Tag: Gabby Sinclair

Opinion: Which teams in the SSN will benefit from the Super Shot?

IN light of the introduction of the Suncorp Super Netball “Super Shot” Draft Central casts an eye over which team will benefit from the new rule and which teams may struggle. The Super Shot allows goalers in the last five minutes of each quarter to earn double the points if they can sink them from beyond the designated 3 metre arc. 

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

The new attacking end will have their work cut out for them this season boasting a very different line-up to last year. Headlined by Lenize Potgieter the Thunderbirds will be relying on the South African shooting sensation to lead the way under the post. The Tbirds could be disadvantaged with the new rule given Potgieter, Samantha Gooden and Charlee Hodges do most of their damage from close to the post. However the possible return of Sasha Glasgow could provide some relief with the goal shooter confident from range. The Thunderbirds would be wishing that the Super Shot rule was introduced last year with the now retired, long bomb specialist Maria Folau at their disposal. 

Collingwood Magpies:

Relying heavily on Shimona Nelson under the post the Magpies may have a difficult 2020 season given the close range in which the goal shooter does her damage. Nelson came along in leaps and bounds in season 2019 and will be looking to elevate her game once again this season and will more than likely be the spearhead for the Magpies attack end. Newbie Julia Woolley has proven at Victoria Netball League (VNL) level that she can shoot from anywhere and could be a key prospect for the Magpies when it comes to the Super Shot. Although more comfortable on the mid-range shot, Woolley can shoot from the perimeter while Gabby Sinclair is also another possibility to wreak havoc in the final five minutes of the quarter. 

GIANTS Netball:

It will be a good combination of long bomb and close range shooting with the two GIANTS goalers possessing very different styles. Although both renowned for their holding style of play, England Roses goaler Jo Harten is accustomed to the long bomb, able to rock back on the shot and score. Able to shoot from both under the post and perimeter it will be up to Harten to deliver from further out in the final five minutes of the quarter to try and give the GIANTS that competitive edge. While Caitlin Bassett is dominant under the post, able to put up a wealth of shots she does not venture far out from her comfort zone meaning the Super Shot scoring will lie heavily on Harten and potentially youngster Kiera Austin. Although Austin does not get a wealth of court time in the goal circle she has proven that she can come on and have an impact with her ability to back herself from mid-range. 

Melbourne Vixens:

Renowned for their long bomb shooting thanks to the likes of Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip the Melbourne Vixens are in good stead with the introduction of the Super Shot. Both goalers have continuously proven that they can shoot from just about anywhere in the circle with their composure and skill on constant display. Thwaites while strong under the post is equally as damaging from close to the perimeter and while Philip is more commonly known for her baseline drives and mid-range shots she is not afraid to back herself from range, making the Vixens a real threat in 2020. Although Malawian goal shooter, Mwai Kumwenda is not known for her long range shooting she can rely on the likes of Thwaites and Philip to steer the ship from distance and can focus on delivering from under the post.  

NSW Swifts:

Another team in a strong position with the new rule is the Swifts with England Roses goal attack Helen Housby a commanding presence close to circle edge. Although more comfortable with her mid-range shooting, Housby can sink them from distance and deliver, potentially making her the go to girl in the latter half of the quarters. Sophie Garbin is another option that can shoot from further out and while it is not her go to shot, her ability to stand up and deliver could make her an interesting prospect for the Swifts in the dying minutes of the quarter. Trinidad and Tobago goal shooter Sam Wallace is renowned for her skill and strength directly under the post but may have to look at broadening her range to suit the SSN rule change. 

Queensland Firebirds:

There is no denying that the Firebirds game plan centres around Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta who are both recognised for their close range shooting. Aiken is arguably one of the most formidable goal shooters in the competition with her aerial presence, long splits and high volume of shots. The only downside being the majority of her goals come from directly under the post, placing a wealth of pressure on the Firebirds attack unit to generate more scoring opportunities. Coming from a basketball background Bueta is used to shooting from distance but on the netball court the dynamic goaler opts to edge closer to the post. Although she has proven over time that she can convert from further out many are used to Bueta doing the most damage from a metre or so under the post. The inclusion of Ine-Mari Venter may provide that element of long range shooting that could benefit the Firebirds when it comes to converting on the Super Shot. 

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

After a breakout season last year Cara Koenen will be hoping to go even bigger this season to really leave a mark on the competition. While she is most comfortable under the post and does most of her scoring from there, the Sunshine Coast local can shoot from mid-range, making her a viable option when it comes to the two point shot. However, the Lightning are well placed having the likes of Australian Diamonds goaler Steph Wood who is able to carry the load when it comes to shooting from further out. Wood is no slouch in the goal circle, able to shoot from just about anywhere and use her turn of speed to receive the ball and goal. Rounding out the shooting options for the Lightning is Ugandan goaler Peace Proscovia, while typically known for her holding role under the post, she might have to get on the move more in 2020 to create additional scoring chances.

