Tag: Erin Burger

Memorable Matches: South Africa defeat Jamaica – NWC 2019

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look at memorable matches in world netball history. Next up is South Africa SPAR Proteas’ stellar three goal victory over Jamaica at the 2019 Netball World Cup. Then world number two nation, Jamaica lost to the Spar Proteas for only the third time, seeing South Africa top Pool C heading into the preliminary rounds.

It was a spectacular start that kept the Proteas ahead from the get-go, limiting every opportunity the Sunshine Girls had to get goals and the board and forcing plenty of errors. While Jamaica has a wealth of talent bookending the court, where they lack some star-power is through the midcourt which is where they were well and truly beaten by South Africa.

The first half went all the way of the South Africans, leading by more than 10 goals at the main change. While it was partially down to the impressive scoreboard pressure the Proteas applied, full credit had to go to the defensive efforts of Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni, with the pair denying every opportunity into the goal circle. Where Jhaniele Fowler is a major target at the post for Jamaica, Maweni well and truly shut her down while Pretorius kept the likes of Shanice Beckford away from her range.

Pretorius racked up three intercepts and four gains throughout. A real workhorse through the middle of the court, Erin Burger impressed with her ability to impact on and off the ball and propel the play forward, with Bongi Msomi doing what she does best in attack, running laps around her opposition to hand ball on a silver platter to Lenize Potgieter, who shot 19 goals alone in the first half – only two less than the Sunshine Girls did overall. 

But while the first half was all down to South Africa, Jamaica came out flying to well and truly outscore the Proteas in the second half. A massive 17 goal to 10 third quarter allowed the Sunshine Girls to power their way back into the game, only down by four goals by the final change. Burger was well matched in the second half by Nicole Dixon in at centre, while Vangelle Williams did whatever was necessary to limit Msomi’s impact by blocking her every move – but racking up the penalties as she did so, collecting 16 penalties out at wing defence, only two and one less than respective goal keepers, Sterling (19) and Maweni (18). Khadijah Williams racked up the 21 goal assists to form a threatening combination with Beckford feeding into the circle, racking up 12 alone in the second half.

Where goal keeper Shamera Sterling had a messy first half she cleaned up her act later, only picking up the eight penalties in the second half to pull back the margin, but was not entirely able to limit Potgieter’s silky movement at the post. Sterling only picked up the two intercepts across the entire game, with South Africa aware of the goal keeper’s ability to pluck ball out of the air with ease and able to poke holes in the defensive play.

Fowler dominated at the post with ease in the second half, drawing penalties from the long-limbed Maweni and shooting 23 goals at 100 per cent accuracy to keep Jamaica in the game. It was South Africa’s dominant defensive effort that kept them afloat even when Jamaica came out flying in the second half, with five Proteas collecting an intercept to their name. Where the Proteas racked up elements of defensive pressure, they also kept down the penalties, maintaining the defensive without the physicality. 

The last quarter was neck and neck with neither side really able to grab the momentum, seeing the score see-saw as each team took advantage of their centre pass. But a vital turnover or two allowed South Africa to always stay one step ahead of Jamaica, never conceding a goal for the Sunshine Girls to take the lead. While the defensive pressure was what saw the game come down to the close margin in the end, the phenomenal scoreboard pressure applied by both goal shooters saw the game come down to the wire with little to separate the two stars.

Fowler missed just the one goal all match for 38 goals at 97 per cent accuracy, while Potgieter was just as solid with 36 from 39 attempts. Their respective goal attacks in Beckford and Maryka Holtzhausen were not quite as accurate, shooting at 74 and 66 per cent respectively, but it was their ability to evade their opposition and assist their goal shooter that allowed them both to still have an impact.

JAMAICA 9 | 12  | 17 | 12 (52)
SOUTH AFRICA 16 | 16 | 10 | 13 (55) 

STARTING SEVEN

Jamaica
GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Shanice Beckford
WA: Khadijah Williams
C: Nicole Dixon
WD: Vangelee Williams
GD: Stacian Facey
GK: Shamera Sterling

BENCH: Adean Thomas, Jodiann Ward, Romelda Aiken, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Rebekah Robinson
COACH: Marvette Anderson, Sasher-Gaye Henry

 

South Africa

GS: Lenize Potgieter
GA: Maryka Holtzhausen
WA: Bongiwe Msomi
C: Erin Burger
WD: Khanyisa Chawane
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Phumza Maweni

BENCH: Shadine van der Merwe, Sigi Burger, Izette Griesel, Renske Stoltz, Zanele Vimbela
COACH: Norma Plummer

SHOOTING STATS

Jamaica
Jhaniele Fowler 38/39
Shanice Beckford 14/19

South Africa
Lenize Potgieter 36/39
Maryka Holtzhausen 19/29

Netball fantasy teams: 1999 World Cup All-Stars v. 2015 World Cup All-Stars

OVER the years there have been some a-class players grace the court with them all coming together at the most coveted event in the netball calendar. With so many influential players from varying countries Draft Central has made a team from the 1999 World Cup and 2015 World Cup compiled of star players from the respective tournament.

