Tag: bianca chatfield

Centre Pass Podcast: Netball to return and international competition updates

WITH Suncorp Super Netball set to return on August 1, Centre Pass Podcast host Jarrad Gardner and presenters Taylah Melki and Sophie Taylor discuss netball’s much anticipated return while also diving into the ramifications of having no Australian Netball League (ANL) in 2020.

In the second episode of the year, the team also chats about the imminent return of the ANZ Premiership and the cancelled Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season.

Centre Pass is in its third year and is continuously growing having interviewed the likes of ex-Australian Diamonds, Sharelle McMahon and Bianca Chatfield, former Australian Diamonds coach, Lisa Alexander, much loved commentator, Sue Gaudion and two time Lightning premiership player, Jacqui Russell.

To listen to the podcast, click the player below, or head to any one of Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts, as well as Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, PodBean and RadioPublic.

Netball fantasy teams: Melbourne Kestrels All-Stars v. Melbourne Phoenix All-Stars

THERE is no denying that Victoria has been home to some A-class talent throughout the years. Prior to the inception of both the ANZ Championship and Suncorp Super Netball, the Commonwealth Bank Trophy existed in which both the Melbourne Kestrels and Phoenix were a dominant force. But as netball developed the two Melbourne teams amalgamated to form the Vixens. We take a look back at the talent to grace each team and create an all-star team.

Melbourne Kestrels:

GK: Amy Steel
GD: Rebecca Bulley
WD: Julie Corletto
C: Shelley O’Donnell
WA: Madi Browne
GA: Ashlee Howard
GS: Caitlin Thwaites

BENCH: Cynna Kydd, Chelsey Tregear, Janine Ilitch

Starting in the goal circle it is hard to go past the likes of Australian Diamond and current Melbourne Vixens goaler, Caitlin Thwaites. The rangy goal shooter can score from just about anywhere in the goal circle and has accuracy to boot. Her strength on the take and positioning under the post makes her a challenging prospect for any defender. In at goal attack is Ashlee Howard with the goal attack acknowledged for her timing and accuracy to post.

There was no shortage of options through the midcourt given the amount of talent that worked its way through the Kestrels doors. Starting at wing attack is speedster Madi Browne. The talented midcourter is renowned for her pinpoint precision with ball in hand and attacking mentality, constantly looking to deliver the ball on a silver platter to her goalers. Centre, Shelley O’Donnell is another star to play for the Kestrels. She played a whopping 84 international caps for the Diamonds and was captain for the Kestrels while also making two comebacks her 10-year stint at the club. She was a key contributor with ball in hand able to drive the attacking plays and create defensive pressure. The wing defence bib goes to Julie Corletto with the versatile defender able to clog up space and cause turnovers with her timely tips and speed.

Down in the defensive circle, retired GIANTS star Rebecca Bulley takes out the goal defence slot. Bulley is a workhorse on the court, not often known for doing the flashy things but instead recognised for her dogged style of defence and tagging abilities. She wears players down with her constant nagging and physicality while her pressure over the shot caused plenty of headaches. In at goal keeper is the forgotten about Amy Steel. Although goal defence is her preferred position the highly skilled defender showed plenty of versatility and tenacity, willing to hunt the ball and cause a turnover.

Unlucky not to get a start was goaler, Cynna Kydd who was applauded for her efforts under the post and accuracy. Former captain Chelsey Tregear also earned herself a spot on the bench along with defender Janine Ilitch.

 

Melbourne Phoenix:

GK: Bianca Chatfield
GD: Fiona Themann
WD: Renae Ingles
C: Natasha Chokljat
WA: Wendy Jacobsen
GA: Sharelle McMahon
GS: Eloise Southby

BENCH: Abby Sargent, Sarah Wall, Jo Curran

The Melbourne Phoenix were littered with stars throughout their history and the attacking third is a testament to that. Australian Diamonds duo Eloise Southby and Sharelle McMahon take out the positions under the post. Across her 132 games for the Kestrels, Southby was cool, calm and collected under the post able to hit the scoreboard effortlessly. Her connection with McMahon was effortless with the two able to rotate through the circle with ease and cause all sorts of confusion for opposition defence units. Out in goal attack, McMahon was a real playmaker able to set plays up, deliver the ball into Southby and most importantly back herself from range in the circle.