West Coast Fever:

With Jhaniele Fowler the go-to-girl, West Coast might have to shake-up their game plan for the 2020 season in order to benefit from the Super Shot. The towering goal shooter is prominent under the post able to shoot quickly, accurately and at a high volume. But with most of Fever’s goals coming from within a metre or so of the ring, the Fever might have to look to Alice Teague-Neeld and Kaylia Stanton more often to capitalise on the two point shot. Stanton can shoot from further out  while Teague-Neeld hardly puts up a shot instead proving to be a playmaker in the attacking third with her quick hands and vision into the circle. While accuracy can be an issue for both Stanton and Teague-Neeld at times the new rule could cause a few headaches for the Fever in 2020 with the team in green potentially forced to stray from their usual game play of turn and deliver to Fowler under the post.

2020 SSN: Season preview – Collingwood Magpies

AFTER an extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season is set to commence on August 1. Draft Central takes a look at each team, with Collingwood Magpies up next on the list. 

Coach: Rob Wright
Captain: Geva Mentor and Madi Browne
2019 finish: 4th

The Magpies had a strange 2019 season, racking up seven wins and two draws. The side found plenty of purchase through the middle of the season and had a stellar patch to finish, making the finals thanks to a magnificent win against the Vixens in the last round, before then falling to the Vixens in the first round of finals. Overall, the Magpies were a force to be reckoned with thanks to their ability to pull out unsuspecting wins but also lost a couple of matches with a lack of consistency and connection down the court and a couple of major injuries putting their season in doubt. With Madi Browne ruled out prior to the season beginning and Kelsey Browne bookending with the same injury towards the end of the season, the side was interrupted but their good patches were better than most and proved that they could make just about any combination work if they were on. Shimona Nelson impressed upon her move to Melbourne, while Nat Medhurst was a crucial cog in attack, playing almost a dual role in and around the goal circle thanks to her wealth of experience to hold up the circle at times.

2020 predictions/expectations:

Collingwood have an entirely new-look team in 2020, with three crucial players in Medhurst, April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion ruled out with pregnancy and midcourt star Ash Brazill out with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury acquired in February. But while the side has lost a wealth of experience, they have brought in some quality talent to replace them with Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward joining the defensive fray to bolster ranks with Geva Mentor and Matilda Garrett, while Gabby Sinclair and Mel Bragg return to the team for a second season, with Bragg elevated to be a permanent player in 2020. Molly Jovic and Julia Woolley also join the fray for the first time, with the duo both snatched up to provide another option in attack and Woolley an interesting selection to join the goal circle given her lack of experience in the elite pathways. The team will need to ensure its connections are on point if they are to challenge some of the top teams in 2020, especially given the new two goal Super Shot with some inexperienced players in the midst.

Key player to watch:

Nelson had a breakout season last year, increasing her volume and accuracy across the season and will have to do the same in 2020 given the loss of Medhurst in attack. While Medhurst did a wealth of work to get the ball to Nelson in 2019, plying her trade and helping the young goaler develop her craft, Nelson will be the go-to girl this season  but could really lack that backup goaler stepping up that she relied on to generate ball, meaning the Magpies could be in a lot of trouble if she cannot get easy access to the ball under the post. With an impressive aerial ability and accuracy, plus her ability to put pressure on the scoreboard and she will be a real player to watch this season. Her development was second to none last season but will need to step up once again this year as the experienced player at the post, and will want to continue her development to ensure she brings her strong hands from the get-go to be a consistent threat at the post.

Team list:

Madi Browne
Kelsey Browne
Geva Mentor
Gabby Sinclair
Matilda Garrett
Mel Bragg
Jodi-Ann Ward
Shimona Nelson
Julia Woolley
Molly Jovic
Kelly Altmann

What if… Kelsey and Madi Browne did not do their ACLs?

LAST season was shaping up to be the year of the Magpies in the Suncorp Super Netball after recruiting a wealth of A-list players. Fresh off back-to-back premierships, Lightning duo Geva Mentor and Kelsey Browne joined the black and white, while former Australian Diamond and West Coast Fever star Nat Medhurst was also among some of the key signings for the club. In the first pre-season tournament, Collingwood reigned supreme taking out the inaugural Team Girls Cup thanks to their slick ball movement, defensive strength and speed. But unfortunately, the tournament was marred by injury with co-captain Madi Browne succumbing to what was later revealed as a season ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Often criticised for having too many highly talented midcourters with both Madi and Kelsey Browne, along with Kim Ravaillion and Ash Brazill the Magpies were at a crossroads. Although it was hard to replace the co-captain on court, they made do with the skilled list they had shuffling players around and later bringing in the likes of Silver Ferns dynamite Kimiora Poi. But the injuries did not stop there with Kelsey Browne also rupturing her ACL in August that season, all but putting a dampener on their 2019 grand final hopes.

So what if Kelsey and Madi Browne did not do their ACL in season 2019? Would Collingwood have progressed into the next stage of finals?

