Tag: caitlin bassett

Blistering final term ends in GIANTS and Swifts draw

IT was a nail-biting finish to the New South Wales derby as neither side could be separated rounding out the game at 77 goals apiece. A scintillating final term at the hands of GIANTS captain Jo Harten gifted her side a draw after converting six super shots, despite being down by as much as 10 goals to the Swifts. It was a whirlwind contest as the lead changed hands multiple times while there were a couple of notable omission for both sides in the form of star goalers Helen Housby and Caitlin Bassett both out due to injury.

It was an even start to the game as both sides managed to convert from their centre pass before a hand in from Kristiana Manu’a saw the GIANTS stream down court and capitalise. Out to a two-goal lead early thanks to the hot hand of Kiera Austin and Harten the NSW Swifts answered the call through Maddy Turner. The goal defence starred in the opening couple of minutes of the term with her ability to track the ball and rack up the intercepts to stop the GIANTS in their tracks. Taking a few minutes to settle into the new attacking combination, the work of Paige Hadley came to the fore as the centre delivered bullet passes into the circle.

The back and forth nature of the game continued as the Swifts and GIANTS failed to be separated sitting at 11 goals apiece before a timeout was called by the Swifts. Entering the super shot period Austin showed her class, nailing back to back super shots to extend the GIANTS’ lead to four goals. the goal attack was finding plenty of space while up the other end Sam Wallace starred for the Swifts highlighting her ability to score from range and keep her side within striking distance. It was turning into a super shot shootout as both sides looked to find an edge but in the end it was the GIANTS that drew first blood.

The second quarter started a bit scrappy with ball ebbing and flowing down the court before the Swifts landed the first blow to eat into the two-goal margin. Quick ball movement seemed to be the way to go for both sides while the Swifts made a couple of changes in hope to upset the GIANTS. Lauren Moore made her way onto the court in wing defence while Maddy Proud pulled on the centre bib. The connections across court seemed more settled as the Swifts weaved their way down the court and stole back the lead albeit momentarily.

The goal keepers started to come into the game as Sam Poolman took an intercept before Sarah Klau answered the call with an intercept of her own. The Swifts continued to tinker with their frontend as Tayla Fraser entered the game thanks to the pressure and antagonising style of Amy Parmenter. The physicality continued to ramp up throughout the quarter as Austin flew into the post and Moore hit the deck a couple of times. While the Swifts switched up their attacking unit the GIANTS brought on the experienced April Brandley in goal keeper. Much like the first quarter the final five minutes were dictated by the super shot as Austin and Sophie Garbin plied their trade for their respective sides. In the end it was shot on the buzzer from Harten that gave the GIANTS a handy two goal buffer.

A hot start to the third term saw the Swifts nail the first four goals of the quarter and establish a two-goal lead. defensively things started to really kick into gear while their transition through the midcourt enabled the Swifts to put the foot down and keep the scoreboard cogs ticking over. The GIANTS simply had no answers for the Swifts who had a real pep in their step with a seven goal to one start to the term, prompting a timeout. Turner and Sophie Craig worked on overdrive through the centre third with the former creating a wealth of tips and deflections. Down by as many as eight goals the GIANTS rallied in attack to cut the deficit to five but the continuous pressure stemming from the Swifts defence stifled the attacking notion of the Swifts.

Exploited in defence, Poolman re-entered the game in goal keeper while Matilda McDonell came on at goal defence. But that did not seem to stop the Swifts who had their tails well and truly up thanks to their blistering speed and increased confidence to release the ball. Inaccuracy plagued the GIANTS shooting end while the likes of Turner and Klau gobbled up anything that fell short. Wallace made it look easy up the other end as the goal shooter delivered time and time again on the super shot as the Swifts held onto an eight-goal lead heading into the final change.

The shooter to shooter interplay between Wallace and Garbin was working wonders while Proud and Hadley seemed to have the ball on a string finding both shooters with great ease as they continued to stretch their opponents. The GIANTS midcourt on the other hand laboured as Jamie-Lee Price and Maddie Hay struggled to have their usual impact. Parmenter continued to toil away winning ball back thanks to her speed off the mark but the Swifts’ composure kept them ahead of the game. Four consecutive super shots from Harten sparked the GIANTS across the court as they got within two goals. an offensive contact against Wallace gifted the GIANTS possession as they went forward and nailed another super shot to draw level. With the clock ticking down Garbin sunk a super shot of her own but Harten once again flexed her muscles to convert and secure a draw.

With no Housby for the Swifts, it was Wallace that took the reins under the post nailing a whopping 50 goals with six of them super shots. New Diamonds member, Garbin also impressed sinking 18 goals from 21 attempts while the efforts of Proud and Hadley did not go unnoticed as they amassed 10 and 16 goal assists respectively. Harten and Austin once again combined to be a formidable force from range with 17 super shots between them, 10 of them off the hand of Harten. Parmenter was the livewire for the GIANTS and took home player of the match honours thanks to her three intercepts and eight deflections while Klau and Turner combined for 14 gains, six of them intercepts.

 

>>> SWIFTS TEAM PAGE
>>> GIANTS TEAM PAGE
>>> FULL MATCH STATS

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NSW Swifts 22 | 17 | 23 | 15 (77)
GIANTS Netball 24 | 17 | 13 | 23 (77)

STARTING SEVEN:

 NSW Swifts:

GS: Sam Wallace
GA: Sophie Garbin
WA: Natalie Haythornthwaite
C: Paige Hadley
WD: Sophie Craig
GD: Maddy Turner
GK: Sarah Klau

GIANTS Netball:

GS: Jo Harten
GA: Kiera Austin
WA: Maddie Hay
C: Jamie-Lee Price
WD: Amy Parmenter
GD: Kristiana Manu’a
GK: Sam Poolman

2020/21 Diamonds Squad list released

THE 2020/21 Australian Diamonds Squad list has been released this morning, with plenty of returning names in the mix and a couple of newbies to the fray. While players with continued injuries in Kelsey Browne and Ash Brazill are missing from the squad, Liz Ellis Diamond winner Gretel Bueta has still been named despite missing the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season to pregnancy. 