Through the midcourt vice-captain Wendy Jacobsen takes out the wing attack position. Jacobsen was a key cog through the centre court with her quick footwork, ability to drive into the space and quick delivery into the circle. Teammate Natasha Chokljat pulls on the centre bib in the Phoenix all-star team thanks to her impressive contributions across the court. Her ability to run both ways and have an influence while also controlling the tempo of the game made her an easy selection.  It is no surprise that Renae Ingles takes out the wing defence position with the fancy footed centre court player making that position her own. Her strong hands over pressure, speed off the mark and ability to disrupt the attacking flow of the opposition made her a shoe in for the all-star team.

Moving down into the defensive unit in at goal defence is Fiona Themann. The highly skilled defender and Scottish Thistles representative took everything in her stride and used her lean over the shot to put doubt in the mind of the goalers. Her ability to swing around the body of her opponent and confuse the space allowed her to create turnovers and win ball back for her side. The final spot on the starting line-up goes to none other than Bianca Chatfield, with the defensive powerhouse and co-captain of the Phoenix a mastermind down back. Her skill to read the play and go out hunting for the intercept, intimidated plenty of shooters while her cleanliness also made her a daunting prospect.

On the bench is midcourter and slick ball user, Sarah Wall while versatile defender Jo Curran also earned herself a spot thanks to her defensive pressure and three-foot marking while Abby Sargent rounds out the all-star team.

Who would win?

While both teams boast some strong line-ups the Melbourne Phoenix seem to have the upper hand when it comes to the goal circle with both Southby and McMahon on their side. the shooting duo are arguably one of Australia’s most dominant combinations while they have a wealth of talent in the defence end. Although the Kestrels have some x-factor players across the court they lack that extra layer of class that the Phoenix squad seems to have given their international experience.

Who would reign supreme in Melbourne?
Kestrels All-Stars
Phoenix All-Stars
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Netball fantasy teams: Commentators v. Coaches

WHILE now renowned for their presence off court whether it be behind a microphone or boundary side these commentators and coaches were once known for their on-court prowess. Both sides consist of former players from across the globe now turned media personalities or coaches whether it be assistant or head.  To be eligible to make either team they must have held a position in either role in the past two years.

Commentators:

GK: Liz Ellis
GD: Laura Geitz
WD: Bianca Chatfield
C: Anna Stanley
WA: Tamsin Greenway
GA: Sharelle McMahon
GS: Cath Cox

BENCH: Anne Sargeant, Adine Wilson, Ama Agbeze

There is no shortage of talent behind the mic with each and every player in the squad showcasing their class and talent at both an international and domestic level. Starting in goal keeper is none other than fan favourite and Australian Diamonds royalty Liz Ellis. The talented defender was an easy pick given her influence on court, long arms, ability to clog up space and come out for a screaming intercept when needed. Much like her defensive counterpart, Laura Geitz was another sure starter even though she was pushed out to goal defence to accommodate for Ellis. The former Diamonds goal keeper turned commentator was an excitement machine down back, generating plenty of turnover ball and using her impressive timing to perfection. Moving out to wing defence is Melbourne Vixens great and fellow Diamond defender Bianca Chatfield. Although typically known for her presence in circle defence, Chatfield is no stranger to the wing position with her height and long arm span doing a wealth of damage to block her opponents vision into the circle. New Zealand commentator and former Silver Ferns representative Anna Stanley takes out the centre position with the highly skilled midcourter possessing class and speed to boot. Her experience and nous on the court was unquestionable able to thread the needle with her passes and good vision while wing attack and former England Roses star Tamsin Greenway oozes plenty of game changing attributes. Arguably one of the headline duos in the team is the goal circle pairing of Sharelle McMahon and Catherine Cox. The two Australian Diamonds dynamites lit up the court with their explosiveness and deadeye accuracy. McMahon is a smooth mover, renowned for using her light and quick footwork to glide across the court while Cox can play both the holding and moving shooter with great ease. one thing that is fair to say is they hardly missed with the two making the most of their opportunities inside the goal circle and most importantly were not afraid to back themselves from range. Unlucky not to get the start was Anne Sargeant while the likes of midcourter Adine Wilson also just missed out despite pulling the bib on 79 times for the Ferns. Rounding out the team is former England Roses captain and defender Ama Agbeze with the lanky goal keeper known for her hunt for the ball, quick movement and ability to create something out of nothing.