It is fair to say that both Kelsey and Madi Browne are the heart and soul of the club often providing that spark both on and off the court with their flashy style of play and excitement. With Madi going down before the season officially started it put a clear strain on the Collingwood line-up with the side struggling to find their rhythm in attack. The classy wing attack oozes experience and is strong around the circle edge, something that the Magpies lacked at times. Her ability to move into centre and have an influence also allowed Collingwood to shake-up their midcourt and keep opponents on their toes, something they would have been hoping to have up their sleeve throughout the season. With new connections in the goal circle thanks to recruits Medhurst and Shimona Nelson it took some time for the feeders to adjust to their varying styles meaning the experience and presence of Madi Browne was sorely missed in the early stages. Although they have similar styles the speed of Kelsey Browne is what made her such an integral player for the Magpies, able to dart around the court and exploit even the tiniest spaces. She delivered the ball with confidence and precision a skill that would have been highly valued heading into the finals.

Towards the backend of the season the Magpies seemed to find some strong form trouncing crosstown rivals Melbourne Vixens by 11 goals in the final game of the home and away season to walk into finals. But when it came to D-Day Collingwood was all out of options missing the depth on the bench and reliability of both Browne sisters. There were changeups across the court with wing defence come centre Brazill announcing herself as a real powerhouse with her athleticism and endurance and while she along with Poi and Ravaillion worked gallantly it was clear that there was a piece missing in the jigsaw puzzle. Gabby Sinclair often found herself out in wing attack to provide another option out the front while training partner Kelsie Rainbow was elevated to add to the midcourt stocks.

Given the fact that both Kelsey and Madi Browne offer such unique talent, speed and netball understanding an assumption could be made that Collingwood could have gone one further if not all the way had they not been affected by injury from the very beginning of the season.

Suncorp Team Girls Cup back for 2020

THE pre-season Suncorp Team Girls Cup will return in 2020 with Sydney set to play host for the three-day tournament spanning from the March 27-29. All eight teams will participate in the event in hope to iron out any on-court issues and work on connections across the court ahead of their official start to the season in May.

The newly refurbished Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney will host the round robin event with the top team from each pool set to face off in the grand final on the last day of action. The Arena will be the new home for both the New South Wales Swifts and Giants in 2020 so a couple of early wins could create a real fortress for them.

Last year brought plenty of excitement with a wealth of world class talent on display throughout the tournament, giving fans a precursor to what to expect in 2019 and with new players entering the league in 2020 expect a similar spectacle. The official schedule will be released late in the week detailing which pool teams are in and the order of games.

The Collingwood Magpies will be looking to defend their inaugural title after knocking off cross-town rivals in the grand final last year. But will also being hoping to come through the pre-season tournament unscathed after losing co-captain Madi Browne to an ACL injury in the same tournament last year.

The Team Girls Cup last year saw the likes of Cara Koenen and Sophie Garbin stand up under pressure while the likes of Mel Bragg and Gabby Sinclair both put their name on the map in Collingwood’s win. This is a great opportunity for training partners and young up and coming players to prove themselves on the big stage. It also gave an insight into team styles whether it be more defensive or attacking while allowing players to wade through strategies.

New Zealand Super Club: Semi-finals preview

WITH bragging rights on the line in the semi-finals of the New Zealand Super Club, expect all four teams to come out with a real fire in the belly and intensity. The Magpies are the only international invitee to make the cut after not dropping a game throughout the tournament while the Pulse, Magic and Mystics all represent the ANZ Premiership.

Collingwood Magpies v. Central Pulse

After going through the tournament undefeated the Magpies are set to face off against reigning ANZ Premiership champions, Central Pulse in the first semi-final of the day. Both sides have a plethora of players who can spark their side into action making for a high intensity battle. Collingwood have dominated their previous matches and will be looking to replicate that form against the Pulse who have shown that they can be beaten if not on from the first whistle.

The main battle will be in the goal circle with the Pulse boasting a highly experienced and classy defence unit that can quite literally shut down any attacking forays from the Magpies. Jamaican goal shooter Shimona Nelson has aerial skills to boot but her hands when under pressure can be a bit shaky and with the likes of Katrina Rore, Kelly Jury although she is yet to take the court, Elle Temu and Karin Burger will have to be on the ball early. Burger and Rore have worked well together throughout the Super Club showcasing their defensive talent, ability to read the play and cover each other’s opponent with ease making it a challenging task for the Magpies. But they are not without some star power of the own in the likes of Nat Medhurst renowned for her ability to run the attack end thanks to her vision and understanding.

Collingwood should have the upper hand through the midcourt with the likes of Ash Brazill controlling the court with her speed and sheer athleticism. Gabby Sinclair also showed her versatility to switch out to wing attack and have an impact feeding the ball into Nelson and Medhurst while youngsters Ella Bayliss and Maggie Lind have stood up when called upon using their quick change of direction to penetrate the circle edge. The Pulse are littered with youth through the midcourt in the likes of Maddy Gordon, Renee Savai’inaea and Paris Lokotui and while they have plenty of talent may struggle to match it with the Magpies. Claire Kersten however, will be a key cog for the Pulse and will have to carry a heavy workload to feed the ball into the shooters.

