against the previously winless GIANTS Netball, Collingwood Magpies have made an ominous statement to the rest of the competition in a huge 18-goal win over Adelaide Thunderbirds. The Magpies looked in control for almost the full hour on Friday night as they worked hard across the court, winning crucial one-on-ones, particularly with their famed midcourt during the 65-47 victory. Despite the heavy loss, Thunderbirds’ goalkeeper Shamera Sterling was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) on the night, with Sterling and Layla Guscoth making a number of crucial interceptions at times which without, could have led to the margin being even greater. Her direct opponent, Shimona Nelson was unlucky not to be awarded MVP however, playing her best game of the season against her former side. Up the other end of the court it was no surprise to see Ash Brazill also among the best, while Maria Folau had a terrific duel with April Brandley and then Geva Mentor.

Collingwood got off to a strong start to lead 5-2 in the opening stages of the game, but the Thunderbirds won a crucial intercept and scored the next two, before the Magpies again raced out to a four-goal lead which at that stage had seen Nelson be a dominant force in the circle. Up the other end, Folau was taking control of the game with some nice long bombs and keeping her side in it, but the Thunderbirds as a whole kept being called for held ball with their indecision proving costly, and the Magpies heading into the quarter time break with a six-goal lead, 17-11. Nelson was on fire, sinking 11 of her 12 attempts, while Nat Medhurst scored all six of her attempts.

In the second term, the Thunderbirds threw a surprise spanner in the works, sending Kate Shimmin to the bench – where she would remain for the rest of the game, replacing her with Maisie Nankivell at wing defence, the training partner who came in as a temporary replacement for the injured Beth Cobden. More of a fighter like her opponent, Kelsey Browne, Nankivell gained plenty of experience over the next 45 minutes, but it would mean little for stopping the raging Magpies. Sterling had three intercepts, while Mentor had two of her own up the other end in the quarter, as the goalkeepers were holding firm at both ends with loose passes costing sides. At 21-16 down, the Thunderbirds called a time out to switch Folau to goal shooter and bring on former Pie, Cody Lange to goal attack, sending Sasha Glasgow to the bench. There were also some nervous moments for the Thunderbirds as Sterling had her wrist strapped at the break after a fall, while Hannah Petty came off with Kelly Altmann coming in at centre. Sterling’s taping did not last long, eventually getting thrown off by the goalkeeper, while the Magpies maintained the rage to lead 32-23 at the main break.

The third quarter was certainly a term of two halves as the Magpies raced away to lead by as much as 18 goals at one stage midway through the term, scoring 14-5 to start the quarter, and some were starting to look up record winning margins. Nelson was phenomenal in the air, continuing her dominance in the game, using body position and clean hands to take control, shooting 13 of 15 attempts in the quarter, while Brandley and Mentor combined for three intercepts. Just as it looked like the Magpies might race away to the biggest win in some time, the Thunderbirds clicked for an electric five-minute passage of play, shooting five consecutive goals, which became 12 of the next 13 goals since that 18-goal advantage. A 46-28 lead to the Magpies had cut down to 47-35 by the final change and while they had collected the bonus point in the term, the Magpies looked like they had just got it done with a 15-12 third term. Glasgow had returned to replace Lange in the quarter after Lange shot 0/3, and Glasgow made it count with all her four attempts going in. Collingwood eventually got back to the 18-goal margin, running away with it in the end as Medhurst scored the final goal of the match to signal a 65-47 victory in front of a passionate Magpies fanbase at Melbourne Arena.

Nelson was dominant in the goal circle for the match, shooting 52 of a possible 57 attempts, while Medhurst scored 13 of 14. Up the other end, Folau managed 30 of 39, often from long range and under serious duress, while Glasgow and Lange both struggled with accuracy, shooting 17 of 25 between them. Despite the high scoring of Nelson, Sterling was named MVP for her eight intercepts and 10 gains, while Mentor was also terrific up the other end with five intercepts and eight gains – giving us a taste of World Cup fever for when England takes on Jamaica. Brazill kept buzzing around the court and was ever-present in the action, while Brandley stood tall in the goal circle nullifying her direct opponent. Guscoth had the three intercepts and five gains herself to assist Sterling in stopping the margin being even greater, while Nankivell could hold her head high on debut fighting hard against Browne. The Magpies now set their sights on the bottom-of-the-table West Coast Fever, while the Thunderbirds head home to host Queensland Firebirds next week.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

MAGPIES NETBALL

GS | Shimona Nelson
GA | Nat Medhurst
WA | Kelsey Browne
C | Kim Ravaillion
WD | Ash Brazill
GD | April Brandley
GK| Geva Mentor

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS

GS | Sasha Glasgow
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD  | Kate Shimmin
GD | Layla Guscoth
GK | Shamera Sterling