1999 World Cup team:

GK: Liz Ellis (AUS)
GD: Kathryn Harby-Williams (AUS)
WD: Carissa Tombs (AUS)
C: Julie Seymour (NZL)
WA: Tracey Neville (ENG)
GA: Vicki Wilson (AUS)
GS: Irene Van Dyk (RSA)
BENCH: Sharelle McMahon (AUS), Nadine Bryan (JAM), Sonia Mkoloma (ENG)

Five different nations feature in the 1999 World Cup team with Australia holding a few extra places in the squad after taking out the gold medal. It is no surprise that goal keeper Liz Ellis gets the nod with the Australian defender putting her best foot forward throughout the 1999 World Cup. Her court coverage is impressive with the 183cm defender able to swat away any balls that came her way and propel it back down the court. Joining partner in crime is Kathryn Harby-Williams with the goal defence impressing with her hands over pressure and ability to take a timely intercept thanks to her vision and anticipation.

In wing defence is Australian Diamonds representative Carissa Tombs. The centre court player knows how to block her opponent with her quick footwork and clever body positioning around the circle edge. Through the midcourt versatile Silver Fern, Julie Seymour takes out the centre position. Renowned for her defensive pressure and no-nonsense approach Seymour starred across the court and was more than capable to deliver perfectly weighted passes into the goalers. Tracey Neville could move between both wing attack and goal attack and given the star power throughout the 1999 World Cup found herself out in wing attack in this team. She is crafty with ball in hand and can find space with ease.

Moving into the circle it is headlined by none other than shooting sensation Irene Van Dyk. Although she is more renowned for her time with the Silver Ferns, Van Dyk took charge for the Spar Proteas in 1999 with the goaler able to slot them with ease. Her fancy footwork and accuracy to post is what makes her so hard to stop, able to command the ball and score truly. In at goal attack is Diamonds goaler Vicki Wilson who made her presence felt in the gold medal match with her attacking intent and desire to go to post.

On the bench is Sharelle McMahon who made her World Cup debut in 1999 and proved to be a key cog for the Diamonds attacking unit while Jamaican midcourter Nadine Bryan and England defender Sonia Mkoloma round out the team.

2015 World Cup team:

GK: Laura Geitz (AUS)
GD: Casey Kopua (NZL)
WD: Renae Ingles (AUS)
C: Laura Langman (NZL)
WA: Kim Green (AUS)
GA: Maria Folau (NZL)
GS: Mwai Kumwenda (MAL)
BENCH: Caitlin Bassett (AUS), Erin Burger (RSA), Geva Mentor (ENG)

The team is top heavy in Diamonds players, thanks to Australia taking out the gold medal at the World Cup and Silver Ferns notching up the runners-up trophy. Defensively the 2015 team is quite strong with former Australian Diamonds captain Laura Geitz taking out the goal keeper position given her dominance and impressive on-court leadership. Her ability to make something out of nothing and use her long limbs to get hands to ball made her simply unstoppable throughout the tournament. Joining her down back is Silver Ferns defender Casey Kopua with the goal defence well recognised for her intercepting skill and go-go gadget arms to pick off errant passes.

In the midcourt it is hard to go past the likes of Laura Langman with the talented centre able to run all day and all night. Her endurance base is second to none and is a real barometer for the Ferns with her gut running, impressive ball handling skills and sheer athleticism. The wing defence position goes to Renae Ingles with the quick footed defender able to cover the court with ease and use her speed off the mark to force turnovers. Moving into wing attack is Diamond Kim Green, the electric wing attack simply sliced through the defence with her pin point passes and impressive balance around the circle. Throw in her speed off the mark and dynamic change of direction and Green was an easy choice.

New Zealand specialty long bomb shooter Maria Folau impressed throughout the 2015 campaign with her cool, calm and collected mentality at the forefront of her game play. She is light on her feet and can sink them from anywhere in the circle such is her accuracy and range.  Malawian goal shooter, Mwai Kumwenda took the competition by storm with her accuracy to post and unconventional style of play. The flamboyant goaler showcased her aerial ability throughout the 2015 campaign starring time and time again with her strong hands and balance.

Rounding out the bench is current Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett while South African midcourter Erin Burger is also amongst the mix. The final spot on the bench goes to England Roses star and talented defender Geva Mentor.

Who would win?

Both sides are littered with a host impressive players that are renowned for their game changing abilities and dynamic movement and while it is difficult to decide which team would have more of a competitive edge the 2015 side has that extra touch of class. With stars on the bench the 2015 squad oozes depth and star power with each player able to burst onto the court and have a profound impact.

Netball World Cups 16 years apart, who wins?
1999 NWC All-Stars
2015 NWC All-Stars
Created with QuizMaker

Memorable Matches: 2019 Quad Series – South Africa defeats England ahead of Netball World Cup

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look back at memorable matches. Next up is the 2019 Quad Series match between South Africa and England, where the Proteas shocked the reigning Commonwealth champions, England Roses on their opponents’ home turf ahead of the Netball World Cup.

The three-goal victory stunned the Roses who went toe-to-toe early on but were ultimately outclassed by the Spar Proteas over the course of the match, which saw Player of the Match Karla Pretorius team up with Phumza Maweni to make life difficult in the goal circle. Pretorius’ four intercepts were crucial with the stalwart defender pushing the likes of Jo Harten and Helen Housby to the limit, while Shadine van der Merwe was crucial on circle edge racking up the five deflections. England’s goalers were uncharacteristically inaccurate, shooting at a combined 81 per cent for the match while Harten was well and truly kept away from her regular goal tally, unable to put up her usual volume thanks to the Proteas’ constant defensive pressure.