In the goal circle the Pulse have a wealth of talent with tall timber Aliyah Dunn a commanding presence under the post and able to hold strong. She can get on the move when needed and pairs well with the likes of goal attack, Ameliaranne Ekenasio who is renowned for her strong baseline drives, accuracy and sweeping action across the top of the circle. Tiana Metuarau is another handy option in the circle for Pulse able to come on and have an impact with her timing and skill. But Collingwood have showed they have a wealth of defensive stars with Geva Mentor able to read the play and pick off incoming passes while Matilda Garrett has taken her game to the next level with Mel Bragg showcasing her class switching between wing defence and circle defence.

 

Northern Mystics v. Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic

Despite both sides not featuring in the ANZ Premiership finals, some off-season recruits and change ups has seen them put out strong performances and finish second in their respective pools. The battle between the Mystics and Magic will be an interesting one with both sides not willing to give an inch, however the key difference will be the shooting circle.

The Magic have fiddled with their starting shooting combination with the likes of Georgia Marshall and Abigail Latu-Meafou rotating through the circle while Kelsey McPhee often held down the fort and led the way with her strong movement, accuracy to post and positioning. With a mix of youth and experience the Mystics defenders in Sulu Fitzpatrick and Phoenix Karaka will have their work cut out for them. Fitzpatrick can contest the ball in the air thanks to her leap and athleticism while Karaka and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson are renowned for their smothering pressure.

Through the midcourt Whitney Souness, Ariana Cable-Dixon and Sam Sinclair have all combined to be a formidable force and move the ball through each third. Souness has not skipped a beat since switching to the Magic and will be aiming to keep that form up throughout the semi-final while Sinclair has showed her versatility to move between wing defence and centre. Emma Iversen, Tayla Earle and Elisapeta Toeava have also been key for the Mystics delivering carefully crafted passes into the circle.

Goal shooter, Grace Nweke has continued to be a revelation for the Mystics using her height, strength and general netball awareness to punish opponents. She can outmuscle most opponents while her positioning under the post is strong. Despite Nweke doing a bulk of scoring the likes of Bailey Mes and Saviour Tui do a wealth of work out the front and can hit the scoreboard.  The Magic lost Jury over the off-season however have not looked out of place relying on their young guns to carry the load. Holly Fowler has been a valuable pick up pairing well with the likes of Jenna O’Sullivan and Georgia Tong. But this could be one area in which the Mystics could exploit given their lack of experience.

New Zealand Super Club wrap: Day 1

DAY 1 of the New Zealand Super Club tournament saw some surprise losses and the rise of young stars putting their name on the international netball map. The Magpies got their campaign off to a hot start in the first game of the series while fellow international invitees the Wasps did not have the same fortune going down to the Steel. ANZ Premiership champions, Central Pulse dropped their opening match, with the Northern Mystics getting the wood over competition favourites early.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (33) defeated by Collingwood Magpies (52)

Collingwood led from the get-go all but doubling their opponents score in the opening quarter and did not let up for the remainder of the game. The Magic failed to combat the Magpies star-power in Geva Mentor who notched up seven gains, one intercept and five rebounds clearly denying any easy access into the circle for her opposition goalers. The addition of Brooke Allan brought plenty of spark to the Collingwood line-up, while goal defence Matilda Garrett staked her claim with a strong performance against the likes of Abigail Latu-Meafou picking up three gains, one intercept and six deflections. The Magic struggled to find a way forward credit to the Magpies strong defensive wall with Latu-Meafou only converting 11 goals from 16 attempts while partners-in-crime Kelsey McPhee (12 from 18 attempts) and Georgia Marshall (10 from 12) could not post a high enough total to keep in touch with their opposition. It was a clinical performance by the Magpies who were led by goal shooter Shimona Nelson who nailed 41 goals from 44 attempts at 93 per cent efficiency, while Gabby Sinclair played a nice cameo role with nine goals from 12 attempts. After making the switch from premiership winning side Pulse, Whitney Souness found her feet through the midcourt pairing well with Ariana Cable-Dixon and Sam Sinclair but it was not enough to get her side the win against a relatively full-strength Collingwood line-up.

Southern Steel (50) defeated Wasps Netball (36)

From the first whistle, the Steel had a point to prove racing out of the gates and scoring with ease able to transition from defence to attack in seconds. The Steel had no issues exploiting the gaps and capitalising on any turnover ball against Vitality Netball Super League team, Wasps in what was a convincing performance throughout. Despite boasting a highly experienced team with some key players, the Wasps struggled to make inroads against a dominant Steel team that would simply not give up led by the likes of Jennifer O’Connell in the goal circle with a team high 24 goals from 26 attempts at 92 per cent efficiency. Fellow shooter Kalifa McCollin followed that same vein of form only missing one of her 15 attempts while Georgia Heffernan also hit the scoreboard but not with the same accuracy nailing 12 goals from 19 attempts. Shannon Saunders and Gina Crampton were up to their usual tricks through the midcourt slicing through the opposition defence and hitting the circle edge with ease. For the Wasps Jade Clarke stood tall switching between wing attack and centre, using her signature ball movement to penetrate the goal circle and create attacking forays with Roses goaler Rachel Dunn on the end of most deliveries thanks to her clever positioning. Dunn made the most of her opportunities under the post sitting at 88 per cent accuracy, with 29 goals to her name from 33 attempts.