 

Coaches:

GK: Roselee Jencke
GD: Claire McMenimen
WD: Simone McKinnis
C: Temepara Bailey
WA: Noeline Taurua
GA: Vicki Wilson
GS: Irene Van Dyk 

BENCH: Norma Plummer, Tracey Neville, Nicole Richardson

This squad is filled with some of the most recognised and highly established netball coaches at either an assistant or head coach position in the world. They range from international and domestic leagues but most importantly were silky smooth on the court. Firebirds head coach and former Diamonds defensive coach, Roselee Jencke is a star in her own right. She represented the Diamonds 43 times and was a real commanding presence down back with her hands over pressure and quick footwork to get around the body and force turnovers. After playing under Jencke at the Firebirds the now Diamonds specialist coach Clare McMeniman is set to pull on the goal defence bib. With class, defensive pressure and three-foot marking a couple of her key attributes it would be hard to go past the skilful defender. Although she was not the flashiest player it was her ability to shut down opponents with her tagging style of defence and skill to drop back into space and cherry pick passes and propel the ball back down the court with ease. Successful Vixens coach, Simone McKinnis has a firm grasp on the wing defence position thanks to her dynamic movement while veteran and now coach with the Northern Stars Temepara Bailey was a sure start in centre. Bailey is one of the most durable players able to run all day and all night, using her change of direction to full effect and delivering the ball with ease into the circle. Arguably one of the most praised coaches in netball history, Noeline Taurua pulls on the wing attack bib with the classy netballer in a league of her own when it comes to awareness and tactics. Taurua was clever with ball in hand able to see the play with ease and create space to allow attacking forays to unfold. Vicki Wilson was a key cog for the Diamonds with her precise shooting, impressive ball movement, clever footwork and versatility to switch between goal attack and goal shooter. After spending time with the Central Pulse last year, superstar goal shooter Irene Van Dyk was an easy call up. Van Dyk is one of the most accurate shooters the world has ever seen and was never fazed by the physicality of the contest. Her strong holds, incredible ability to stand and deliver from right underneath the ring and silky footwork put her in a league of her own while her high volume of shots made her the complete package. On the bench is none other than the great Norma Plummer, along with the retired Tracey Neville while Collingwood Magpies assistant coach Nicole Richardson completes the team.

Who would win?

Although there is plenty of class across both sides the defence end of the commentators’ squad is stacked with a host of game changers. Both Ellis and Geitz are renowned for their impressive feats in big grand finals or gold medal matches making them a tough challenge even for the likes of the ever-impressive Van Dyk. Throw in the tried and tested combination of McMahon and Cox in the goal circle and the commentators side has the slight upper hand given their strong connections across the court and explosiveness.

Who wins in this hypothetical battle?
Commentators
Coaches
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Netball fantasy team: All-Star Vixens v. All-Star Swifts

THERE is no denying that over the years both the Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts have welcomed their fair share of star players and have played in some epic battles to ignite the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup. Therefore, Draft Central has decided to create a fantasy team taking into account players that have been at each respective club for two or more seasons in order to form an all-stars list.

All-Star Melbourne Vixens

GK: Geva Mentor
GD: Bianca Chatfield
WD: Renae Ingles
C: Madi Browne
WA: Liz Watson
GA: Sharelle McMahon
GS: Caitlin Thwaites
BENCH: Mwai Kumwenda, Kate Moloney, Julie Corletto