The squad has included a host of new names in Verity Charles, Sophie Garbin, Kim Jenner, Cara Koenen and Maddy Proud, while Jess Anstiss returns to the squad. Charles’ excellent season sees her brought into the squad for the first time, while Jenner, Koenen, Garbin and Anstiss were part of the 2019 development team and have clearly proved they are capable of stepping up to the next level. Despite questions around being left off the court during the 2020 season, Caitlin Bassett remains in the squad, while fans will be disappointed Caitlin Thwaites will not come out of retirement after a stellar season.

Some notable names left off the list are Maddy Turner, Tegan Philip and April Brandley, with the latter still returning from pregnancy earlier in the year and the former two not quite having the same influential seasons as they did in 2019.

Diamonds Head Coach Stacey Marinkovich says she is excited about the squad and the depth of talent across Australia and every position.

“Selection definitely hasn’t been an easy task – we have such a great depth of talent within our system across every position on the court and I congratulate those that have been selected,” Marinkovich said in the Diamonds announcement.

“This squad showcases an incredible breadth of experience and new emerging talent. We have a strong vision towards our marquee events, the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 Netball World Cup, and I look forward to further technically and strategically developing this group and building on our connection and cohesion under pressure.”

“Our Australian Development Squad will be named within the next couple of weeks and this list will truly capture the depth of our elite talent. We will continue to monitor and track players leading into an exciting 2021 international netball calendar.”

While the squad will not play competitively in 2020, Netball Australia is working closely with the Queensland government to host a training camp following the completion of the 2020 SSN season. The 2020/21 Australian Development squad will be announced in the coming weeks.

2020/21 Origin Australian Diamonds Squad

Jess Anstiss – West Coast Fever/Western Australia
Kiera Austin – GIANTS Netball/New South Wales
Caitlin Bassett – GIANTS Netball/Western Australia
Gretel Bueta – Queensland Firebirds/Queenslan
Courtney Bruce – West Coast Fever/Western Australia
Verity Charles – West Coast Fever/New South Wales
Sophie Garbin – NSW Swifts/Western Australia
Paige Hadley – NSW Swifts/New South Wales
Kimberley Jenner – Queensland Firebirds/Queensland
Cara Koenen – Sunshine Coast Lightning/Queensland
Sarah Klau – NSW Swifts/South Australia
Jamie-Lee Price – GIANTS Netball/New South Wales
Maddy Proud – NSW Swifts/South Australia
Emily Mannix – Melbourne Vixens/Victoria
Kate Moloney – Melbourne Vixens/Victoria
Gabi Simpson – Queensland Firebirds/New South Wales
Liz Watson – Melbourne Vixens/Victoria
Jo Weston – Melbourne Vixens/Victoria
Steph Wood – Sunshine Coast Lightning/Queensland

2020 Suncorp Super Netball: Five Talking points – Round 13

THE penultimate round of Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) sparked plenty of intrigue and debate as the GIANTS failed to keep their slim finals hopes alive while the league celebrated Indigenous round despite it being marred by controversy.

Bassett remained on the bench in GIANTS do-or-die clash
In arguably one of their biggest games of the season, the GIANTS’ narrow loss to West Coast Fever all but ended their hopes of sneaking into the top four. There was no denying that accuracy seemed to be a big issue for the GIANTS as Jo Harten and Kiera Austin shot at a combined 70 per cent, failing to convert their chances as Australian Diamonds captain and shooting sensation Caitlin Bassett sat on the bench. It looked like her time might come as wing attack Maddie Hay went down with an injury midway through the third but instead of swinging the relatively inaccurate Austin into wing attack like previous matches, the GIANTS shuffled the bibs around as Amy Parmenter moved into wing attack momentarily before Claire O’Brien ran out the rest of the game. The attack seemed to suffer in the final quarter as the GIANTS struggled to find their rhythm with Courtney Bruce and Olivia Lewis starring as the GIANTS lacked Bassett’s accuracy and rebounding ability under the post.

Controversy sparked as Jemma Mi Mi failed to take the court
In a round dedicated to celebrating Indigenous culture many were looking forward to Queensland Firebirds midcourter Jemma Mi Mi taking the court. Currently, Mi Mi is the sole Indigenous player in the SSN and in the lead up to the match on Sunday had done a wealth of work promoting her journey and encouraging other young Indigenous girls to follow in her footsteps. However, the speedster failed to take the court against the Vixens with the decision sparking plenty of debate. In the dying minutes of the final quarter wing attack Lara Dunkley seemed to pull up gingerly with some form of cramp, but instead of coming off the court, opted to stay out there and run out the game as Mi Mi waited patiently on the sideline to be subbed on. Many fans questioned the decision behind not injecting Mi Mi into the game given the significance of the round and the fact that the game was a dead rubber as it did not impact finals.

Liz Watson is key to the Vixens success
Highly talented wing attack, Liz Watson was forced to the sideline once again with an ankle complaint which allowed the Firebirds and Gabi Simpson in particular to take full control when it came to tempo and flow. Youngsters Tayla Honey and Elle McDonald have plenty of raw talent but ultimately lack that craft and finesse that Watson has especially around circle edge, with her direct passes into the goalers. Watson is renowned for her exceptionally high work rate at the centre pass and movement within the attacking third, something that was once again missed in the Vixens frontend against the Firebirds on the weekend. The likes of Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe capitalised on Melbourne’s lack of movement and assertiveness in Watson’s absence.