Central Pulse (39) defeated by Northern Mystics (49)

The Northern Mystics had a point to prove and they well and truly proved it thanks to young gun and star goal shooter Grace Nweke who put on a clinic under the post. Nweke singlehandedly sliced up the Pulse defence with her dynamic footwork, strong holds and aerial ability. She carried the load in the goal circle sinking 37 goals from her 44 attempts at 84 per cent efficiency, meanwhile Bailey Mes and Saviour Tui chipped in to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The attacking end seemed to have all the answers despite being up against an ‘A’ grade defensive unit of Katrina Rore and Karin Burger who are both renowned for their physicality and ability to hunt the ball while up and coming defender Elle Temu also got some valuable court time. Up against her old team, goal keeper, Sulu Fitzpatrick pulled out all the stops defensively to quell the influence of towering shooter Aaliyah Dunn. Fitzpatrick and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson worked well to confuse the space and get hands to the high ball coming in, amassing 10 gains, five intercepts and nine deflections collectively. Silver Ferns goal attack Ameliaranne Ekenasio did not make an appearance for the Pulse leaving the shooting load to Dunn who converted 36 goals from 34 attempts at 77 per cent and youngster Tiana Metuarau who did a wealth of work out the front but was a bit shaky on the shot sitting at 13 from 21 at 62 per cent.

Mainland Tactix (46) defeated Northern Stars (43)

It was a high intensity filled final game of the day with the Mainland Tactix prevailing by a mere three goals after trailing in the first quarter. The Tactix worked their way back into the contest to edge ahead when it counted with new recruit Te Paea Selby-Rickit combining well with Ellie Bird in the goal circle to cause havoc for the Stars defenders in Storm Purvis, Kate Burley and Oceane Maihi. Despite only being on for a half Purvis made her presence felt Bird used her commanding presence to receive the ball and capitalise scoring 23 goals from 28 attempts while Selby-Rickit notched up 15 goals from 19 attempts in her debut game. Temalisi Fakahokotau was stellar down in defence for the Tactix picking up four gains, one intercept and five deflections highlighting her defensive prowess and ability to stand up under pressure. The Stars had a heavy rotation of shooters with Juliana Naoupu, Vika Koloto, Jamie Hume and Maia Wilson all influencing the scoreboard with Wilson the biggest contributor with 17 goals from 21 attempts at 81 per cent efficiency. Hume made herself useful switching between goal attack and wing attack meanwhile youngster Mila Reuelu-Buchanan was influential through the midcourt using her speed and strong connection with Wilson to deliver well weighted passes into the circle. But the Stars fell away in the dying minutes of the game unable to maintain their early intensity.

2019 Australian Development Team & Squad

WITH a big season of international netball set to commence, the Australian Diamonds have released a Development Team and Squad consisting of 20 players. The side is dedicated to strengthening the Aussie stocks and fostering the talent of young up-and-coming players to become future Diamonds.

Experienced heads Gabi Simpson, Kate Moloney and Emily Mannix have all been named in the team after missing out on Constellation Cup selection. The trio are renowned for their hard work, endurance and craft in their respective positions and will provide plenty of composure and wisdom on the court given the youth and inexperience.

After a breakout season, it is no surprise Sunshine Coast Lightning versatile shooter Cara Koenen got the nod in the team. The 23-year-old played an integral role in the Lightning’s finals berth with her accuracy, clever footwork and strong holds all but cementing her spot in the starting side. Given her scope the training squad could be just the beginning and a stepping stone for the talented goaler who oozes composure and class. Teammate Maddy McAuliffe also got the call up with the wing defence plying her trade credit to her hands over pressure and tagging style of defence.

Despite of a lack of court time in 2019 through injury Matilda Garrett has been named in the Development Squad thanks to her defensive pressure while fellow Magpie Gabby Sinclair has also secured a spot. After coming in as a replacement player for Maddy Proud at the Swifts youngster Tayla Fraser has earned a spot in the squad with her dynamic movement and speed to boot a real feature of her game. Fellow Swift, Sophie Garbin also got the nod in the Development Team after an impressive season with her accuracy and strength on full display throughout the year. Other shooters such as Kiera Austin and Alice Teague-Neeld have also been selected with Austin renowned for her versatility, silky movement and general netball know how able to adapt to just about any situation on the court.