But while South Africa came away with the win, England maintained their class and cleanliness throughout, collecting 11 less penalties while they were at it and winning the second half – albeit by a single goal. It was the second quarter where the Roses lost control, only shooting 10 goals and allowing the Proteas to take the lead, with the defensive pressure of Geva Mentor and Eboni Usoro-Brown not entirely having the desired effect, leading to a change with returnee Layla Guscoth taking the court and playing out the match for three gains to Mentor’s four. But it wasn’t enough, with a solid partnership forming between Bongi Msomi and Erin Burger, seeing Burger use her gut running to constantly be a threat in centre while Msomi’s speed and feeding ability saw her collect 21 goal assists from 36 feeds, while her opposition in Jade Clarke collected two intercepts.

For the Proteas, Lenize Potgieter was the difference with her atypical – yet accurate – shooting technique accurate as ever, shooting 34 goals at 92 per cent. While England maintained some control in the second half, it seemed the second quarter had shaken the usually confident Roses, with the side ultimately unable to gain dominance and take a lead against the Proteas. Serena Guthrie was a good match for Burger through the midcourt but was moved back to control Msomi, while Chelsea Pitman racked up 18 goal assists from 29 feeds despite van de Merwe’s best efforts. But it was to no avail as the Proteas put themselves in good stead for the Netball World Cup with the 48-45 victory.

ENGLAND 13 | 10 | 11 | 11 (45)
SOUTH AFRICA 13 | 14 | 10 | 11 (48)

STARTING SEVENS

England

GS: Jo Harten
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Chelsea Pitman
C: Serena Guthrie
WD: Jade Clarke
GD: Eboni Usoro-Brown
GK: Geva Mentor

BENCH: Layla Guscoth, Rachel Dunn, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Razia Quashie, Fran Williams
COACH: Tracey Neville

South Africa

GS: Lenize Potgieter
GA: Maryka Holtzhausen
WA: Bongi Msomi
C: Erin Burger
WD: Shadine Van der Merwe
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Phumza Maweni

BENCH: Khanyisa Chawane, Rome Dreyer, Renske Stoltz, Ine-Mari Venter, Zanele Vimbela
COACH: Norma Plummer

SHOOTING STATS

England:
Helen Housby 27/32
Jo Harten 18/22

South Africa:
Lenize Potgieter 34/37
Maryka Holtzhausen 14/16

2020 Nations Cup: Breakout performances

THE Nations Cup brought plenty of excitement with each nation boasting very talented line-ups filled with a host of young up and coming prospects. We take a look at each country and identify one key player that made a name for themselves on the international stage throughout the competition.

England – Eleanor Cardwell (GS/GA)

In a new look line-up the talented goaler made a lasting imprint on the Roses outfit with her composure and skill. The typical goal shooter was forced out of her comfort zone throughout games, pulling on the goal attack bib and plying her trade in the attacking third. She showcased her versatility and netball nous to read the play and use her height to full effect. Cardwell was not afraid to go to post, backing herself from range and swinging the ball around the circle edge to reposition under the post. The shooter positioned cleverly to gobble up any rebounds that came her way and used her feet to hold space under the post. It was a real testament to her mindset, able to come on and have an impact when things were not going to plan and adapting her game play to suit the needs of the Roses. Her connection with fellow goaler George Fisher is one to watch for future years with the duo finding good space, while her work with Kadeen Corbin was also solid.

Jamaica – Nicole Dixon (C/WA)

Dixon was one of the most consistent players through the midcourt for the Sunshine Girls with the 24-year-old using her speed and light frame to evade opponents across the court. The talented midcourter found plenty of space in the attacking third, hitting the circle edge with pace and precision. She used a variety of passes to shake up her deliveries into the circle and grew with confidence throughout the Nations Cup. She backed herself in the contest, unfazed by the extensive experience of opposing midcourters and worked well with Khadijah Williams to identify the space and capitalise. Dixon racked up the centre pass receives, using her footwork and dynamism to win the ball and weave it down the court.

New Zealand – Maia Wilson (GS)

It was a real coming of age game for the 22-year-old goal shooter. Wilson has been up there in the past couple years using her height and strength to claim prime positioning under the post but this tournament gave her the podium to well and truly shine. Her footwork and accuracy under the post were key aspects to her game and she was unfazed by the physical presence of opposition defenders. Her connection with captain, Ameliaranne Ekenasio was impressive with the two rotating through the circle seamlessly while creating blocks and holds to create easy access to goal. Wilson went from strength to strength throughout the Nations Cup, showcasing her range in the goal circle and high netball IQ to consistently provide an option in the attacking third. Her output was high, posting up plenty of shots and most importantly capitalising on her opportunities. Wilson is definitely a player to watch in the future, finding her feet against some of the world’s best defenders and growing with confidence.

South Africa – Rome Dreyer (C/WA)

With Erin Burger retiring, the reins to the midcourt were up for grabs and Rome Dreyer put her hand up. The talented midcourt player upped the ante throughout the Nations Cup using her change of pace to have an impact across the court. Still developing her craft, Dreyer showcased both her defensive and attacking tendencies to win ball back for her side or deliver well-weighted passes into the circle. Although costly at times, the midcourter has plenty of potential and could become the key cog in the midcourt for the Spar Proteas in years to come.

2019 SSN season team review: Queensland Firebirds

IT was a relatively unsuccessful year for the Queensland Firebirds who only managed one win for the season and came agonisingly close in a couple of other match-ups, registering two draws. Despite the challenging season there are plenty of positives to come out of 2019, with some young up-and-coming players making their way through the ranks. The Firebirds were hit with injury after injury throughout their 2019 campaign, unable to get continuity in their game.