NSW Swifts prove they know how to win ugly
It was an inconsistent performance from the reigning premiers who struggled to find any continuity in attack as they chopped and changed. Challenged in the second and third quarter and with the game on the line the Swifts kicked it up a gear, albeit marginal in the final term. The combination of Sophie Garbin and Helen Housby seemed to be what the doctor ordered in the goal circle as the duo found their range only missing two goals for the quarter as the midcourt work stemming from Natalie Haythornthwaite and Paige Hadley increased. Although it was not pretty, it showed that the Swifts have the ability to grind it out against tough opposition with Shamera Sterling and Layla Guscoth putting in the hard yards and making life tricky for the Swifts’ attackers.

Cara Koenen and Steph Wood could be the Diamonds next starting shooting combo
The Lightning frontend ooze plenty of class with Laura Scherian and Laura Langman real playmakers in the attacking third thanks to their speed, drive and spatial awareness. However, inside the circle is where the real damage happens as Cara Koenen and Steph Wood put on a show under the post. The shooter to shooter interplay is near on impossible to negate with their deft touches and perfect timing proving to be a headache even for the best such as Geva Mentor as shown in this round. Although it took a few minutes for Koenen to build into the match, once the goal shooter found her range and confidence she starred sinking an impressive 41 goals from 45 attempts at 91 per cent while Wood was not only the goal assist mastermind but so too effective from range nailing four super shots. Their partnership is one of movement and dynamism, something that could be handy for the Diamonds in the future.

SSN Stats wrap: Round 13

OUR Suncorp Super Netball stats wrap will again this week solely focus on Round 13’s proceedings, with a huge penultimate round of action culminating in a couple of massive results and its fair share of controversy with Caitlin Bassett once more left on the bench and Jemma Mi Mi in a similar position despite being touted as the face of SSN Indigenous Round. Meanwhile, the NSW Swifts confirmed their place in the top four thanks to the GIANTS’ tight loss to West Coast Fever and the Melbourne Vixens suffered their second loss of the season to the Queensland Firebirds to close out the round. 

There were many top performers across the round once more, with defenders seeming to be top of the list again with a number of players stepping up and causing errors aplenty. Phumza Maweni continued to star in her second season, racking up eight gains (five intercepts) to lead the tally for the round while Courtney Bruce collected 12 gains in a tough battle. Maddy Turner had arguably her best outing of the season so far with six gains (three intercepts), matched by her opposition goal keeper in Sterling with the same stats and a three goal margin as the final whistle sounded. A huge combined defensive effort from the Firebirds completely exposed the Vixens who were without playmaker Liz Watson, seeing Kim Jenner, Tara Hinchliffe and Gabi Simpson combine for 15 gains (eight intercepts) between them. 

Looking further up the court, Jamie-Lee Price was excellent with 17 goal assists and four intercepts in a losing effort, while Verity Charles topped the assists chart this round with 24 from 36 feeds and 17 centre pass receives. Paige Hadley and Nat Haythornthwaite combined well in the Swifts camp for 23 and 19 goal assists, both also racking up an intercept apiece while Kate Moloney held up the Vixens attack with 18 assists. Firebirds duo Mahalia Cassidy and Lara Dunkley also left no stone unturned, sharing the load out the front with a combined 35 goal assists and two intercepts, while youngster Georgie Horjus plied her trade out the front for the Thunderbirds to finish with 29 centre pass receives and 14 assists. 

Horjus was not the only attacker to hit the centre pass and assists stats, with both Steph Wood and Gabby Sinclair finding their playmaking form, albeit while playing on opposing teams. Wood impressed once more in at goal attack with 10 goals at 71 per cent and 21 assists, while Sinclair finished much the same on the goaling front with 10 at 67 per cent and 17 assists. Sam Gooden got the start for the Thunderbirds with another 10-goal haul – this time at 53 per cent – while Tippah Dwan was solid once more against the Vixens with 16 goals from 23 attempts. Caitlin Thwaites was excellent with 17 goals (seven super shots) while Kiera Austin was shaky on the shot with 28 goals from 43 attempts at 65 per cent and 11 general play turnovers but came away with four intercepts credit to her ability to win ball back. In at goal shooter, Jhaniele Fowler (63 goals from 66 attempts), Romelda Aiken (45 from 51), Cara Koenen (41 from 45) and Shimona Nelson (40 from 44) were not only impressive in their volume but also their accuracy, standing up well under pressure with only the latter coming away with a loss.

Courtside Comments: Round 13 – Tara Hinchliffe

Where could Chelsea Pitman end up in 2021?

ANNOUNCING that Adelaide Thunderbirds did not offer her a contract for the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season, Thunderbirds co-captain and England Roses midcourter Chelsea Pitman will be on the move next season. The wing attack has been in arguably career best form in 2020 and is keen to play on next season, making her a handy acquisition for any team she decides to join. The main question however, is where will she go and which team is in need of a specialist wing attack? Draft Central poses some potential options, keeping in mind that team lists for next season have not yet been announced.

West Coast Fever:
With Ingrid Colyer going down with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury she can be expected to spend a large chunk of next season on the sidelines as she recovers, effectively leaving a hole in the Fever attack. Although Emma Cosh has stepped up to the plate in the past few games, she is still developing her craft and with the services of Pitman up for grabs West Coast would be silly not to pounce. Pitman is clever with ball in hand and has experience feeding into tall holding shooters such as Jhaniele Fowler, playing with the likes of Romelda Aiken back in her heyday at the Firebirds and more recently Shimona Nelson when she was at the Thunderbirds. The Roses wing attack is cautious with ball in hand and while she does not do all the flashy things it is her patient approach down court and skill execution that sets her apart from other midcourters.