The Melbourne Vixens have always had a plethora of stars wear the dress since their inception making them one of the biggest powerhouses in Australian netball history. Starting in defence, the influence of Geva Mentor was profound with the English international winning a whopping four best and fairest medals for the club ranging from 2012 to 2017 highlighting just how much of an influence she had down back with her impressive timing, defensive pressure and keen eye for intercepts. Fellow defender Bianca Chatfield was also renowned for her immense pressure over the shot, smothering style of play and ability to create turnovers while wing defence Renae Ingles is in a league of her own. Ingles has simply got better with time, credit to her high level of endurance, speed off the mark and deceptively long arms constantly able to force tips to disrupt any form of attacking flow for the opposition. Prior to joining the black and white in the Suncorp Super Netball, Madi Browne was a key cog in the attack unit for the Vixens with her precise movement, speed and well-weighted passes on full show. Browne is strong around the top of the goal circle able to hustle for position much like fellow teammate in this fantasy side Liz Watson. The wing attack is arguably one of the world’s best when it comes to consistency, vision and most importantly cleanliness hardly ever throwing away balls thanks to her impressive skillset. Talking of impressive skillsets cue Sharelle McMahon, the talented goal attack was a great servant to the Vixens guiding them to a premiership in 2009 with her accuracy to post, smooth movement and reliability on full display. McMahon never failed to disappoint for the Vixens faithful much like goal shooter Cailtin Thwaites who made her much awaited return in 2019 after somewhat of 10 years. Thwaites is consistent under the post, able to use her strength to hold space and most importantly score freely. She is not afraid to back herself from range and uses her quick feet to reposition and go to post. Unlucky not to make the starting seven is Mwai Kumwenda who has been a star for the Vixens since signing with them thanks to her aerial ability along with captain Kate Moloney through the midcourt. When it comes to defence Julie Corletto just missed out given the influence both Mentor and Chatfield at the club.

All-Star NSW Swifts

GK: Sharni Layton
GD: Mo’onia Gerrard
WD: Abbey McColloch
C: Kim Green
WA: Paige Hadley
GA: Susan Pettitt
GS: Catherine Cox
BENCH: Sam Wallace, Maddy Proud, Sonia Mkoloma,

Another powerhouse of netball in Australia is the NSW Swifts who have found their straps in recent seasons winning the premiership last year but have boasted impressive line-ups previously with the likes of Sharni Layton leading the way down back. Although she made the move in 2017 to the Magpies, Layton played a wealth of her career in the red and white where she made a name for herself with her physical style of play and ability to relentlessly hunt the ball. Throw in the likes of Mo’onia Gerrard and the Swifts had one of the toughest defence units given their physical pressure and tenacity. Gerrard was not afraid to put her body on the line throwing herself into every contest that came her way and using her quick feet to get around the body of her opponents. Through the midcourt, former captain Abbey McColloch was solid, consistently able to do the little things well and build pressure with her tagging style of defence. Centre come wing attack, Kim Green was renowned for her ability to do the unthinkable and thread the needle with her impossible passes. Green was in a league of her own and was a key contributor the Swifts early success with her high endurance, speed and workhorse mentality before switching to the GIANTS in 2017. Fellow midcourter Paige Hadley has developed into one of the clubs strongest leaders with her hard work, ability to hustle around the goal circle and versatility to switch between attack and defence with ease. Moving into the goal circle the Swifts boast one of the most stacked line-ups with veteran Susan Pettitt consistently showcasing her ability to glide across the court and hit the scoreboard. Her impressive netball IQ and ability to score from anywhere made her a handful but it is hard to go past the likes of Diamonds star and Swifts favourite Catherine Cox. The goal shooter could turn a game on its head with her accuracy and volume, not afraid to demand the ball under the post with her strong holds and fancy footwork. With so many players to choose from, current Swift Sam Wallace and Maddy Proud were unlucky to not make the starting seven while veteran Sonia Mkoloma just missed out.

Who would win?

It is near on impossible to decide who would win but given the Vixens star power both in the goal circle and defensively, one could argue that the scales would tilt in favour of the Vixens. Having the likes of Thwaites, McMahon under the post puts them in good stead to put up a hefty total while the defensive pressure through the midcourt coming from the likes of Ingles and Chatfield would be hard to quell. However, the Swifts are not without their own star power in the likes of Cox and Layton.

Which All-Star team would win?
All-Star Vixens
All-Star Swifts
Created with Quiz Maker

Top 5 Australian goal keepers from the 90s to now

THROUGHOUT Diamonds history there has been a host of star players in the goal keeper position. Since entering a new decade we decided to rank the top five goal keepers since 1990 to now. This is an opinion-based article based on the perceptions of the individual writer and how they rank against other defenders.