Queensland Firebirds defensive duo Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe also landed a spot in the Development Team with their hard work throughout the season well and truly recognised. Both Hincliffe and Jenner have plenty of class paired with tenacity and a desire to hunt any cross-court ball making them a promising combination. Teammate Jemma Mi Mi also caught the eye of selectors with her speed, agility and ability to stop on a dime.

The GIANTS are well represented with Kristiana Manu’a and Amy Parmenter both in the team, along with 28-year-old goal keeper Sam Poolman who was selected in the squad. Parmenter burst onto the scene this season with her speed off the mark, ability to read the play and skill to cover the court. West Coast Fever duo Jess Anstiss and Olivia Lewis will also be hoping to have an impact while Hannah Petty is the only representative from the Thunderbirds after having a solid season in the midcourt with her drives and speed.

2019 Australian Development Team
Jess Anstiss
Kiera Austin
Sophie Garbin
Tara Hinchliffe
Kim Jenner
Cara Koenen
Emily Mannix
Kristiana Manu’a
Maddy McAuliffe
Jemma Mi Mi
Kate Moloney
Amy Parmenter
Gabi Simpson
Alice Teague-Neeld

2019 Australian Development Squad
Tayla Fraser
Matilda Garrett
Olivia Lewis
Hannah Petty
Sam Poolman
Gabby Sinclair

SSN Preview: Round 11

ROUND 11 of Suncorp Super Netball will see a battle of one and two take place, with the Sunshine Coast Lightning taking on the NSW Swifts in hope to claim top spot. Meanwhile the improving West Coast Fever take on the Melbourne Vixens who are in hot form while Collingwood will be hoping to make their way back into the top four.

MELBOURNE VIXENS v. WEST COAST FEVER

The Melbourne Vixens are going from strength to strength and will be wanting to put the West Coast Fever away, given last time they met neither side could be separated ending in a 63-all draw. Both sides match up relatively evenly across the court given the star power up both ends but the battle could be won in the midcourt with the Vixens oozing a more dominant and experienced line-up compared to the Fever. Renae Ingles has been in career best form with her defensive pressure and drive through the midcourt an integral part of the Vixens’ play. Liz Watson and Kate Moloney control the attacking third with their clever ball placement and speed, making for an interesting match-up against Jess Anstiss, Verity Charles and Ingrid Colyer. Meanwhile, Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip are near-on unstoppable under the post when on song. While Fever have no shortage of match winners themselves with Jhaniele Fowler a commanding figure under the post, Alice Teague-Neeld and Kaylia Stanton must stand up if West Coast are of any chance to claim a big scalp against one of the most in form sides in the competition. The Vixens have plenty of options in defence with Emily Mannix, Jo Weston and Kadie-Ann Dehaney all able to win ball back and apply good physical pressure to attack opposition hands and cause turnovers.

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING v. NSW SWIFTS

In a top of the ladder clash the Swifts will be seeking vengeance in the reverse fixture after going down to the Lightning by two goals early in the season. Having only lost to the Lightning this season the Swifts will want to notch up a win against Sunshine Coast before finals to give them that edge and belief. The Swifts announced a big name recruit this week with Katrina Rore set to come into the side as a permanent replacement player for Kate Eddy. The New Zealand Silver Fern will add great defensive pressure to an already star-studded line up with the likes of Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner impressive in their own right. Both sides play a very different style of netball with the Swifts renowned for their ability to treasure possession while the Lightning are more flashy with ball in hand, making for an exciting contest. Sunshine Coast defenders, Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni have been in red hot form picking up plenty of ball, causing all sorts of confusion in the goal circle and using their speed to pickpocket opponents. The combination between the pair is developing with each game while Laura Langman and Laura Scherian have really steered the ship in attack, delivering good ball into the likes of Steph Wood, Peace Proscovia and Cara Koenen. Youngster Tayla Fraser stood up for the Swifts last round and will be wanting to bring that strong form into this match-up while the Swifts have a plethora of options with the likes of Natalie Haythornthwaite and Elle Bennetts also able to come on and play their role.

GIANTS NETBALL v. QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS

The Firebirds got within striking distance last round only going down by two goals to the Lightning and will be hoping to continue that final quarter performance this round against the GIANTS. However, the GIANTS have built nicely into the season with all the little things falling into place with Caitlin Bassett and Jo Harten well and truly living up to the hype with their accuracy and volume to post. The last time these two sides met the GIANTS claimed an eight goal victory credit to their attacking prowess and netball smarts. The inexperienced Firebirds defensive duo of Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe will once again be tested up against Harten and Bassett while Laura Clemesha could provide a good sense of leadership if brought on. For the GIANTS, the combination between Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a has increased rapidly over the break with the two applying strong defensive pressure but will be tested athletically up against the likes of Romelda Aiken and Gretel Tippett. Both Tippett and Aiken are an imposing threat when on song given their clever shooter to shooter interplay, strong attack and aerial skill while Lenize Potgieter is also an option in the goal circle. Being the first and only game in Canberra for the season, the GIANTS will want to secure their fifth win of the season at their home away from home and stake a claim on the top four.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS v. COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES

After dropping out of the top four the Collingwood Magpies will be wanting to work their way back into finals contention while the Adelaide Thunderbirds have shown that they can stand up under the pressure staying in touch and pushing teams to their limits. The Magpies have won the past five encounters and will want to keep their hot streak running. The Thunderbirds will be hoping to regain gold medallist Maria Folau after she was a late omission last week. The goaler has plenty of class both under the post and out on the outskirts of the circle while partner in crime Sasha Glasgow has showcased her dominance in the attacking third with her strong leads and accuracy to post, finding plenty of the ball no matter her opposition. Defensively the Thunderbirds could struggle in the absence of co-captain and goal defence Layla Guscoth, with Kate Shimmin and Shadine Van De Merwe both feasible options to rotate through while Shamera Sterling must stand strong in goal keeper if they are to stop Collingwood. For the Magpies, Gabby Sinclair could be a key member in attack with her accuracy to post and dynamic movement to aid Shimona Nelson at the post, a player who has come along in leaps and bounds throughout the season. The Magpies will hope Kelsey Browne bounces back to her regular form this week after a slow start last week.

GIANTS derail Magpies finals hopes

IN a milestone game for both clubs, it was GIANTS Netball that came away with the win against Collingwood Magpies, 63-56 to snatch fourth spot on the Suncorp Super Netball ladder. Both the GIANTS and Magpies welcomed back star players after competing in the World Cup with the likes of Geva Mentor, April Brandley, Jamie-Lee Price, Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett all making their way back into their respective sides.

Fan favourite Ash Brazill played her 100th game and did not leave any stone unturned pulling on the centre bib and using her athleticism to her full advantage. It was goal for goal early before the GIANTS broke free credit to Bassett stringing a couple of goals together creating a two-goal buffer. But the Magpies fought back with Mentor and Brandley working in overtime to cause confusion in the goal circle and pick up turnovers. Kim Ravaillion made her presence felt in wing defence picking up timely intercepts and blocking opponent Kim Green at every occasion with her speed and hands over pressure. Up the other end, Shimona Nelson showcased her impressive strength and aerial abilities to take the ball at full flight and turn and shoot. Harten continued her hot form under the post shooting from anywhere in the circle and backing herself time and time again to make the most of her opportunities. Meanwhile Diamond, Price found good space across the court to feed into Harten seamlessly. With both teams unable to gain any fluidity across the court the lead chopped and changed with both sides pulling away and edging out to a lead before the other challenged back to get onto level pegging. But it was the GIANTS that struck first claiming the first bonus point of the game.

With two goals in it, the Magpies upped the ante in defence to create pressure and confuse the space for the GIANTS attack end. Mentor and Brandley forced Bassett up high but it was not enough with the GIANTS well and truly kicking into gear right across the court. Bassett and Harten found good space in the circle and did not look like missing showcasing their composure and skill to work the ball around the circle edge. Both sides made changes with Kiera Austin replacing Kim Green showcasing her skill and ball placement to deliver well weighted passes into the goalers. Her dynamic movement and impressive timing allowed her to hit the circle edge with precision and cause all sorts of headaches for the Magpies defence end. Brazill shifted back into her traditional position working hard to try and cover the cuts and drives of Austin and with the defence end struggling to combat the offensive pressure applied, youngster Matilda Garrett made her way onto the court in hope to spark something for the Magpies but unfortunately it was to no avail. Kelsey Browne showcased her speed and athleticism commanding the ball in the attacking third and penetrating the circle edge time and time again before being taken off late in the second. With Browne benched, former Silver Fern Kimiora Poi was injected into the game in wing attack and used her clever ball movement and timing to feed into the circle but struggled to find that connection with Nelson and Nat Medhurst.

Down by 11 goals at half-time the Magpies had a point to prove and made a few changes in the attack end with Gabby Sinclair coming on for Medhurst. Sinclair had an immediate impact with her impressive vision and ability to turn and shoot. In her 50th game Kristiana Manu’a displayed her aerial skills and speed to get hands to ball and work her way into the game. The defensive connection between her and Sam Poolman grew throughout the match, pushing Nelson up high and contesting the hands at every opportunity winning back plenty of ball for the GIANTS. Brandley returned in goal defence with the combination between her Mentor proving more imposing but that was not enough to derail the GIANTS who were clinical across the court and did not allow the Magpies to get hands to ball with ease. Wing defence Amy Parmenter imposed herself on the game with her strong defensive pressure, quick feet and attacking intent to deny Browne any easy avenue to circle edge. The GIANTS piled on 18 goals in the third term while keeping Collingwood to 11 pushing the margin out to a whopping 18 goals at the final change.