Sunshine Coast Lightning:
With the future of Laura Langman still up in the air with the New Zealand international announcing her retirement from Silver Ferns duties, the question of whether she plays on in 2021 is one that must be asked. If she does in fact retire it could see a huge shake up in the Lightning attack end with Laura Scherian likely to swing into that centre position leaving the wing attack position vacant and open for someone like Pitman to swoop in. Pitman has proven her ability to adapt on the fly and feed with great ease into a moving circle such is her high netball IQ and impressive ball placement, which could play into the hands of Sunshine Coast. With speed to burn when it comes to Scherian, Pitman could provide that steady head and composure to hit circle edge and deliver into the likes of Steph Wood, Peace Proscovia and Cara Koenen, making her an exciting possibility for the 2021 season.

GIANTS Netball:
After somewhat of an up and down 2020 season, the GIANTS could be on the hunt for a specialised and experience wing attack, a role which Pitman could fill if the position became available. With Kiera Austin spending majority of her time out in goal attack and Jo Harten pulling on the goal shooter bib, the feeding role has fallen to youngster Maddie Hay and while she has impressed in patches the consistency of Pitman could be the edge the GIANTS need to bat deep in 2021. Pitman already has forged strong connections with Harten thanks to the duo playing in the Roses together while Pitman is also familiar with Caitlin Bassett having won the 2011 Netball World Cup together; albeit a while ago now. Pitman is a smooth mover who is hardly ever overawed and could offer that sense of stability and class to a consistently changing GIANTS line-up.

Although it is a long shot, Pitman could potentially ply her craft across the ditch in the ANZ Premiership while the possibility of Pitman taking her netball to England is also a chance with new franchise Leeds Rhinos searching for some experienced names to round out the squad. Either way, it is fair to say whichever team picks up Pitman, they will be better for it given her composure, netball smarts and all round experience.

Potential Australia Development Squad players

WITH the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season edging ever closer, Draft Central casts an eye over potential new inclusions to the Australian Diamonds Development Squad based on their performances throughout the 2020 season. The Development Squad focuses on up and coming players that would benefit from the opportunity to train in an elite environment but are not yet ready for the call-up to the international stage. Players that were named in the 2019 Australian Development Squad such as Tayla Fraser, Olivia Lewis and Hannah Petty have not been included. These notes are purely based on the individual opinions of each writer.

ATTACK:

Typically renowned for holding shooters, the next generation of Australian goalers coming through the ranks could be more focused on movement and versatility with some smaller goalers in development, particularly in goal attack. Versatility and an ability to put up goals from range is abundant in the up-and-coming pool of goalers, although the lack of height among the group we have selected could be an issue.

Georgie Horjus – Adelaide Thunderbirds (Sophie Taylor)

One of the most exciting young prospects to take the court in season 2020 is Georgie Horjus. A breakout season for the young South Australian goaler has seen her provide a crucial link throughout the Thunderbirds attack, using her burst of speed and excellent vision to weave around her opposition and find purchase both in and around the goal circle. An impressive long range shooter, Horjus has proved this season that the young talent coming up through the pathways is more than capable of holding down a starting spot, using her flair and technique to wow her more experienced opposition time and time again.

Tippah Dwan – Queensland Firebirds (Taylah Melki)

Youngster Tippah Dwan has taken the competition by storm in 2020 with her smooth movement and long bomb shooting a couple of key elements in her game play. The goal attack is an exciting prospect for the future of Australian netball, able to glide across the court while also taking the hard drive into the circle to draw the attention of her defender. Her work rate is unquestionable, constantly popping up in the Firebirds attacking third to bring the ball down the court while her defensive efforts are also commendable, getting hands to ball and picking off intercepts. 

Emma Cosh – West Coast Fever (Sophie Taylor)

A player who has had a real opportunity to ply her trade this season is Emma Cosh, with the smooth-moving goaler inadvertently handed the wing attack bib due to Ingrid Colyer’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Cosh has proved to be a highly versatile option in attack, and while she has not played in goals since she pulled on the wing attack bibs a few weeks ago, she is a great evasive attacker who can put up shots from anywhere in the goal circle. Her feeding ability has stood out, with excellent ball placement on or off circle edge and the clean hands and quick release to pull it off.

MIDCOURT:

Through the midcourt, defensive capability is what stands out amongst our three picks. With the ability to adapt and transition well between positions through the centre third, the potential Diamonds of the future could be a bit more versatile. All three of the players we have listed boast both offensive and defensive traits, much like many of the young up-and-comers through the Australian pathways.

Maisie Nankivell – Adelaide Thunderbirds (Taylah Melki)

There is no denying that Maisie Nankivell has taken her game to a whole new level in 2020, often using her defensive attributes in attack and vice versa. Accustomed to the wing defence position, Nankivell has not looked out of place in centre for the Thunderbirds with her strength and high endurance paving the way for the Adelaide side. She is never out of the contest thanks to her impressive footwork, read of the play and deceptively rangy arms. Nankivell works in overdrive around circle edge to pick up clean ball or create opportunities for turnovers while her transition down court is another impressive trait. Her cleanliness with ball in hand, spatial awareness and confidence to deliver bullet-like passes has quickly become a focal point in the Thunderbirds line-up.  