#1 Liz Ellis

There is no denying that the former Australian captain and star goal keeper is one in a million and is renowned for her extreme defensive pressure. She could turn a game on its head with her read of the play, go-go gadget arms and strong leadership on court. Although she was not renowned for her flashy gameplay Ellis was able to wear her opponents down, proving to be a stalwart in defence. She used her lean over the shot to put doubt in goalers’ minds and used her quick feet to get around the body of opponents and cause confusion to force turnovers. Ellis has one of the most decorated international careers in Australian netball history, winning an impressive three World Championships (1995, 1999, 2007) and two Commonwealth gold medals highlighting her defensive prowess. While she shone on the international stage, Ellis was no slouch in the domestic league winning four premierships with the Swifts.

#2 Laura Geitz

Former Australian Diamonds and Queensland Firebirds captain Laura Geitz paved the way for future goal keepers with her skill and class. Geitz could sense a moment and capitalise no matter what thanks to her dynamic play and ability to read the flow of the game. she could pull off the unthinkable in the blink of an eye using her long reach to cause turnovers or take a big intercept. Her footwork was exceptional, able to cleanly work her way around the body of the goalers and cause confusion to pick off errant passes. Her on-court leadership was second to none, often providing a steadying head down back to help reset play and push forward. She was versatile able to body up against opponents or turn to a more zoned defence to run through and pick off passes making her exciting to watch. Throughout her career Geitz racked up two Commonwealth Games silver medals and one gold medal along with World Cup golds. Her dominance was also felt at a domestic level winning three ANZ Premierships with the Firebirds.

#3 Sharni Layton

Arguably one of the toughest and most physical competitors on the netball court thanks to her never say die attitude and commitment to the contest. Layton was no slouch down in the goal circle, using every inch of her experience to dictate the space and cause turnovers.  Although she was costly at times when it came to penalties you could always count on the talented goal keeper to pull something out of the bag. Her physical nature often rubbed players up the wrong and allowed her to capitalise and pick off passes to inflict pain on the opposition. She was an energiser bunny on the court, running rampant in the defensive goal circle and using her leap to get hands to ball. Layton made her mark both on the international stage along with domestically despite jumping around a bit. She was a part of the gold winning side in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and won gold in 2015 at the World Cup.

#4 Bianca Chatfield

The Melbourne-born defender was a staple hold down back for Australia using her commanding height and quick feet to consistently pose a threat. Chatfield holds the title of the youngest player to debut for Australia playing her first game at 18 and not looking back since. She was damaging with her long reach, physical nature and ability to prevent the ball from entering the goal circle. She was one of the most durable and versatile players able to switch out to goal defence when needed thanks to her experience and netball understanding. Chatfield played in both the 2007 World Cup winning squad and 2014 Commonwealth Games to cap off her an already impressive career. She was one of the most consistent players at the domestic level racking up a whopping 244 games and won four ANZ Premierships.

#5 Courtney Bruce

Bruce could be seen as a mix of both Layton and Geitz in her game play using her physicality and timing to disrupt the flow of opposition shooters. The Western Australian goal keeper has gone from strength to strength and despite suffering recent injuries has been crucial to the Diamonds in the past couple of years. She can read the play with ease and take important intercepts when needed making her a key player for the green and gold. Her acceleration is impressive, able to cover the court with ease while her footwork in the circle is solid able to manoeuvre around the body and cause confusion for the feeders. Bruce still has plenty of time left in her career and while she has tasted some success will be looking to build on her trophy room, having made it to the grand final with the Fever but falling short and collecting two silver medals from the past World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

Vixens too strong for forceful Thunderbirds

LAST time the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Melbourne Vixens met saw a comfortable win by the Vixens and a 16-goal margin that the Thunderbirds were unwilling to submit to again. The six-goal victory this time around was not the margin the Vixens wanted for Tegan Philip’s milestone game – overtaking Bianca Chatfield for the most games at the club – but it was a win all the same, which the Vixens needed coming back from the Netball World Cup, sitting in third on the ladder.