Position: 8th
Percentage: 89.17%
Win-loss: 1-2-11

Overview:

Mahalia Cassidy was ruled out early in the year, struck down with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and leaving the midcourt stocks relatively weaker before South African recruit Erin Burger made a much needed cameo. Burger worked tirelessly both in defence and attack during her time with the Firebirds, while an injury to Jamaican shooter Romelda Aiken saw the key player sidelined for a number of weeks. The injury prompted the signing of South African quick-fire goal shooter Lenize Potgieter who paired well with Gretel Tippett under the post. Despite being injured for parts of the season the combination between Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe steadily developed, with the two showing plenty of promise for future years. Captain Gabi Simpson controlled the defensive end using her experience and off the body marking to assist the two young defenders. The season also farewelled two netball greats in Caitlyn Nevins and Laura Clemesha, leaving some gaping holes in the 2020 squad.

Shining light:

Although it was a trying year for Queensland, Tippett stood tall in the attack end, making history with 100 consecutive national league goals and leading from the front. The unorthodox goal attack displayed her attacking flair, creativity and sheer athleticism week on week, single handedly dragging her side back into the contest time and time again. She was proved unstoppable when given the time and space to go about her business, both under the post and in the attacking third, while also showcasing her presence defensively with her three foot marking and physicality. Her ability to adapt to the rotation of goal shooters such as Aiken, Potgieter and Abigail Latu-Meafou was pivotal to the Firebirds, able to switch up her gameplay depending on what was required by her fellow goalers. Tippett was arguably in career best form this season, displaying all her attributes from her speed and strength to cleanliness with ball in hand and impressive vision.

2020 predictions:

It is fair to say that the Firebirds are in the rebuilding stage, but they have plenty of upside with coach Roselee Jencke backing the defensive duo of Jenner and Hinchliffe. With further exposure to the highest standard the two could form a formidable unit credit to their defensive pressure. Already known for their tenacity, intercepting ability and commitment to the contest, if they can hone in their untidiness and stay away from the whistle it could go a long way in helping the club reach further heights next year.

SSN: Possible trade options heading into 2020

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

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Adelaide Thunderbirds:

Beth Cobden
Maria Folau
Kelly Altmann
Chelsea Pitman
Layla Guscoth

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

GIANTS Netball:

Amy Parmenter
Kristiana Manu’a
Sam Poolman
Matilda McDonell

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

Collingwood Magpies:

April Brandley
Gabrielle Sinclair
Kim Ravaillion
Madi Browne

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

Melbourne Vixens:

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

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

NSW Swifts:

Kate Eddy
Sarah Klau

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

Queensland Firebirds:

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

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

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

Phumza Maweni
Karla Pretorius
Madeline McAuliffe
Jacqui Russell
Laura Langman

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

West Coast Fever:

Kaylia Stanton

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

GIANTS overrun winless Firebirds

GIANTS Netball have held off a gallant Queensland Firebirds in a high intense and physical game to maintain fourth spot in the Suncorp Super Netball thanks to a six-goal win. Neither side was willing to take a backwards step and bodies were flying everywhere throughout the four quarters, but in the end it was the GIANTS’ experience that shone through in the 63-57 win.

The Firebirds got off to a flyer claiming the first bonus point credit to their strong connection in attack and sheer desperation across the court. Gretel Tippett and Romelda Aiken put the GIANTS on notice with the two showcasing their skill, aerial ability and dynamic movement while also proving accuracy was no issue. But that flow was quickly halted with Tippett copping a stray elbow to the nose forcing her from the court and causing a stop in play. The goal attack had blood streaming from her nose and all over the court sending club doctors into overdrive. Once the court was cleaned, Tippett was replaced by Abigail Latu-Meafou who slotted in seamlessly. Though not as tall and strong, Latu-Meafou found good space and held her own feeding the ball into Aiken time and time again. Up the other end, Jo Harten put on a masterclass for the GIANTS with the England international showcasing her range with 10 goals from 11 attempts. The goal attack well and truly outscored the Australian captain in the opening term with Caitlin Bassett only managing three goals. The Firebirds held a two-goal buffer heading into quarter time credit to their tenacity and daring ball movement.

Patched up and ready to head back onto the court Tippett continued her accurate ways nailing nine from nine and shouldering the load in attack. Both Jemma Mi Mi and Erin Burger lifted their intensity through attack feeding the ball into the shooters and creating good speed to fake the ball one way and then go the other. Burger was a real play maker in attack amassing five goal assists while also doing the defensive things well. The shooting load evened up for the GIANTS with Bassett commanding the ball under the post and using her smarts to get off the body of Laura Clemesha and find good space. Bassett did not miss a shot during the second term nailing seven straight while Jamie-Lee Price displayed her defensive pressure across the court with two deflections. Price really stood up in the second quarter varying her passes into Bassett and Harten while also providing strong leads to the top of the goal circle with five feeds. Wing defence, Amy Parmenter impressed with her hands over pressure, closing speed and read of the play to win the ball and force turnovers. The GIANTS did enough to wrestle back the momentum and forge ahead and secure their first bonus point but were still down by a goal heading into the main break.

The GIANTS came out with a point to prove piling on a whopping 21 goals their highest quarter score for the season thus far. Unhappy with the flow in attack, GIANTS coach Julie Fitzgerald brought on Kiera Austin. The wing attack replaced veteran Kim Green who was locked in a tight battle with Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson, with Simpson arguably winning the tussle. Austin made an immediate impact with eight feeds, five goal assists and a deflection highlighting her ability to come on and blow the game wide open. Defensively both Kristiana Manu’a and Sam Poolman upped the ante clogging up space and causing confusion. Poolman showcased good elevation and her quick footwork to get hands to ball picking up two gains, two intercepts and two deflections. Struggling to combat the GIANTS pressure Roselee Jencke brought on daughter Macy Gardner in centre who provided good speed while Caitlyn Nevins also made her way onto the court in wing attack. The battle between Kim Jenner and Harten steadily intensified with the two going toe to toe. The young Firebirds defender proved she was not afraid of the contest going out hunting and laying her body on the line but in doing so caught plenty of attention from the umpire with 11 penalties for the term. Clemesha worked tirelessly picking up two gains and two intercepts but it was not enough.

The Firebirds fought back in the final term to claim another bonus point but could not muster up enough to secure their first win of the season. Aiken lifter her load nailing 12 goals from 14 attempts while the swelling on Tippett’s face increased. The GIANTS oozed class and composure with ball in hand and all but secured their spot in the top four.

STARTING LINE-UP:

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS:

GS | Romelda Aiken
GA | Gretel Tippett
WA | Jemma Mi Mi
C | Erin Burger
WD | Gabi Simpson
GD | Kim Jenner
GK | Laura Clemesha

GIANTS NETBALL:

GS | Caitlin Bassett
GA | Jo Harten
WA | Kim Green
C | Jamie-Lee Price
WD | Amy Parmenter
GD | Kristiana Manu’a
GK | Sam Poolman

SSN Head to Head: Round 11

IN each round we will identify one key match-up, provide an in-depth analysis of both players and compare the two styles.

GWS GIANTS v. QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS

Jamie-Lee Price (C) v. Erin Burger (C)

The Queensland Firebirds are in desperate need of a win, coming close last week but sorely wanting to go one better this round. However, the GIANTS have been gaining nice momentum growing in stature with every game and with both players still coming off the World Cup this could be an intriguing battle.

Jamie-Lee Price has been in hot form recently, working hard across the court to ply her trade and use her defensive mindset to pick off errant passes. The Australian Diamond has showcased her intent and tenacity to win ball across the court and apply strong physical pressure particularly down back to clog up space and cause confusion. With more time in centre this season, the 23-year-old has developed her attacking craft feeding the ball seamlessly into both Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett. Her bullet-like passes and variation in feeds makes her hard to stop while her strength to tussle for prime position on the circle edge is second to none. Though at times she can draw attention from the umpire, Price is a key cog through the midcourt for the GIANTS.

Though Erin Burger may not be the quickest player on the court, what she lacks in speed she makes up for in experience and intensity. The South African international has been an integral inclusion into the Firebirds side while her strong connection with fellow SPAR Protea Lenize Potgieter has been key. Burger has the confidence to feed the high ball into the likes of Gretel Tippett and Romelda Aiken while her clever passes and impressive footwork allows her to create space in the attacking third. Her defensive work is equally as impressive with her three-foot marking and ability to get timely tips credit to her desire to win ball back. The Firebirds relish Burger’s link-up through the midcourt and transition play to move the ball swiftly and while she has the tendency to throw away one or two passes she wins back her fair share of possession.

It will be a tight battle between the two centres with both Price and Burger possessing very similar game styles, but if Price can run Burger off her feet early it will go a long way in setting the GIANTS up to claim another win. Burger will have to contest every pass and shadow Price’s every move if she is to spur the Firebirds into attack.

Firebirds almost snatch victory from Lightning

A spirited fightback from the Queensland Firebirds fell short in a brave effort against finals-bound Sunshine Coast Lightning in the second Queensland derby of the season, losing 64-66. It was a relatively even match in the opening minutes with both sides going goal for goal before Sunshine Coast struck first going on a four-goal run to claim an early buffer and set the tone for the rest of the game.

The Lightning had a new look attacking end with Cara Koenen getting the nod at goal shooter ahead of Ugandan shooting sensation Peace Proscovia. Koenen proved a huge challenge in the goal circle with her impeccable footwork, strong holds and composure to take the hit and release the ball under pressure. Both Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner struggled to maintain and limit the opportunities of Koenen under the post who used her dynamic movement and aerial skill to create space in the circle slotting 11 goals straight in the term. Partner-in-crime Steph Wood, found her groove early on shooting from long range and sweeping across the circle to claim possession while also applying strong defensive pressure picking up a timely intercept. With the Lightning attacking end firing on all cylinders Queensland struggled to have the same fluidity with Lenize Potgieter well and truly covered by South African teammate Phumza Maweni. Potgieter only managed four goals from her five attempts with Gretel Tippett doing a wealth of work across the court to shoulder the load with nine goals at 100 percent.

After slotting a massive 18 goals in the first term the Lightning looked to build on their five goal lead with the Firebirds unable to stand up under the immense pressure. Lightning were strong across the court with Laura Langman and Laura Scherian dominating in the attacking third. The Silver Ferns gold medallist showcased her sheer class and endurance running rings around Erin Burger and delivering bullet passes into Koenen and Wood throughout the quarter. Her smooth movement and ability to transition from attack to defence impressed while Scherian stood up, working hard at the centre pass. With both Scherian and Langman finding good space on the circle edge it was near on impossible for the Firebirds to quell the influence of the goalers under the post who capitalised on their opportunities, only missing two goals for the opening half. The Firebirds put in the hard yards and reverted to their old ways bringing on fan favourite Romelda Aiken who made an immediate impact in the goal circle. The Jamaican goal shooter provided a commanding presence under the post with her height and athleticism unrivalled by Maweni and Karla Pretorius who lacked the extra centimetres. Hot off the World Cup, Aiken showcased her hot hand nailing 10 goals straight while the combination between her and Tippett started to cause headaches for the Lightning defence. Although it was an improved effort by Queensland, the Lightning were unfazed edging out to a seven-goal lead.

The third quarter proved hard for both sides with the ball bobbing up and down the court credit to the defensive pressure applied but with the Firebirds hoping to peg back the margin Roselee Jencke brought on experienced goal keeper Laura Clemesha. Though Koenen still found the net with ease converting 11 goals, Clemesha put in the hard yards working tirelessly to try and get around the body and apply good hands over pressure while her connection with Jenner steadily improved throughout the quarter. That was not the only change with Jemma Mi Mi coming on to replace Caitlyn Nevins who struggled to penetrate through the defence and find good feeding positions. Mi Mi injected good speed into the attacking end for the Firebirds with her quick hands and well weighted passes into Tippett and Aiken proving crucial to keep her side on level pegging with the Lightning. Both sides could not be split scoring 16 goals apiece with Koenen once again showcasing her dominance under the post.

In her hundredth national league game captain Gabi Simpson lifted her intensity to spur her side into action. Her athleticism and willingness to get hands to ball kept the Firebirds in it, with timely deflections while her drive through the midcourt saw her rack up two goal assists credit to her impressive vision and pin point passes. Proscovia made her way onto the court for the Lightning nailing three goals while Wood stepped up her game in the goal circle commanding the ball and shooting truly with eight goals from nine attempts. But the Firebirds gathered momentum and almost claimed the unthinkable going on multiple three and two goal runs credit to the lift in defensive pressure and quick transition down the court. The connection between Tippett and Aiken proved hard to stop once they got into a groove while Jencke’s daughter Macy Gardner made her Suncorp Super Netball debut and did not disappoint, immediately into the thick of things. The centre worked hard both ways and found good space to rack up seven feeds and four goal assists. But in the end it was too little, too late for the Firebirds who simply did not have enough time to conquer the Lightning.

STARTING LINE-UP:

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS:

GS | Lenize Potgieter
GA | Gretel Tippett
WA | Caitlyn Nevins
C | Erin Burger
WD | Gabi Simpson
GD | Kim Jenner
GK | Tara Hinchliffe

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING:

GS | Cara Koenen
GA | Steph Wood
WA | Laura Scherian
C | Laura Langman
WD | Madeline McAuliffe
GD | Karla Pretorius
GK | Phumza Maweni

NWC19: Day 11 – Silver Ferns claim remarkable one-goal victory over Diamonds

NEW Zealand has turned around a one-goal defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Australia to inflict that exact result on the Diamonds in the Netball World Cup final. The Silver Ferns had a shaky first few minutes, but once they settled into the game, were clearly the dominant team, maintaining possession and forcing turnovers. Australia racked up a massive 82 penalties to New Zealand’s 49, while the Silver Ferns had 57 per cent time in possession in what was a remarkable 52-51 victory in a game for the ages.

The defensive pressure from the Australians was noticeable early and it was the reigning champions who raced out to an early lead, 6-3 after a couple of crucial turnovers from the Silver Ferns. Just as New Zealand were on the attack following an Australian turnover, Jo Weston leaped high to grab a terrific intercept, and an end-to-end play finished with Caitlin Bassett securing her eighth goal in seven minutes. An uncharacteristically fumbly Maria Folau turned the ball over on the baseline to allow the Diamonds to transition down the court resulting in another goal to Bassett. But the work of Jane Watson to stand her ground in front of the Australian captain up the other end was telling, forcing a penalty and then turning a potential four-goal deficit into just three. Bassett was beginning to be called for a number of penalties on Watson, as the Silver Ferns got to within two goals and the pressure was at an all-time high. A loose pass from Jo Weston opened the door for the Silver Ferns as Australia became the side under the pump; the Diamonds margin cut to just one. Turnovers from Folau and Kelsey Browne – the latter a massive pass that missed Bassett by a good couple of feet indicated the speed of the game that was forcing mistakes from even the most talented players. Folau missed a long bomb she would normally gobble up, then another wobbly pass from Weston handed New Zealand back the ball and the Silver Ferns took full advantage with Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio capitalising to level the scores just before the final whistle for both sides. At the first break, Bassett was the dominant shooter with all her nine attempts going in, but picking up five penalties, while Folau and Ekenasio both had five from eight. Laura Langman was a rock of consistency in the midcourt, picking up six goal assists and 11 feeds in the opening term.

New Zealand opened the second term to hit the front for the first time after Ekenasio made good on her first attempt for the quarter following a Folau miss, while Steph Wood shot her second goal to settle Australia’s nerves. Folau’s normal accuracy was out the window early with just one goal from her first three attempts, as Ekenasio picked up an important rebound off a Folau miss to make sure the Silver Ferns scored the basket. Langman’s stunning form continued with the first four goal assists of the term, being the real difference on the court. The teams maintained their goal-for-goal nature despite Bassett missing a couple of shots in the first half of the term. Up the other end, Folau’s accuracy had returned as she used her body work to get closer to the post. A highlight-reel goal assist from Jamie-Lee Price with six minutes to go was impressive as the GIANTS Netball star went long from the midcourt straight to the uncontested Bassett who was under the post and made no mistake. But another couple of rare misses from Bassett saw the Diamonds shooter with nine from 13 as the time ticked into the final few minutes of the term, with Wood finishing perfectly with a nice long bomb to nail her third goal from as many attempts. The fierce defensive pressure that the Australians showed in the opening few minutes of the match seemed to have eased off as Folau and Ekenasio were starting to get some easy looks at the post, having nailed 15 consecutive goals without a miss. The Diamonds’ fears were made worse by a loose turnover by Browne resulting in New Zealand scoring back-to-back goals in the last minute and now holding an important 28-25 lead over their Trans-Tasman rivals. At the main break, it was the penalties column that had Australian fans frustrated, with the Diamonds recording 36-27, whilst also having 11 turnovers to the Silver Ferns’ seven. Bassett still had 20 goals to half-time despite her four misses, whilst Liz Watson was one of the few who stood up in the first half with eight goal assists from 14 feeds. Unfortunately her opposite centre Langman already had 12 goal assists from 20 feeds, while Ekenasio was efficient with 12 goals from 13 attempts.

The third term saw Gretel Tippett come on for Wood, with her first pass a turnover. But a Ferns error to Katrina Rore returned the ball back to Australian hands for Bassett to score. Up the other end, Sarah Klau replaced Courtney Bruce in goal keeper to see if the new defensive mix could yield results. But a turnover from Watson was not the ideal scenario for the Diamonds as Ekenasio again picked up a terrific rebound off a Folau long-bomb miss. Up the other end, Tippett slipped out of court for a second turnover and in the blink of an eye, the three-goal half-time lead was out to seven and slowly slipping away from the Australians as the Silver Ferns had five of the first six goals to hold a 33-26 advantage. A rare mistake into the circle from the Silver Ferns handed the Australians the ball, only for the leaders to win it straight back thanks to a deflection from Folau. The New Zealand shooter had overcome her early ball control issues to cause all sorts of headaches for Lisa Alexander’s defence, moving well around the circle and taking full control of the match against the inexperienced Klau. Australia was able to stem the bleeding to keep it at the seven-goal margin after that slow start to the term, but were not seemingly able to force a turnover with the Silver Ferns thinking their way through their possession. Noeline Taurua’s side was happy to keep possession, even going backwards and waiting for the right pass, and it proved effective as their slow but steady method restricted any unnecessary loose ball turnovers. The game was back on an even goal-for-goal keep as Tippett had overcome her early turnovers to nail five consecutive goals, while April Brandley’s inclusion at wing defence immediately had an impact up the defensive end with Weston picking up Australia’s first intercept for the quarter and then cutting the deficit to four with back-to-back goals. Australia forced another turnover in the last five seconds but the ball got to Bassett just a second too late as the whistle sounded before she could shoot with the Australians down, 37-41. Folau was dominant in the term with eight goals from nine attempts, while Watson managed to take back control in her one-on-one match-up with Langman, picking up eight goal assists to Langman’s four, but instead Gina Crampton stepped up for the Silver Ferns with seven goal assisted from nine feeds. It was hard to fault the New Zealand side as they were primed heading into the last 15 minutes with a solid lead and renowned as strong finishers – they almost stole the win off the Diamonds in the Preliminary Stage Two.

Neither side made any changes at the final break with the respective sevens returning to the court and Australia made a promising start with an intercept from Weston off a Crampton turnover leading to three consecutive goals and all of a sudden Australia was back to within a goal just 90 seconds into the final stanza. Folau settled her side’s nerves with her twenty-fifth goal of the night before Bassett made sure the silver Ferns knew they were up for a fight. Neither side had missed a shot in the first five minutes as both teams were happy to keep possession down the court. New Zealand forced Australia to blink first however with a missed pass seeing Kopua intercept at a crucial juncture in the contest and give the Silver Ferns some breathing space with Ekenasio nailing two consecutive goals to extend the lead back out to four with eight minutes to play. Folau looked to buy time in the circle and chew time off the clock, but her first miss of the quarter, and for almost 15 minutes saw Australia regain possession and score back-to-back goals through Bassett and cut the deficit back to a goal with six and a half minutes left. A nicely read intercept from Kopua off a Browne pass was quickly returned back to Australian hands as the experienced defender unluckily slipped out of court. A deflection by Tippett with four minutes remaining almost had the Diamonds fans up and about, but the Silver Ferns won it back and converted to maintain a two-goal advantage. The Diamonds kept pushing and refused to give in, but a turnover with three minutes was costly as Browne could not take the ball cleanly and all of a sudden, an end-to-end play leading in an Ekenasio goal put the visitors back out to the three-goal advantage. As if the tale was always going to have another twist, Australia turned the ball over and Tippett converted back-to-back goals and it was one goal the margin with 90 seconds remaining and the heart rate of everyone both at the arena and at home was sky high. Ekenasio held her nerve to slot the goal with a minute remaining, as did Bassett up the other end, but it was New Zealand who just had to maintain possession for another 40 seconds holding the one-goal lead. The Ferns raced it back to defence to try and play keepings off which they did and rejoiced with a remarkable one-goal win to take out the title, 52-51.

Folau (28 goals from 35 attempts) and Ekenasio (24 from 26) proved a formidable goal shooting combination, with Langman 20 goal assists from 38 feeds and Crampton (16 from 28) the dominant payers in the midcourt. Kopua and Watson both had two intercepts in the defensive circle, while Rore finished with an intercept and a deflection gain. For Australia, Bassett shot 35 goals from 40 attempts, with Tippett sinking all 11 of her attempts. Watson was the most prolific Australian on the court with 21 goal assists from 30 feeds, while Browne had 17 from 24. Weston overcame some first quarter mistakes to not turn it over in the remaining three terms and picked up three intercepts and two rebounds, while Wood scored five goals from six attempts in the first half, as well as eight goal assists from 11 feeds. Overall it was New Zealand’s cohesion down the court and not having a weakness with Taurua not needing to make a change on the way to the Silver Ferns celebrating the victory, and the latest Netball World Cup title.

AUSTRALIA 10 | 15 | 12 | 14 (51)
NEW ZEALAND 10 | 18 | 13 | 11 (52)

STARTING LINE-UPS:

Australia:

GS | Caitlin Bassett
GA | Steph Wood
WA | Kelsey Browne
C | Liz Watson
WD | Jamie-Lee Price
GD | Jo Weston
GK | Courtney Bruce

New Zealand:

GS | Maria Folau
GA | Ameliaranne Ekenasio
WA | Gina Crampton
C | Laura Langman
WD | Katrina Rore
GD | Casey Kopua
GK | Jane Watson

BRONZE MEDAL: ENGLAND (58) defeated SOUTH AFRICA (42)

It might not have been the colour they wanted coming into the tournament, but England was able to celebrate winning a medal on home soil at the 2019 Netball World Cup. The Roses took home the Bronze Medal after a dominant 16-goal win over South Africa, their second victory over the SPAR Proteas at the tournament. They had to fight for an early lead to head into the first break two goals up, then went from strength-to-strength from there, extending the lead at each break to eventually run out fairly comfortable winners, 58-42. Helen Housby was dominant in the circle, nailing all her 29 attempts as she picked up nine goal assists from 11 feeds as well. Her partner-in-crime Jo Harten also scored 29 goals, from 34 attempts, while Serena Guthrie was back to her best with 22 goal assists from 29 feeds, as well as an intercept and a deflection. Natalie Haythornthwaite also caused headaches for the opposition, recording 19 goal assists from 30 feeds and 24 centre pass receives, whilst in defence, Geva Mentor was unstoppable under the post with a massive six rebounds, four deflections and one intercept. For the SPAR Proteas, Lenize Potgieter shot 28 goals from 32 attempts, while Maryka Holtzhausen was rather inaccurate with just 12 from 20 on the night, although she recorded nine goal assists from 11 feeds. Erin Burger was busy in the midcourt with 13 goal assists from 29 feeds, while Shadine Van der Merwe had seven deflections in the defensive half. Karla Pretorius picked up two intercepts, four deflections and a rebound to do all she could for her side.

5TH PLACE: JAMAICA (68) defeated MALAWI (50)

A dominant performance from high volume shooter Jhaniele Fowler helped Jamaica to a 68-50 win over Malawi to claim fifth spot at the 2019 Netball World Cup. The Sunshine Girls rounded out a strong carnival, only dropping two games and having the final game in control throughout to win each of the four quarters on their way to an 18-goal win. They led early racing to a 20-13 quarter time lead and whilst they were pushed through the middle part of the game, ran away in the final term to assure themselves of an impressive victory. Fowler posted a massive 53 goals from 54 attempts, while Romelda Aiken had eight from 12 as the next highest scorer. Nicole Dixon was the creative playmaker for the Sunshine Girls, picking up 28 goal assists from 40 feeds and also having a couple of deflections, while Khadijah Williams had 13 goal assists from 19 feeds. In defence, Kadie-Ann Dehaney picked up an intercept and a rebound along with five deflections, as Jodi-Ann Ward had three rebounds, an intercept and a deflection for the winners. For the Queens, Jane Chimaliro scored 25 goals from 33 attempts, also recording two intercepts and a rebound, while Joyce Mvula posted up 23 goals from 29 attempts. Takondwa Lwazi had 22 goal assists from 48 feeds, as well as an impressive four intercepts and two deflections through the midcourt, working hard with Thandie Galleta (17 goal assists, 35 feeds).

7TH PLACE: ZIMBABWE (47) defeated by UGANDA (58)

Uganda has reasserted its dominance over fellow African qualifier, Zimbabwe with an 11-goal win to claim seventh spot at the 2019 Netball World Cup. Uganda lead from the start to open up a nine-goal lead by the main break before the Gems wrestled back momentum to cut the deficit to eight by the final break. The She Cranes then regained the momentum to run out the game 13-10 in the final quarter and record ad 58-47 victory. Stella Oyella was accurate at the post for the winners, putting up 16 goals from 17 attempts, whilst having 12 goal assists and 20 feeds, teaming well with Peace Proscovia (27 goals from 33 attempts) and Mary Cholock (15 from 18) in the goal circle. Ruth Meeme was also prolific with a game-high 16 goal assists from her 19 feeds as well as two intercepts, while up the other end, Muhayimina Namuwaya had three intercepts and a rebound. For the Gems, Joice Takaidza was the dominant scorer with 30 goals from 36 attempts, while Sharon Bwanali had nine from 10, also picking up 14 goal assists from 19 feeds. Felistus Kwangwa would go close to the biggest surprise packet of the tournament, picking up another two intercepts.