Molly Jovic – Collingwood Magpies (Sophie Taylor)

A talented midcourter who has burst onto the SSN scene in 2020, Molly Jovic has proved a critical member of the Magpies lineup this season in the absence of Collingwood experience. Jovic has rarely looked out of place or out of her depth on the SSN stage, consistently stepping up to the plate with her quickfire passes and adaptability on court. A hugely versatile midcourter, Jovic can rotate through all three centre court positions which allows her to continuously impact on the play, with her transition between attack and defensive excellent especially given her relative inexperience when it comes to this level.

Maddie Hay – GIANTS Netball (Taylah Melki)

Still finding her feet at SSN level, Maddie Hay has proven that she has a relatively big bag of tricks and is not overawed by the physicality of the game. Slotting into that wing attack position seamlessly for the GIANTS, Hay has become a key cog through the attacking third with her strong second phase play and clever ball placement. She is a strong option around circle edge, tussling for prime position and using her netball smarts to ward off her opponent. Although still adjusting to the high intensity of SSN, the midcourter has proven that she is cool, calm and collected under pressure and can deliver pinpoint precision passes into the likes of Kiera Austin, Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett

DEFENCE: 

The tenacious defensive unit we have selected very much follows the footsteps of its predecessors with a heap of ball-winning tendencies and the ability to consistently wreak havoc down back. Learning behind some impressive defenders at SSN level, these defenders have showcased the ability to lift when required and deliver under pressure.

Sunday Aryang – West Coast Fever (Sophie Taylor)

Ethiopian-born Sunday Aryang may be young but she has shown in season 2020 that she is more than capable of filling a position on court with her versatility, flair and take-off speed. While she showed glimpses of her exciting potential in the late stages of 2019 and early in 2020, she has been an excellent impact player for the West Coast Fever especially in the latter stages of this season, able to jump on court and create turnover ball. She has continued to grow not only in confidence but also skill with Courtney Bruce behind her, and her ability to not skip a beat regardless of her opposition will make her a huge defensive prospect.

Lauren Moore – NSW Swifts (Taylah Melki)

Defender Lauren Moore burst onto the scene this season with her ability to impact the contest and take big intercepts. Out with injury last season, Moore has relished the opportunity to get a run out on the court for the Swifts in 2020 and has showcased her versatility to swing between goal defence and goal keeper with great ease. The defender has impressive closing speed, reads the play well and is a real energiser bunny down back with her constant movement and hunt for the ball to keep the attackers guessing. She attacks any high or cross court ball and most importantly does it cleanly to win back possession for her side.  

Matilda McDonell – GIANTS Netball (Sophie Taylor)

Matilda McDonell may not have had a heap of consistent court time, but has proven her worth on the court when she has made SSN appearances this season. A tall timber who can use her long arms and elevation to fly for intercepts, McDonell has taken her opportunities and shown plenty of exciting traits in goal keeper, able to come off the body or be a niggling defender blocking drives. Her clever timing allows her to bat the ball away while her hands over pressure is excellent with long limbs blocking vision both in and around the goal circle.

There are a number of other players that would value the opportunity to develop in the elite environment, but currently do not have the SSN exposure to warrant a call-up. In saying that, there are a few players who have showed glimpses of potential and deserve a mention, with midcourters Macy Gardner and Lara Dunkley developing their midcourt craft well at the Firebirds this season, while South Australian Nyah Allen has proved she is capable of having an impact where required, despite not managing a heap of court time. Gardner and Allen have both been selected for the Australian Under 21s squad, proving their capacity to impress. 

Courtside Comments

Maisie Nankivell // Tippah Dwan // Sunday Aryang // Molly Jovic // Georgie Horjus // Lauren Moore //  Maddie Hay

2020 Suncorp Super Netball Preview: Round 13

WITH one game already done and dusted for Round 13 the remainder of Suncorp Super Netball Indigenous round is set to play out over the weekend as the race for finals intensifies. The GIANTS are still in with a shot but rely on results from other games as the Fever and Swifts tussle for prime position in the top four.

West Coast Fever v. GIANTS Netball
Saturday, 19 September

It is a do or die clash for the GIANTS as they look to keep their finals chances alive, however the West Coast Fever have been in scintillating form and will be keen to secure the win in order to rise up the ladder and potentially claim at top two finish.

The GIANTS will have to be on their A-game in defence with Jhaniele Fowler simply unstoppable in the past couple of weeks, recording a whopping 124 goals and showcasing just how damaging she can be at the post. Alice Teague-Neeld has elevated her game in 2020 and while she does not put up a wealth of shots, working alongside the likes of Emma Cosh and Verity Charles the Fever have been able to weave their way down the court with great ease and allow Fowler to do the heavy lifting. To stop Fowler and the Fever the GIANTS will have to employ full court defensive pressure to stop the ball from flowing freely into attack and ending up in Fowler’s hands – meaning the likes of April Brandley, Sam Poolman, Kristiana Manu’a, Amy Parmenter and Jamie-Lee Price will all have to ply their trade consistently in order to stop the ball from coming down with pace.

With everything on the line the GIANTS attacking unit will have to be on song from the first whistle. Caitlin Bassett has not received a wealth of court time this season but given the speed and accuracy with which she can score, she could definitely make a handy cameo and alter the course of the game. There is no denying that Jo Harten and Kiera Austin are fast becoming the super shot queens with their ability to turn and sink them from long range, something the Fever defenders in Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis will be acutely aware of heading into the clash.

 

Adelaide Thunderbirds v. NSW Swifts
Saturday, 19 September

The Adelaide Thunderbirds are a team that should not be underestimated given the amount of international prowess they have across the court, and while they cannot make finals they are still in a position to have an influence on ladder positions. The Swifts have struggled to find their mojo in season 2020 but heading into finals they will be eager to find some continuity across the court and claim the all-important win.