A big late exclusion for the Thunderbirds saw Maria Folau pulled out of the lineup ahead of the match, with Victorian Fury’s Emma Ryde pulled into the fray. Meanwhile, Vixens fan favourites Mwai Kumwenda and Kim Commane were selected for the side’s extended lineup, though neither player took the court. It was a very defensive first half, with the Vixens getting a handy lead early in the first before the Thunderbirds found some form thanks to the defensive prowess and long arms of Kate Shimmin and Shamera Sterling. While it did not look it on the scoreboard, the Thunderbirds made the Vixens work for every ball into the circle, finding difficulty using the space and giving away too many easy balls. Down the other end, despite the late exclusion of star goaler, Folau, it seemed to be business as usual in attack for the Thunderbirds with Sasha Glasgow rotating well with Cody Lange. However despite relative ease getting into the circle, the likes of Jo Weston and Emily Mannix did their best to cause issues, forcing the Thunderbirds to shoot from distance and denying easy rebounds.

With a four-goal margin at the end of the first, the Vixens had the lead but were unable to extend it to their full capacity with the relatively young Thunderbirds side unwilling to let the game slip away. The two sides went goal for goal in the second, with both sides capitalising off their own centre passes and turnover after turnover denying opportunity to both extend and reduce the lead. Late replacement and ex-Vixens training partner Ryde took the court in goal shooter and proved an instant threat to the Vixens, with her height and strength making her a difficult target to stop at the post, forcing a final minutes change to the Vixens lineup with Kadie-Ann Dehaney taking the court in goal keeper. While the ball started moving more smoothly in attack for the Thunderbirds, it was another story altogether for the Vixens whose movement seemed stilted, with hesitance letting go of the ball a big issue with the likes of Sterling and Shimmin finding plenty of air ball. While the Vixens’ telltale cleanliness and patience eventually worked the ball into the circle, the side was fortunate that the Thunderbirds were not scoring well off turnover opportunities. The mostly even quarter saw the Vixens finally break away towards the end of the term, extending the margin to six goals thanks to the defensive effort of Dehaney on Ryde, with the pair teammates in the Australian Netball League. While the Vixens had more scoring opportunities, the Thunderbirds shot true with 100 per cent accuracy in the second compared to the Vixens’ 86 per cent.

The second half saw the two sides equalise, with the Vixens unwilling to let go of their lead but the Thunderbirds matching them almost goal for goal, with no bonus points handed out. The third quarter saw a flurry of changes across the court, with both sides fighting for control. The Thunderbirds took a chance on the youth coming through the ranks, with Maisie Nankivell taking the court in wing defence on fresh legs to make work harder for the ailing Liz Watsonin wing attack, while Glasgow put on a show in the goal circle shooting from all over the circle while out in the unfamiliar position of goal attack. The Vixens produced some great turnovers with the help of Renae Ingles using her strength and speed to corner Chelsea Pitman and send the ball back up the court, while Dehaney put out a stellar performance forcing Ryde away from the post and over the goal line time and time again, working well with Mannix and Weston to confuse the space. A tactical timeout with four minutes left in the quarter saw Kelly Altmann take the court for Hannah Petty with Shadine Van Der Merwe re-taking the court in goal defence, while the Vixens made an unprecedented change in attack with Caitlin Thwaites switching into goal attack as Philip sat back in goal shooter, with the aim to use Philip’s stellar footwork to open up the circle and run Sterling off her feet in defence. A last ditch effort from Dehaney denied a bonus point to the Thunderbirds, with the Vixens scraping by with the narrowest of saves before the whistle.

The final quarter saw the Thunderbirds get so close yet so far once more, unable to steal away a bonus point once more, with the clinical Vixens going back to basics to scrape the win. The Thunderbirds continued their form in getting young players out on court, emptying their bench with young defender Chelsea Blackman taking on Thwaites for the final five minutes, looking to win the bonus point rather than the match but unable to finish with the win or bonus point. Player of the Match in her milestone game, Philip lead the goaling tally with 33 goals from 40 attempts, almost matched by Thwaites with 30 from 33. Despite a quiet game for the most part, Watson came away with 27 assists from 43 feeds and 31 centre pass receives, combining well with captain, Kate Moloney who finished with 25 assists from 34 feeds and three pickups. Defensively, Ingles and Dehaney starred with three intercepts apiece, combining for 10 deflections and followed closely by Mannix with two intercepts. For the Thunderbirds, Glasgow (28 goals from 32) and Ryde (28 goals from 30) paired well to combine for 90 per cent accuracy, fed well by Pitman (18 assists from 29 feeds, 30 centre pass receives). Sterling finished with seven gains and three intercepts, while Nankivell also came up with three gains in her 30 minutes on court.