Still struggling to find the winning combination, Garrett re-entered the game in goal defence with her extra height and speed working wonders for the Magpies. The Magpies forced a turnover in the opening minutes of the fourth term credit to the work of Mentor and went on a mini three-goal run to kick-start the term. Collingwood were not the only side to make changes with Green making her way from the bench into wing attack, while Austin moved into goal attack and Harten was rested on the bench. But with the changes in attack, the Magpies took full advantage with Mentor and Garrett capitalising and propelling the ball back down the court. Nelson stood up time and time again showing great control and athleticism to reign ball in while a tactical timeout midway through the final term saw Parmenter and Price switch positions. The Collingwood defensive unit really stood up in the fourth quarter working tirelessly to create turnovers, clog up space and read the play to get hands to ball. In the end the GIANTS claimed the win, but the Magpies proved that they have what it takes to work their way back into a game cutting down an 18-goal deficit to seven at full-time.

STARTING LINE-UP:

COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES

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

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

Lightning storm to victory over struggling Magpies

IN the first game of the round the Sunshine Coast Lightning well and truly turned the tables on their Round 1 opponents Collingwood Magpies, delivering a 23-point thumping. It was the lowest score ever recorded by the black and white in their short history, unable to control both the attacking and defensive prowess of Sunshine Coast. The Lightning put on a masterclass in the final quarter keeping the Magpies to a mere six goals while piling on 16 goals themselves.

Both sides got out to a relatively even start with the attack ends settling and finding good space under the post. As opposed to Round 1, Ugandan shooter Peace Proscovia got the nod and made no mistake with the holding shooter making her presence felt under the post early, converting 11 from 13 at 85 per cent. Her partner in crime Steph Wood also did a wealth of work out the front and hit the scoreboard with four goals from five attempts, highlighting the Lightning’s intent to attack. Defensively for the Magpies, Geva Mentor led the way using her intricate knowledge of the Lightning to put doubt in the feeders’ minds, coming out hunting with three gains and one intercept. Athletic wing defence Ash Brazill also threw her weight around in the opening term using her speed and read of the play to get timely tips and fancy footwork around the circle edge to regain possession for the Pies with two gains and an intercept. Up the other end, Magpies goalers Shimona Nelson and Nat Medhurst had a relatively hot start with the connection between the two slowly growing. Nelson used her aerial skill and clever footwork to edge closer the post in the opening term nailing 11 goals from 14 attempts.

Up by two goals, the Lightning pushed hard to try and extend the lead with South African international Phumza Maweni attacking the hands of Nelson and coming out hunting. She really set the tone for the Lightning with her attacking style and desire to win the ball back picking up three gains, one intercept, two deflections and two rebounds in the second quarter. Karla Pretorius built into the game nullifying the impact of Medhurst and picking up plenty of ball with three gains. The Magpies shooters were feeling the heat but the midcourt players took control with Kelsey Browne and Kim Ravaillion working their way through the defence to hit circle edge. In her 100th national league game, Ravaillion showcased her running ability and defensive mindset with a clever pick-up and netball smarts to use her full three seconds and release into the goal circle. Browne used her dynamic footwork and quick hands to provide plenty of ball into Nelson and Medhurst but inaccuracy plagued the Collingwood frontline heading into the main break down by six.

The Lightning looked slick and controlled across the court credit to their clever transition and composure with ball in hand. Veteran Silver Fern centre, Laura Langman cranked it up a gear in the third term showcasing her endurance and netball smarts to repeatedly hit the circle edge with pace and precision while also showing her defensive side. Langman showcased her read of the play and three foot marking with three pick-ups and two gains. With Langman firing, Laura Scherian lifted in intensity using her speed to zip around the court and attack the circle edge. Her perfectly weighted passes into Proscovia and Wood provided them with plenty of scoring opportunities with seven goal assists for the term. April Brandley struggled to get into the game with Wood dictating space and forcing her into no mans land on multiple occasion while Brazill tried to spark the Pies into action with her three deflections.

Collingwood looked flat footed and lacked intensity while the Lightning found another level and exploited Collingwood in all areas across the court to go on a scoring rampage in the final quarter. Pretorius had a day out with the speedy goal defence wreaking havoc in the goal circle and across the court. Her ability to read the play and get hands to ball was exceptional, while her footwork to cleanly manoeuvre around the body of her opponent was equally as impressive. In the last term alone she racked up a massive six gains, three intercepts and three deflections and ended the match with a staggering 12 gains, six intercepts and five deflections showcasing her incredible defensive talent. Her work with Maweni forced changes in the Magpies goal circle with Nelson coming off midway through the fourth with Medhurst donning the goal shooter bib and Gabby Sinclair out in front. Sinclair slotted in seamlessly nailing four goals from six attempts while defensively the Magpies were still searching for that energy with young gun Matilda Garrett replacing Brandley and having an immediate impact. Garrett picked up two gains, one intercept and four deflections. The Lightning also emptied their bench with Cara Koenen replacing Wood scoring four goals and Jacqui Russel coming on for Madeline McAuliffe in wing defence.

STARTING LINE-UPS:

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

GS | Peace Proscovia
GA | Steph Wood
WA | Laura Scherian
C | Laura Langman
WD | Madeline McAuliffe
GD | Karla Pretorius
GK | Geva Mentor

Collingwood Magpies:

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