Hopefully returning after missing last week’s clash with concussion, Helen Housby will be a great addition into the attacking end given her experience, class with ball in hand and willingness to go to the post. Her connection with England roses teammate Natalie Haythornthwaite is also pivotal to the Swifts attacking unit while Sam Wallace is a strong target under the post thanks to her athleticism and creativity with ball in hand. However the high release into Wallace will play directly into the hands of Shamera Sterling with the Adelaide Thunderbirds goal keeper renowned for her athleticism to reach up and gobble any looping passes .The support she receives from the likes of Layla Guscoth out the front, Kate Shimmin, Shadine van der Merwe and Maisie Nankivell allows her to go out and hunt the ball with freedom.

The midcourt battle will be intriguing with both sides not afraid to throw the bibs around as shown with Paige Hadley sliding back into that wing defence position allowing the likes of Maddy Proud, Tayla Fraser and Haythornthwaite to take the reins in attack. As for the Thunderbirds, Nankivell, Hannah Petty, Tayla Williams and Georgie Horjus have all floated through various centre court positions, though it is fair to say Horjus does her best work inside the goal circle with South African Lenize Potgieter. The Thunderbirds will hope to welcome back co-captain Chelsea Pitman with her class and ball placement critical to their attack if they are to keep Sarah Klau, Maddy Turner and Lauren Moore busy and out of the contest.

 

Melbourne Vixens v. Queensland Firebirds
Sunday, 20 September

The final game of the round sees minor premiers Melbourne Vixens take on a young and exciting Queensland Firebirds outfit. The Vixens have been in ripping form in season 2020 while the Firebirds have showcased that they have plenty of potential and are building towards a strong 2021 season, making for an exciting contest between the two sides.

Inside the shooting circle the Melbourne Vixens have a plethora of options with Caitlin Thwaites, Mwai Kumwenda and Tegan Philip all able to seamlessly rotate in and out of the game and have a profound impact when called upon. Their innate understanding and connection with their midcourters in Liz Watson and Kate Moloney enables the Vixens to constantly create space and find easy avenue to goal meaning the Firebirds defenders will have to be on song if they are any chance of slowing down the Vixens’ attacking unit. Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe are a formidable duo for the Firebirds down back, able to hunt ball and cause chaos, while Rudi Ellis can add that extra height if required. It will be up to captain Gabi Simpson to nullify Watson if she returns or limit the impact of Tayla Honey or Elle McDonald if the Firebirds are any chance of an upset.

Boasting a different style in attack to their opponents, holding shooter Romelda Aiken has been a lynchpin under the post for the Firebirds with her strong and clear holds, aerial ability and increased accuracy consistently on display. Aiken is the Firebirds’ get out of jail free card with the likes of Mahalia Cassidy, Jemma Mi Mi, Lara Dunkley and Macy Gardner all able to bomb it long into the shooter when there are limited options, an area the Vixens will be hoping to shut down with Kate Eddy’s long arms to block vision. Dunkley has been crucial over the past couple few rounds, due in part to her strength around circle edge and composure with ball in hand. Youngster Tippah Dwan has also proven to be a revelation with her speed, confidence and super shot shooting meaning the Vixens defensive duo in Emily Mannix and Jo Weston cannot afford to pay all their attention to Aiken.

2020 Suncorp Super Netball: Five Talking points – Round 11/12

ROUND 11 and 12 of Suncorp Super Netball saw the Melbourne Vixens secure the minor premiership sitting two games ahead of the next comers while other major talking points surround player injuries to some big names. The past two rounds have also brought attention to the lack of court time the Australian Diamonds captain is getting, while the Queensland Firebirds have showcased their growth and development to secure their fourth victory of the season.

Melbourne Vixens are the team to beat and boast a wealth of depth
Missing two of their star players in alternating rounds the Melbourne Vixens proved that they have a winning formula. Facing the reigning premiers in Round 11 without starting goal keeper Emily Mannix and missing lynchpin in attack Liz Watson in Round 12 against Collingwood, the Vixens resorted to their bench showcasing just how much talent they have. Not getting a wealth of court time so far this year, Kadie-Ann Dehaney came out with a real purpose while the youngsters in Elle McDonald and Tayla Honey stepped up to the plate. Typically criticised for their lack of bench usage, the Melbourne Vixens have showcased in 2020 and especially in recent weeks that their full roster can come on and have an immediate impact, proving why they are the team to beat in finals after securing the minor premiership with two rounds left in the season.

Firebirds building for the future
There is no denying that the Firebirds have a wealth of young talent coming up through the ranks with Kim Jenner, Tara Hinchliffe, Tippah DwanLara Dunkley and Jemma Mi Mi all stepping up to the plate this season. Their growth and cohesion is undeniable and that has shown recording their third win in Round 11, highlighting their increased intensity and ability to ride out games. Hinchliffe and Jenner have become one of the most dynamic and impressive defensive duos in the competition while Dwan has taken the competition by storm. In Round 11 the goal attack had a stats-stuffing performance with 14 goals, 15 goal assists and an impressive three intercepts. Spearheaded by two experienced players in Romelda Aiken in the goal circle and captain Gabi Simpson in wing defence, the young players around them have proven they are not afraid to elevate their game, relishing the extra and more consistent time on court as they steadily build towards the future.

West Coast Fever shaping up to be likely grand finalists
It is the Fever of 2018 with the West Australian side blowing teams out of the water thanks to the sheer volume produced at the hands of Jhaniele Fowler. in the past two rounds the goal shooter has managed a staggering 124 goals proving to be unstoppable under the post and causing headaches for opposition sides. Despite missing Ingrid Colyer who is set to miss the remainder of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury the Fever have not skipped a beat, with Alice Teague-Neeld finding her groove although not hitting the scoreboard regularly and Verity Charles starring through the centre. Defensively the Fever have tightened up with Courtney Bruce, Stacey Francis and youngster Sunday Aryang all making it incredibly difficult for their opponents to score.

Caitlin Bassett struggling to get court time
GIANTS goal shooter, Caitlin Bassett found herself on the bench once again in Round 12 and while the side did win – their first without her taking part in the match – it begs the question of why she is not getting the court time and ultimately where the Australian Diamonds captain will end up next season. There is no denying that the GIANTS are blessed with options inside the goal circle with Kiera Austin and Jo Harten a damaging duo, able to shoot the long bombs or convert from directly under the post. However Bassett offers plenty of stability, control and firepower able to score with great ease and speed; something the GIANTS have struggled with this season. The goal shooter has proven that she is an impact player coming on for 36 minutes in their clash against Collingwood in Round 11. In doing so she changed the course of the game, nailing 19 of 20 goals and providing a sense of composure in attack with Jamie-Lee Price and Austin able to identify her holds instantaneously.

Injuries starting to come into play
Round 11 and 12 saw a couple of notable names miss games through injury or management due to the condensed season. The Melbourne Vixens missed the services of Watson and Mannix for one and two rounds respectively while the Fever will be without Colyer for the season. in the Thunderbirds camp, co-captain Chelsea Pitman sat on the sidelines in Round 12 with a calf complaint while GIANTS wing defence Amy Parmenter also missed a round of action with the same niggle. Although not an injury as such, Helen Housby was also forced to the sidelines for precautionary measures after suffering a concussion in Round 11 showcasing how gruelling and taxing this 2020 Super Netball season has been, with her head knock and resulting time off court mirroring earlier injuries this season.

SSN Head to Head: Round 12/13

IN each round of Suncorp Super Netball we will identify key match-ups, provide an analysis of players and compare the two styles. This week’s head to head focuses on a couple of centres, one who has international experience in Jamie-Lee Price and the other a young up and coming midcourter in Hannah Petty, who has helped lead the way for her side this season.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS v. GIANTS NETBALL
Hannah Petty (C) v. Jamie-Lee Price (C)

Two extremely competitive and strong athletes are set to go head to head in the final game of Round 12 in the form of Thunderbirds co-captain Petty and GIANTS youngster Price. Both centres boast a more defensive style of play, making for an enticing match-up as the duo are real barometers for their respective sides.

Petty has missed a couple of rounds this season through concussion however that has not stopped the dogged centre, who is renowned for contesting each and every pass. Petty is no easy beat through the middle, able to effectively ply her trade both in defence and attack. she is incredibly strong on the take and around circle edge to consistently claim prime feeding position. Petty is not afraid to look long and over the mess to deliver directly into the likes of Lenize Potgieter under the post. the centre works seamlessly with fellow co-captain Chelsea Pitman with the duo balancing the circle extremely well to give their shooters plenty of options. Effective in the front half, some of Petty’s best work comes in defence with the midcourter able to get hands to ball credit to her read of the play and speed off the mark. She is a key link through the centre court syncing the defensive unit to the attacking half with her drive and vision. Her adaptability to alter her game play to suit her teammates around her whether it be Maisie Nankivell, Shadine van der Merwe or Tayla Williams is a credit to her high netball IQ.

For the GIANTS Price has been as consistent as they come in season 2020 with her gut running frequently on show. In what has been a relatively up and down season, Price has provided a sense of composure and stability through the centre third, not often getting overrun or outworked, instead often flying under the radar such is her consistency. She is a menace in defence leaning on her offensive tendencies to force timely tips or intercepts especially around circle edge. The centre is extremely strong, able to outmuscle her opponents and keep them guessing given her closing speed and deceptively rangy arms while her work in attack has improved tenfold given the constant changes in the front half for the GIANTS. Her connection with Amy Parmenter is solid through the centre court while her one-two play with Jo Harten is also impressive. Price has a bullet pass on her, able to slice through congestion and defenders and can create plenty of space whether it be for Harten, Kiera Austin or Caitlin Bassett in the attacking third.

Both players are renowned for their inability to take a backwards step, consistently hustling for any loose ball and covering the court with great ease. It will ultimately come down to which player can treasure possession and lower their eyes to find a target rather than bomb it long and hope for the best. They are evenly poised when it comes to speed however Price does have a slight edge when it comes standing up in big matches, which this one is given their finals chances relies on securing a win.

Other key match-ups for Round 12 include the battle between Melbourne Vixens goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda and Magpies’ defender Geva Mentor while the top four clash between West Coast and Swifts sees the potential for England Roses teammates Stacey Francis and Helen Housby battle it out for their respective sides. The other game of the round will also see a contest between the in-form Romelda Aiken and Phumza Maweni along with a couple of young guns in Cara Koenen and Tara Hinchliffe. Round 13 welcomes the battle between a couple of international stars in Jodi-Ann Ward and Steph Wood while West Coast Fever’s Courtney Bruce is likely to line-up on Harten. A goal circle battle between Shamera Sterling and Swifts’ Sam Wallace will set tongues wagging while the final game of the round sees Gabi Simpson and Liz Watson go head to head.

2020 Suncorp Super Netball Preview: Round 12

ROUND 12 sees some big match-ups as clubs look to keep their finals hopes alive with the Thunderbirds, GIANTS and Firebirds all teetering on the edge of a finals berth with four wins apiece. West Coast will be out to leapfrog their opponents and steal second spot on the ladder as the Vixens hope to hold onto top spot.

West Coast Fever v. NSW Swifts
Saturday, 12 August

The Fever will be on a high heading into their clash with the reigning premiers after trouncing their Round 11 opponents by 20 goals. Meanwhile the Swifts will be hoping to work their way back onto the winners list and find some continuity in what has been an up and down season.

Jhaniele Fowler is an unstoppable force under the post, consistently recording ridiculously high numbers however the work out the front from Alice Teague-Neeld has enabled the goal shooter to recapture elements of her 2018 form. The chopping and changing in defence for the Swifts in the way of Lauren Moore and Maddy Turner is something to keep an eye on as they look to offset Teague-Neeld or potentially help Sarah Klau by doubling back on the Jamaican shooter.

The Swifts are gifted with a multitude of options through the midcourt with Paige Hadley, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Maddy Proud and Tayla Fraser all handy choices and have proven they can come on and have an impact. With no Ingrid Colyer, Emma Cosh has well and truly stepped up to the plate and is getting better and better with more court time while Verity Charles is arguably in career-best form in centre. When it comes to the shooting circle the Swifts have lacked a bit of cohesion with Sam Wallace, Helen Housby and Sophie Garbin all labouring and clumping together which will play into the hands of the Fever defence as Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis are master-readers of the play. Even if Bruce and Francis are not up to the challenge, Sunday Aryang has been a revelation this season while Olivia Lewis has shown she is no slouch down back.

Collingwood Magpies v. Melbourne Vixens
Saturday, 12 August

Having not played each other since Round 1, a lot has changed with the Magpies losing a couple of integral members through the midcourt in Madi and Kelsey Browne while the Vixens have really kicked into gear. The Vixens hold a firm grip on top spot while the Magpies languish down the bottom of the table, however that will not stop either side from putting on a show given their crosstown rivalry.

There is no denying that the combination between Mwai Kumwenda and Caitlin Thwaites has developed at a rate of knots in 2020 with the two effortlessly pairing in the goal circle while the injection of Tegan Philip’s speed can slice a game right open. Geva Mentor has been a consistent factor for Collingwood down back as Jodi-Ann Ward powers through in goal defence out the front. The Magpies will be hoping to find an answer in the form of Mel Bragg to shut down Liz Watson with the wing attack in hot form and often setting up the attacking forays for the Vixens. Partner in crime Kate Moloney is another player Collingwood will hope to contain given her explosiveness and ability to break a game wide open, meaning the responsibility will land on either Kelly Altmann or Molly Jovic to quell her influence through the middle.

Shimona Nelson has had a rocky 2020 season, often fading in and out of games which is an area she will be hoping to rectify while Gabby Sinclair has proven more than once she is up to the challenge especially when it comes to the super shot. Emma Ryde has also been a good impact player for the Pies however the Vixens have an extremely cohesive defensive unit, even if Emily Mannix is missing, with Simone McKinnis able to shuffle the cards between Kate Eddy, Jo Weston, Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Allie Smith.

Sunshine Coast Lightning v. Queensland Firebirds
Sunday, 13 August

The Lightning have struggled to generate their usual dominance this season and are coming off another heavy loss at the hands of the Fever. On the other hand, the Firebirds have found their groove and confidence making for an intriguing battle between the two Queensland sides.

With a new sense of confidence in the goal circle Romelda Aiken has elevated her game in 2020, holding strong under the post and dominating the airwaves allowing Tippah Dwan to be a menace out the front. Dwan has proven she is no slouch consistently tearing games apart with her two point shooting, something the Lightning defenders will have to be acutely aware of if they are to stop the Firebirds in their tracks. Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni are no easy beats, however Maweni gives away close to 10 centimetres meaning it will take a full court defensive effort from the likes of Laura Langman and the rotating wing defence’s Maddy McAuliffe and Jacqui Russell if they are to stop the ball from getting down to the inform shooter.

The Firebirds have a wealth of midcourt options and have proven they are not afraid to use the bench with Macy Gardner, Mahalia Cassidy, Lara Dunkley and Jemma Mi Mi all viable options through the centre. The Lightning on the other end tend to stick to a consistent line-up with the most changes coming in the shooting circle between Cara Koenen, Steph Wood and Peace Proscovia. Koenen has really come into her own this season however the hesitancy on the release into her under the post could play into the hands of the ball hungry Firebirds defensive unit in Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe. Pair that with their physical nature and it could upset the Lightning in attack while Gabi Simpson’s work off the ball will be integral in nullifying the impact of Laura Scherian around circle edge to limit the Lightnings’ chance of scoring.

Adelaide Thunderbirds v. GIANTS Netball
Sunday, 13 August

The final game of the round sees an intense battle between two sides hoping to keep their finals hopes alive. Adelaide and the GIANTS are evenly poised across the court and sitting just outside the top four know just how much a win means if they are to cause headaches come the pointy end of the season.

There is no denying that Georgie Horjus has been a revelation in season 2020 with her ability to sink super shots often keeping her side in touch while the connection between her and Lenize Potgieter continuously gets better. The ball placement and movement from Chelsea Pitman and Maisie Nankivell is crucial to the Thunderbirds meaning it will be up to the midcourt duo of Amy Parmenter – if she returns after missing Round 11 – and Jamie-Lee Price to shut down her drive in attack. However Kristiana Manu’a proved she is also a viable option out in wing defence if needed given the defensive capability of Matilda McDonell, Sam Poolman and April Brandley, all able to rotate through circle defence.

Shamera Sterling is a menace in the air, able to consistently win ball back for her side while Layla Guscoth, Shadine van der Merwe and Kate Shimmin are dogged in defence making for an exciting battle between the rotating GIANTS shooting trio of Kiera Austin, Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett, with the latter hoping to secure some regular court time.