STARTING SEVEN

MELBOURNE VIXENS
GK | Emily Mannix
GD | Jo Weston
WD | Renae Ingles
C | Kate Moloney
WA | Liz Watson
GA | Tegan Philip
GS | Caitlin Thwaites

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS
GK | Shamera Sterling
GD | Kate Shimmin
WD | Shadine Van Der Merwe
C | Hannah Petty
WA | Chelsea Pitman
GA | Sasha Glasgow
GS | Cody Lange

Suncorp Super Netball Preview: Round 10

SUNCORP Super Netball returns this weekend after a mid-season hiatus due to the World Cup in England and with finals approaching all eight teams will be wanting to put their best foot forward and impose themselves on the contest. There will be plenty of players with tired bodies given the World Cup while others will be fresh off the break and looking to make the most of the following rounds.

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS v. SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING

Coming off her first gold medal victory as coach Noeline Taurua will be wanting to guide Sunshine Coast Lightning to a third straight premiership, but the Queensland Firebirds will be standing in their way hoping to claim that elusive first win of the season and finish the year on a high. The Lightning have proved that they are the team to beat once again this year given their composure with ball in hand and star players across the court. However, if there was any time for the Firebirds to capitalise it is now, facing an opponent with five of their starting seven all coming off extensive workloads in the World Cup. Queensland have shown glimpses of brilliance throughout the season credit to their defensive pressure with Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner causing havoc with their timely tips and quick feet. Although their tenacity and hunt is unquestionable their inexperience and ill-discipline has drawn the attention of the umpires racking up their fair share of penalties. On the other hand, Lightning’s defence oozes class and skill with the partnership between Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni growing with confidence, picking off errant passes. The Firebirds have a plethora of options in the goal circle, however all three goalers Gretel Tippett, Romelda Aiken and Lenize Potgieter are likely to be managed given their return from World Cup duties. Tippett has been in career best form while Potgieter has showcased her class and skill under the post with her accuracy and high volume of shots making for an interesting contest to kick start the Round 10 action.

WEST COAST FEVER v. NSW SWIFTS

The NSW Swifts will be searching for their seventh win of the season to reclaim their dominance over the competition. They currently sit atop the ladder given their hot start to the year, winning plenty of bonus points and leaving teams shellshocked while their opponents are unlikely to make finals, only managing two wins and three draws for the season prior to the break. However, West Coast have the star power to cause real trouble for the opposition given the speed in which they can score. The Swifts took the competition by storm using their slick ball movement to transition down the court with precision and composure making them hard to stop. With five players returning from the World Cup the Swifts may have plenty of tired bodies but will be relying on their clever structures and ability to capitalise on turnovers to make the most of their opportunities and post a handy total. The Swifts have no shortage of shooting power with Sam Wallace and Helen Housby able to turn and shoot, with a connection that has steadily grown throughout the season while youngster Sophie Garbin has shown that she can make an immediate impact with her strong holds, accuracy to post and general netball smarts to create space in the goal circle. Defensively, both goal keepers Sarah Klau and Courtney Bruce will want to assert themselves on the match and showcase their skill to regain possession for their respective sides. For the Swifts, the defensive combination of Klau, and Maddy Turner will have to work together to nullify the influence of Jhaniele Fowler under the post and stop Verity Charles from getting to circle edge, while the addition of New Zealander, Kayla Cullen will be a massive boost for the already strong Swifts.

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES v. GWS GIANTS

In a ladder defining battle the Magpies will be hoping to solidify their spot in the top four and keep the GIANTS at bay with an all important win. Both sides have a couple of players returning from international commitments with the goal circle for both sides hit the hardest. GIANTS shooters Caitlin Bassett and Jo Harten both played in the World Cup for their respective countries while Collingwood defenders April Brandley and Geva Mentor also made the journey over to England. The Magpies do not have a great track record against the GIANTS, losing their past five encounters with the most recent an eight goal deficit to grant the GIANTS their first win of the season. They match up relatively well across the court, meaning that the battle will be intense with both sides renowned for their ability to grind out games. Given Collingwood’s tiring defence, youngster Matilda Garrett could be the key in cracking the GIANTS attack end with her speed and good timing to get hands to ball. Meanwhile the work of Ash Brazill out the front could cause plenty of headaches for the GIANTS given her athleticism and strong attacking drive through the midcourt, creating an exciting battle against veteran Kim Green who can slice through the defence with her precision passing and impeccable timing. Collingwood have had an up and down season and will want to prove that they are the real deal heading into the home stretch of the year.

MELBOURNE VIXENS v. ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS

In the second match of the double header at Melbourne Arena, Adelaide will be hoping to create an upset against the home side. The Melbourne Vixens well and truly have the wood over the Thunderbirds winning their past five matches with convincing performances. The Thunderbirds have been dealt a couple of cruel injury blows with defender Layla Guscoth out for the remainder of the season with an Achilles injury and fellow defender Shamera Sterling twinging her ankle during the World Cup. Given the ailing defensive end, Kate Shimmin could be the one the Thunderbirds look toward to provide that pressure and experience while her aerial ability will be a great asset for Adelaide. With a World Cup gold medal under her belt, Maria Folau could prove to be a handful for the likes of Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Jo Weston and Emily Mannix given her hot form and shooting range from anywhere in the circle. But with a strong hold in third place on the ladder the Vixens will be hoping to put out a dominant performance and build some strong form heading into the final leg of the season. Liz Watson has gone from strength to strength with the talented centre court player using her netball nous, clean hands and impressive vision to slice through opposition defence but coming off a big work load at the World Cup the Vixens may look to Lara Dunkley to provide some respite. Meanwhile, goaling favourite Tegan Philip will take the court for the 112th time to become the most capped Vixens player, ahead of current record-holder and netball great, Bianca Chatfield.

Centre Pass Podcast: Episode 4

IN the third episode of the Centre Pass Podcast for 2019, host Jarrad Gardner and presenters, Steph Smarrelli, Taylah Melki and Sophie Taylor chat about Round 2 of the Suncorp Super Netball, reviewing all four games and previewing Round 3. The team also chats about their Team of the Week, explored in detail here.

Centre Pass is new to Draft Central in 2019, having made the jump after a big first year saw the team interview the likes of ex-Australian Diamonds, Sharelle McMahon and Bianca Chatfield, Australian Diamonds Coach, Lisa Alexander and commentator, Sue Gaudion.

Listen to the Podcast below or on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, PocketCasts or RadioPublic:

Centre Pass Podcast: Episode 3

IN the third episode of the Centre Pass Podcast for 2019, host Jarrad Gardner and presenters, Steph Smarrelli, Taylah Melki and Sophie Taylor chat about Round 1 of the Suncorp Super Netball, reviewing all four games and previewing Round 2. The team also chats about their Team of the Week, explored in detail here.

Centre Pass is new to Draft Central in 2019, having made the jump after a big first year saw the team interview the likes of ex-Australian Diamonds, Sharelle McMahon and Bianca Chatfield, Australian Diamonds Coach, Lisa Alexander and commentator, Sue Gaudion.

Listen to the Podcast below or on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, PocketCasts or RadioPublic:

Centre Pass Podcast: Episode 2

IN the second episode of the Centre Pass Podcast for 2019, host Jarrad Gardner and presenters, Steph Smarrelli, Taylah Melki and Sophie Taylor chat all things Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) ahead of the new season beginning on 27 April. The second part of two preseason episodes, this episode focuses on the 2018 SSN finalists; Queensland Firebirds, GIANTS Netball, West Coast Fever and Sunshine Coast Lightning, their recruits and chances in 2019.

Centre Pass is new to Draft Central in 2019, having made the jump after a big first year saw the team interview the likes of ex-Australian Diamonds, Sharelle McMahon and Bianca Chatfield, Australian Diamonds Coach, Lisa Alexander and commentator, Sue Gaudion.

Listen to the Podcast below or on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, PocketCasts or RadioPublic: