Tag: jamie lee-price

2020 SSN: Season Preview – GIANTS Netball

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 the next in line GIANTS Netball. 

Coach: Julie Fitzgerald
Captain: Jo Harten
2019 finish: 5th

Falling just short of a finals berth the GIANTS will be disappointed with how 2019 ended and eager to make amends in 2020. Pipped at the post by Collingwood in terms of ladder positioning the GIANTS showed plenty of passion and determination throughout the season but simply did not do enough to warrant a spot in the top four and make a charge at a grand final opportunity. Without Serena Guthrie who returned home to England, the GIANTS at times seemed to lack that extra layer of grunt through the midcourt. However her absence allowed some young up and coming players to take the lead and hone their craft through the middle third. At the end of the season the GIANTS farewelled veteran and Diamonds sensation Kim Green with the talented midcourter hanging up the dress after an illustrious career. With some new faces in the mix and big shoes to fill expect the GIANTS to come out with a point to prove in 2020 and take advantage of the Super Shot. 

2020 predictions/expectations:

With Green retiring it leaves a chance for Kiera Austin to come in and really stamp her authority. Although more commonly known for her role as a goal attack, the talented youngster can double as a wing attack with her precision feeding the ball a key element of her game play. Throw in her vision and sheer netball smarts and Austin is an ideal candidate to replace Green. Although only 24-years-old, Jamie-Lee Price is the most experienced midcourter for the GIANTS and will have to lead the troops with the wing defence come centre responsible for the transition through court and tempo of the game. Despite boasting a young midcourt the GIANTS have a wealth of experience when it comes to the shooting circle headlined by two of netballs biggest names in Caitlin Bassett and Jo Harten. Bassett is deadly from under the post and while she had a shaky start to the 2019 season due to an injury will be hoping to impose herself in her second year with the club. On the other hand, Harten does some of her best work from around the perimeter of the circle with the goaler able to rock back on the shot and convert. The GIANTS captain can play both goal shooter and goal attack making her a highly versatile option for the GIANTS in the circle. Defensively the combination of Kristina Manu’a and Sam Poolman will have to kick it up another gear in season 2020 if they are to win more ball back and shut down opposition teams. There is plenty of excitement building around Matilda McDonell and Teigan O’Shannassy with the latter returning from injury and hoping to make an impact with her defensive prowess. 

Key player to watch:

There is no denying that Amy Parmenter took the competition by storm last year, bursting onto the scene and not looking back. Her explosiveness across the court and seamless transition between wing defence and centre makes her an integral member in the GIANTS outfit. Only entering her second year with the club the highly touted midcourter still has plenty to learn and a wealth of development left in but has already shown that she can change the course of a game in an instant. Her ability to read the play and spring into action while her speed off the mark also causes havoc for opposition attackers. She is not afraid to throw herself at the contest, using her tenacious mindset to hunt the ball. Parmenter is renowned for her hard work around the circle edge, applying strong hands over pressure and three-foot marking in the defensive third to block her opponents vision. With her defensive attributes quite profound her skill in attack is just as impressive, using her speed to create space and deliver into the goal circle when need be. Her vision is also highly impressive and will want to make sure she can continue to build on that throughout the 2020 season. 

Team list:

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

Who will be world number one by the end of 2021?

DESPITE not winning the past two major tournaments in the netball calendar Australia still sit pretty at number one in the world rankings. Last year, arch rivals New Zealand pipped Australia at the post with a thrilling one goal win at the Liverpool World Cup while England also reigned supreme in 2018, crushing Australian hearts in the gold medal match of the Commonwealth Games with a one goal victory. While international netball is uncertain at the moment given the COVID-19 outbreak, expect plenty of a-class clashes between the top nations when it returns. But with so much player development and new coaching techniques coming through, the top spot could change in the next twelve to eighteen months. Who will be number one netballing nation by the end of 2021?

Australia: 207 rating

With the number one spot sewn up, the Diamonds are primed to continue their reign at the top of the netball ladder. They are almost 30 points ahead of their next competitor showcasing their sheer ability to dominate opposition countries and win comfortably. The Diamonds are renowned for their clinical style of play and will be hoping to extend their lead over the other nations and hold onto top spot for years to come. The next layer of young up and coming players such as Jamie-Lee Price, Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau are already filtering through the camp giving the Diamonds plenty of hope for the future. The Diamonds have a couple of aces up their sleeve to remain at the top of the ladder with goaling sensation, Gretel Bueta one of them. Bueta has taken the world by storm with her explosiveness and unpredictability both under the post and across the court while the likes of Liz Watson and Courtney Bruce have become staples in the line-up.

New Zealand: 179 rating

Fresh off a World Cup win, the Ferns have well and truly re-established themselves as a netball powerhouse. After undergoing somewhat of a rebuild in 2018, the Ferns look bigger and better than previous years with stars across the court. According to the current international netball world rankings the Silver Ferns are just ahead of England but are still a distance away from the top of the table Diamonds, though that will not stop them from taking a swipe at the coveted position. Unfortunately, the Ferns have already said goodbye to some fan favourites in Maria Folau and Casey Kopua who have been key contributors for ten-plus years given their on court prowess and sheer dominance, while it could be argued that veteran Laura Langman is on her last legs, meaning the Ferns will have to strike soon if they are to take out that prime position. Under the guidance of Noeline Taurua the Ferns have developed into a formidable outfit renowned for their discipline and pin-point accuracy, something that will go a long way in helping their climb up the ladder, not to mention the wealth of depth they have coming up through the ranks in the ANZ Premiership.

England: 173 rating

With an ageing team, it is really now or never for the England Roses to reach the top and cement themselves an a-list team. They have well and truly found their form in the past couple of years taking out the 2018 Commonwealth Games and showcasing their impressive form throughout the Nations Cup. With a host of their stars and starting seven heading towards the twilight of their career such as Geva Mentor, Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie, the Roses will have to throw everything they have at New Zealand and Australia to make a serious assault on prime position in the world rankings. Only sitting two points behind the Ferns, England definitely have the firepower to overtake New Zealand and if they continue on their winning ways could take the crown from Australia.

Jamaica: 172 rating

The Sunshine Girls have come along in leaps and bounds thanks to a host of their players joining the likes of the Suncorp Super Netball, Vitality Netball Superleague and ANZ Premiership to help further develop their craft. It is almost unheard of to even consider Jamaica as a potential number one nation but it is not impossible given they are only one point behind England and have some key players that can single handedly change the course of a game. With towering and prolific shooters, Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler at their disposal, Jamaica could rise up the ranks or at least challenge those above them. Throw in highly touted and exciting young defender Shamera Sterling along with goaler Shimona Nelson and the Sunshine Girls have a very bright future which puts them in good stead to mix it with the best and take out the number one spot.

*Note: For a full breakdown of how rankings are established, check out the International Netball Federation rankings.

Top 15 SSN training partners #9 – Latika Tombs

WITH a number of netball leagues across the world being suspended due to COVID-19, the Draft Central team is taking a look at the top 15 training partners stepping up to the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) plate in 2020. Just inside the top 10 at nine is GIANTS midcourter, Latika Tombs. This countdown is purely opinion-based, taking into consideration 2019 form, individual potential and future development.

The young midcourter is back for her second year at the club and with netball in her blood it is no wonder why the GIANTS were so keen to keep her. Tombs is still developing her craft and despite starting out as a defender made the seamless transition into the midcourt where she is renowned for her damaging strength. Although she is more familiar with the wing defence or centre position, the 19-year-old has been forced to mould into wing attack, a role that she has taken with open arms.

With help from the likes of superstar Kim Green, Tombs has been exposed to plenty of brilliance when it comes to ball placement and the perfect balance of speed and strength. Much like Green, Tombs is strong with ball in hand and most importantly treasures possession, carefully delivering the ball to her goalers. Her versatility is a clear element of her game play able to effortlessly switch between the three centre court positions.

She is no stranger to the big stage captaining her state to the Under 19s National Netball Championships while also spending time in the Australian Netball League to test her netball skills and stamina. Her ability to take charge of the New South Wales squad and lead on court is a testament to her commitment, understanding and on-court leadership to stand up when need be and more importantly deliver.

Tombs is a dynamic mover, able to sight the space across the court and drive hard into it to receive the ball and then dish off accordingly. She is strong around the circle edge, not often fazed by the defensive influence of other players and has proven that she can put pressure on the ball carrier with her three-foot marking. Playing alongside the likes of Jamie-Lee Price who is renowned for her doggedness at the contest, speed and undeniable hustle will only add to Tombs’ desire for success.

Meanwhile having the experience of Australian Diamonds Caitlin Bassett and England Roses goaler Jo Harten will further aide her development. Although she has made a few appearances at Suncorp Super Netball level, further exposure will help to increase her endurance and netball smarts and make her a potential player of the future.

TOP 15 SSN TRAINING PARTNERS SO FAR:

#15 Ashlee Unie (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
#14 Ruby Barkmeyer (Melbourne Vixens)
#13 Tippah Dwan (Queensland Firebirds)
#12 Matisse Letherbarrow (GIANTS Netball)
#11 Chelsea Blackman (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
#10 Sunday Aryang (West Coast Fever)
#9 Latika Tombs (GIANTS Netball)

Memorable Matches: Lightning win inaugural 2017 Suncorp Super Netball premiership

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 Sunshine Coast Lightning’s maiden premiership over GIANTS Netball in 2017.

The inaugural season of Suncorp Super Netball in 2017 was filled with highs and lows, with the ultimate high of expansion side Sunshine Coast Lightning winning the premiership in their first year together. The side boasted key names and combinations across the court which pushed them over the line, leaving the GIANTS in the lurch, 65-48. This was a memorable match for many, with the star-studded Lightning ruthless in their quest against the GIANTS exposing every flaw in their game plan and dominating across the board. The top two teams met twice prior to their grand final battle with both finishing in dramatic fashion – both collecting a one goal win apiece, but this time around the Lightning were relentless in their approach against a GIANTS outfit that had been smashed by injury throughout the season.

GIANTS may have won the first quarter, but it was Lightning that came out from then on and dominated the contest, relentless in their approach in the second quarter and taking an unprecedented five goal lead  into half time. Lightning relegated the GIANTS to less goals every quarter as the home side gained more and more confidence, rendering GIANTS unable to play their game and eventuating in the 17 goal victory.

The GIANTS were left wondering how it went so wrong. Geva Mentor had a starring role down back pairing with Karla Pretorius for one of their best outings for the season for the Lightning, constantly on top of Jo Harten and Kristina Brice. In the absence of Kim Green who was forced to the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in Round 5, goaler Susan Pettitt took the wing attack bib and faced off against champion Laura Langman – who played her usual game, running laps around her opposition and finding plenty of turnover ball with four intercepts and a deflection to her name. While Pettitt did her job well, racking up 18 goal assists, it was the absence of midcourt backup that was exposed once she rotated into the circle that saw the Lightning well and truly take control, with Sarah Wall only managing the one assist in her 21 minutes on court while the Lightning seemed impenetrable.

While the defensive partnership of Bec Bulley and Sam Poolman was solid as ever, the duo was completely at the mercy of Caitlin Bassett and Steph Wood in the circle, who had the ball on a string thanks to speedster Kelsey Browne in wing attack, who took advantage of Jamie-Lee Price’s messiness in wing defence. Price impressed with one intercept and seven deflections – but only gathered gains off two – but it was her 15 penalties that allowed Browne to take full control. Bassett and Wood proved once again why they were one of the most threatening pairings in the circle with their ball use and sharing of the space throwing the GIANTS off at every turn. Lightning’s goalers were vastly more accurate than their GIANTS counterparts, combining for 91 per cent compared to the GIANTS’ 79 per cent, credit to the respective feeders. Brice was unable to compete with Mentor at the post, with Mentor collecting eight gains while Brice turned over the netball eight times and Harten five times. 

While Lightning revelled in the atmosphere, with the home court advantage certainly boosting their confidence, the GIANTS floundered and were unable to bring the same excitement and speed to their game play. While Serena Guthrie was doing a good job defensively to open up opportunities to get forward, it was a lack of offensive pressure that allowed the likes of Laura Scherian and Langman to get on top of the GIANTS while messiness across the court allowed Lightning to take full advantage of errors and penalties – with GIANTS collecting 20 more penalties overall.

A shared effort at the post between the GIANTS goalers was not enough, with the Lightning just far too good on the day for their counterparts and the Lightning going on to win their inaugural premiership by 17 goals.

LIGHTNING 13 | 19 | 16 | 17 (65)
GIANTS 15 | 12 | 11 | 10 (48)

STARTING SEVEN

Sunshine Coast Lightning

GS: Caitlin Bassett
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Kelsey Browne
C: Laura Scherian
WD: Laura Langman
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Geva Mentor

BENCH: Erena Mikaere, Maddy McAuliffe, Cara Koenen
COACH: Noeline Taurua

GIANTS Netball

GS: Krissie Brice
GA: Jo Harten
WA: Susan Pettitt
C: Serena Guthrie
WD: Jamie-Lee Price
GD: Bec Bulley
GK: Sam Poolman

BENCH: Sarah Wall, Toni Anderson, Taylah Davies
COACH: Julie Fitzgerald

SHOOTING STATS

Lightning:

Caitlin Bassett 49/51
Steph Wood 16/20

GIANTS:

Kristina Brice 24/29
Jo Harten 20/25
Susan Pettitt 4/7

Netball Bushfire Relief game preview: Diamonds and All-Stars to battle it out in huge showdown

WITH pride on the line for both sides, the contest on Sunday between the Australian Diamonds and Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) All-Stars will draw plenty of attention. It will be the first game the Diamonds have played this year and will be hoping to kick their international campaign off in style while on the other hand the All-Stars will be aiming to showcase their array of talents and bring everything together.

The All-Stars are littered with class acts across the court with Silver Ferns veteran Laura Langman named captain for the exhibition match. Langman is an excitement machine across the court with her dynamic change of pace, quick hands and ability to consistently do the unthinkable. Fellow midcourters in the likes of England Roses duo Chelsea Pitman and Nat Haythornthwaite will complement the speedy style of Langman, with both players renowned for the deliberate approach to circle edge. Wing defence Gabi Simpson will most likely head up the defensive side of the midcourt with her athletic ability and leap a couple of things in her extensive repertoire. Meanwhile Kate Moloney may also find herself rotating through the position given her more defensive style of play in the midcourt. The match-up through the midcourt will set tongues wagging with the likes of wing defence-cum-centre Ash Brazill potentially taking on Langman in what could be an action-packed battle. Brazill oozes athleticism and endurance while Diamonds teammate and wing attack Liz Watson has proven that timing and ball placement is no issue often delivering pin-point passes into the circle. Throw in the likes of Laura Scherian who has come into her own in recent times along with Paige Hadley and both sides have a relatively stacked line-up. Expect the wing defence role to fall to Jamie-Lee Price with her speed and hustle around the circle edge her bread and butter. Price will be looking to outmuscle the likes of Pitman and Haythornthwaite around the circle edge to limit scoring opportunities.

In the defensive circle itself, the All-Stars have a plethora of options none more daunting than the likes of Geva Mentor. The Roses goal keeper is in a league of her own credit to her experience and high netball nous while the likes of young up and coming Jamaican superstar Shamera Sterling will be hoping to set the court alight with her intercepting ability. Mentor will get the opportunity to reunite with former Lightning teammate, Karla Pretorius with the two posing a dominant threat to the Diamonds with their ability to deny ball into the circle with their extreme defensive pressure and skill to clog space. But Australian captain Caitlin Bassett is no stranger to the physicality and mind games that both Pretorius and Mentor play, having spent time with them at the Lightning and combating them at an international level for years. Bassett is strong in the air and under the post able to move her feet and hold space while in her final game before retirement Caitlin Thwaites will be hoping to leave a lasting legacy with her accuracy to post and ability to shoot from anywhere in the circle.  After a standout season for the GIANTS, Kristiana Manu’a will be hoping to make a splash and assert herself on the game while Emily Mannix knows what it takes to knock over the Diamonds having been inside of the Australian camp. Kiera Austin will get the chance to come up against club teammate Manu’a with the young Diamond hoping to highlight her smooth movement in the circle and accuracy to post. It is hard to go past the likes of Gretel Tippett with the star goaler winning the Liz Ellis Medal credit to her impressive 2019. Tippett will be hard to stop with her physical and athletic style along with her increased volume and accuracy to post while fellow goaler Tegan Philip will be wanting to cement her spot in the Diamonds side.

When it comes to the goal circle the talent does not stop headlined by towering Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler who has proven that volume is no issue while the Swifts’ Sam Wallace is no slouch in goal shooter able to use her aerial skills to reign in loose passes and shoot truly. Wallace will more than likely pair up with NSW teammate Helen Housby in the circle while Roses goaler Jo Harten’s combination with Housby could also be on display throughout the match giving the All-Stars coaches in Julie Fitzgerald and Briony Akle plenty to think about. Although the All-Stars have a stacked line-up the Diamonds will be hoping that their defensive connections between the likes of goal keeper Courtney Bruce and Jo Weston will disrupt their attacking flow and force turnovers. Both players are renowned for their hunt for the ball and intercepting ability. The potential match-up between Fever teammates Bruce and Fowler will be exciting with the two known for their aerial style of play and competitive nature. Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau will both also be hoping to impact the contest for the Diamonds with the defenders knowing Housby and Wallace’s game plan inside and out playing with them at the Swifts.

Expect a fireworks display from both sides with neither wanting to loose and key match-ups across the court especially considering the number of club teammate cross-overs across the court.

All-Stars
Jhaniele Fowler
Jo Harten
Nat Haythornthwaite
Helen Housby
Laura Langman
Emily Mannix
Kristiana Manu’a
Geva Mentor
Kate Moloney
Chelsea Pitman
Karla Pretorius
Gabi Simpson
Shamera Sterling
Sam Wallace

Australian Diamonds
Caitlin Bassett
Liz Watson
Kiera Austin
Ash Brazill
Courtney Bruce
Paige Hadley
Sarah Klau
Tegan Philip
Jamie-Lee Price
Laura Scherian
Caitlin Thwaites
Gretel Tippett
Maddy Turner
Jo Weston

GIANTS stamp authority on ANZ Premiership teams with a clean sweep

THE GIANTS asserted themselves on the Trans-Tasman Challenge, winning all three of their games against their three New Zealand opponents. Despite being pushed to their limits by the Northern Stars, Northern Mystics and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, the GIANTS dug deep using their versatility and experience to close out games and return home with an unbeaten record. The tournament allowed all four sides to tinker with their line-up and test new combinations across the court ahead of their respective seasons.

GIANTS Netball (67) defeated Northern Stars (52)

It was a solid performance from the GIANTS who took it to the Northern Stars denying any easy ball movement and combating their zone defence with their clever ball placement and strong drives. The away side started strong but the Stars showed they were ready for the fight working their way back into the contest to tie things up late in the first. But the GIANTS pulled away in the following quarters linking up effortlessly across the court to manoeuvre the ball down the court and transition with ease. The GIANTS displayed their depth in the goal circle with England Roses star Jo Harten resorting to her usual position in goal shooter. Harten paired well with youngster Kiera Austin with the two moving well in the circle and opening up space with their movement. Defensively the Stars could not contain the duo with Trinidad and Tobago goal keeper Daystar Swift and Kate Burley struggling to stop the connection between the GIANTS goalers. Young academy athlete Olivia Rowntree also stepped out onto court for the first time with the defender making the most of her opportunities down back with the likes of experience head Sam Poolman guiding her. However, the GIANTS were not the only side to try out new combinations with Stars shooter Maia Wilson testing her hand in goal attack leaving new comer Juliana Naoupu under the post. The connection between Grace Kara and Lisa Maher through the midcourt improved for the Stars with the two finding good space and using their dynamic footwork to hit circle edge. There was plenty of positives to come out of the match for both sides given the depth of talent and ability to chop and change players.

GIANTS Netball (66) defeated Northern Mystics (56)

The Northern Mystics got off to a flyer jumping out of the blocks thanks to their strong defensive work to pick off passes and force turnovers. The lead ebbed and flowed throughout the game with the GIANTS holding a mere three goal lead at three quarter time after the Mystics had led for the majority of the game thanks to their accuracy to post and understanding. But it was all the GIANTS way in the fourth, piercing the defence with their bullet like passes and backing themselves in the contest to hunt the ball and take an intercept. The pre-season tournament proved to be a good opportunity for sides to test out new combinations and positions with Amy Parmenter finding her feet in wing attack. The wing defence come centre showcased her brilliance in the attacking third using her change of pace and good vision to have an impact while Toni Anderson impressed in her outing against the Mystics using her strength and netball nous to have an impact. Youngster Maddie Hay also showed her skillset and composure stepping onto the court in the third term and absorbing the pressure. The GIANTS dominated the Mystics with their class and silky ball movement on full display and while the combination between Phoenix Karaka and Sulu Fitzpatrick worked well it was not enough to stop the GIANTS shooting juggernauts. GIANTS defender Kristiana Manu’a showed plenty of commitment down back and using her leap to swat the ball away from Grace Nweke in the goal circle.

GIANTS Netball (70) defeated Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (57)

It was a tale of two halves for the GIANTS with the Magic dominating the opening half of netball before the GIANTS turned the tables. Waikato Bay opened-up a strong seven goal lead at half time and looked to have it all going their way thanks to their pressure and a multitude of unforced errors on behalf of the travelling side. But a 20-goal quarter all but changed the Magic’s outlook on the game with the GIANTS pressing hard and using their slick ball movement and accuracy to post to cause havoc. As the game went on the Magic started to tire with the GIANTS going on a 23-goal scoring spree thanks to Caitlin Bassett and Harten in the goal circle. Jamie-Lee Price was solid through the midcourt using her strength around the circle edge to claim prime positioning and deliver well-weighted passes into the shooters. Former GIANTS training partner Georgia Marshall found her feet in the goal circle pairing with Abigail Latu-Meafou while through the midcourt speedster Whitney Souness and Ariana Cable-Dixon got to work using their quick hands and footwork to hit the circle edge and deliver well-weighted passes into the shooters. Despite their best efforts the Magic simply did not have enough in the tank to outrun the GIANTS who relied on their experience to pull through in the final term.

Netball Bushfire Relief teams announced in all-star clash

THE teams every netball fan in Australia has been waiting for were announced early today, with the Australian Diamonds taking on a Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) All-Stars side to raise money for bushfire relief across the nation. The Diamonds side is largely the same as its Constellation Cup outfit, with recently retired Caitlin Thwaites named, and Caitlin Bassett and Liz Watson chosen as captain and vice-captain respectively. The only difference is the inclusion of GIANTS Netball’s Kiera Austin who provides the versatility in the front half of the court. Steph Wood was unavailable for selection.

The SSN All-Stars side, coached by the two New South Wales leaders – where the match will be held (Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney) – is a stacked team with the likes of Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler, and English goalers, Jo Harten and Helen Housby in the circle. In defence, Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius will undoubtedly provide great leadership for Shamera Sterling, while Laura Langman and Kate Moloney will headline a strong midcourt. Draft Central will provide in a detailed analysis on the teams, as well as a preview for the match ahead of the March 1 date.

The match will be played at 1pm on March 1,  with tickets starting at $10 on sale from midday tomorrow, Thursday January 30.

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AUSTRALIAN DIAMONDS:

Coach: Lisa Alexander

Caitlin Bassett (c) (GIANTS Netball)
Liz Watson (vc) (Melbourne Vixens)
Kiera Austin (GIANTS Netball)
Ash Brazill (Collingwood Magpies)
Courtney Bruce (West Coast Fever)
Paige Hadley (NSW Swifts)
Sarah Klau (NSW Swifts)
Tegan Philip (Melbourne Vixens)
Jamie-Lee Price (GIANTS Netball)
Laura Scherian (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
Caitlin Thwaites (Melbourne Vixens)
Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds)
Maddy Turner (NSW Swifts)
Jo Weston (Melbourne Vixens)

SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL:

Coaches: Briony Akle (NSW Swifts) & Julie Fitzgerald (GIANTS Netball)

Jhaniele Fowler (West Coast Fever)
Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball)
Nat Haythornthwaite (NSW Swifts)
Helen Housby (NSW Swifts)
Laura Langman (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
Emily Mannix (Melbourne Vixens)
Kristiana Manu’a (GIANTS Netball)
Geva Mentor (Collingwood Magpies)
Kate Moloney (Melbourne Vixens)
Chelsea Pitman (Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Karla Pretorius (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
Gabi Simpson (Queensland Firebirds)
Shamera Sterling (West Coast Fever)
Sam Wallace (NSW Swifts)

Diamonds to face SSN All-Stars in bushfire relief fundraiser

THE Australian Diamonds have thrown their support behind the Australian bushfire relief, and are set to play a fundraiser showcase match against an all-star Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) team at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday, March 1. The game will pit some of the best international players in the SSN against the Diamonds in what will be a tantalising battle of skill and smarts in hope to raise funds for bushfire relief.

Expect the usuals to get the start for the Diamonds with the likes of captain Caitlin Bassett to don the goal shooter bib while shooting sensation Gretel Tippett is more than likely to get the start in goal attack. There are plenty of options through the midcourt with Paige Hadley and Liz Watson able to switch into wing attack or centre with Ash Brazill and Jamie-Lee Price have proven to be a force in both wing defence and centre. Defensively the duo of Courtney Bruce and Jo Weston are formidable with the two consistently posing a threat with their hands over pressure, hunt for the ball and tenacity.

Potential all-stars starting seven:

There is a wealth of influential players across the SSN that could have a lasting impact and should be considered for the all-stars team making the decision extremely difficult to make. Unlucky to not make the cut is the likes of Sam Wallace who has been a key contributor in the past couple of years for the Swifts along with the likes of Phumza Maweni down in defence.

GS: Jhaniele Fowler (West Coast Fever)

It is hard to go past Jamaican power house Fowler with the towering goaler able to single handedly dominate the opposition with her commanding height and deceptive aerial ability. Fowler added another string to her bow in 2019 getting on the move more regularly to shake up her game style. Although she is most comfortable directly under the post, Fowler can go to post from mid-range making her a sure start for the up-coming all-stars game.

GA: Helen Housby (NSW Swifts)

The talented goal attack has class to boot seamlessly moving across the court and using her signature drives to open up space. She is cool, calm and collected able to read the play with ease and stand up under pressure as she has proven multiple times. Housby can shoot from anywhere in the circle and is a real playmaker in the attacking half with her vision and pin point passes a key component of her game play.

WA: Natalie Haythornthwaite (NSW Swifts)

Haythornthwaite is one of the most consistent wing attacks in SSN and although she is not the fastest player on the court it is her smarts, ball placement and connections that makes her so deadly. The Roses representative gives 110 per cent each time she steps out on the court, pair that with her strong drives to the top of the circle and quick hands to flick the ball around the circle edge, she makes for a pretty handy inclusion in the potential all-stars team.

C: Laura Langman (Sunshine Coast Lightning)

Hands down one of the world’s best centre making her all but a shoe in for the all-stars team. Langman is an energiser bunny able to run all day and night, consistently dictating the play across the court with her smarts and ball placement. She is renowned for making something out of nothing along with her defensive flair. There is nothing she cannot do, able to pick off passes, force turnovers and deliver precision balls into the goal circle.

WD: Gabi Simpson (Queensland Firebirds)

The experienced and skilful wing defence has a plethora of knowledge when it comes to combating her fellow Diamonds competitors having played with majority of them making her an asset to the all-stars squad. She is a defensive mastermind frequently using her impressive speed and high vertical leap to full advantage to pluck balls out of mid-air. Her ability to shadow opponents and block their every move is a key element of her game while her drive through the midcourt also provides that attacking aspect to any side she is in.

GD: Karla Pretorius (Sunshine Coast Lightning)

Arguably the best goal defence in the world making her an easy candidate for the all-stars team given her defensive prowess, go-go gadget arms and speed off the mark. She consistently causes headaches for any opposition attack end with her persistent tagging style of defence and nous to cause deflections and turnovers. Pretorius is renowned for her ability to pick-pocket opponents and send the ball flying back down the other end of the court while her lean over the shot is just as intimidating.

GK: Geva Mentor (Collingwood Magpies)

Collingwood and Roses goal keeper, Mentor makes for a handy inclusion given her experience, commanding stature and defensive skillset. Mentor is strong in the air able to read the play with ease and use her body to position under the post and gobble up any rebounds. She can confuse space in the goal circle with her quick feet paired with her three-foot marking Mentor is a tough opponent to match-up against.

Bench:

Shamera Sterling (Adelaide Thunderbirds), Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball), Chelsea Pitman (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

All three players offer skill and match-winning ability making them all viable options for the starting seven. Sterling while still young and developing her craft is explosive able to hunt the ball and grasp an intercept mid-air thanks to her incredible leap. Thunderbirds teammate, Pitman also offers great consistency and durability able to think her way through tricky situations and deliver well weighted passes. Meanwhile GIANTS goaler, Harten is all class with ball in hand, happy to turn and shoot from anywhere within the circle.

SSN Player focus: Amy Parmenter

WHILE the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) might be done and dusted for 2019, we will review a number of talented players who stepped up this year and take a look at just what they have to offer and how they can improve further.

GIANTS – Amy Parmenter

DOB: 01/08/1997
Height: 176cm
Position: WD/C

Season overview:

After a shaky start to the season, the talented wing defence well and truly found her place in the GIANTS mix, stepping up to the plate especially in the latter half of the season. In her first season at SSN, Parmenter proved she was not afraid to take the game on and go out for the daring intercepts.

Assets:

At the ripe age of 22, Parmenter showed her potential to be a Diamond of the future with her dynamic movement and immense defensive pressure. Still perfecting her craft at SSN level, Parmenter showed her versatility starting off in centre before switching to wing defence and honing in her defensive skills. Her game style has plenty of class, able to shut down an opponent and smother them thanks to her netball nous and ability to shadow them across the court. Her read of the play is impressive, able to back herself in a contest to get a tip or take a timely and clean intercept. She is a real excitement machine for the GIANTS and can set the tone defensively if she is up and about early, able to have a real impact on the play.

Improvements:

Looking ahead to 2020 it will be imperative for Parmenter to work on her fitness and endurance to ensure she remains a threat for a full four quarters at SSN level and does not go missing. Still so young, Parmenter has a lot to learn and develop whether it be placement around the top of the circle to deny her opponent prime position or staying away from the whistle in physical contests. Only being in her first year her connection with the likes of Jamie-Lee Price, Kristiana Manu’a and Sam Poolman still has to develop in order to create a formidable defensive unit but provides hope for the future.

Constellation Cup: Every Diamond ranked

WITH the Constellation Cup over and Australia claiming victory for the seventh consecutive year we take a look at the performances from each Diamond across the four game series and rank them. They are listed in order of who influenced the contest most.

A+

Gretel Tippett:

There is no denying that Gretel Tippett well and truly announced herself on the world stage once more only missing a mere three goals and sinking 82 goals from 85 attempts at 96 per cent across the four games. She is a real game changer for the Diamonds with her strength in the air and at aground level with her strong drives and high leap. Although costly at times in terms of turnovers, Tippett thrives on the physicality of the contest and can exploit opponents with her sheer athleticism and dynamic movement. Her second phase work and work rate is impressive able to cover the court with ease and seamlessly rotate through the circle to remain a real threat.

Ash Brazill:

Fan favourite Ash Brazill, well and truly left her mark on the international stage claiming MVP honours in the final game of the Constellation Cup and showcasing her versatility switching from her typical wing defence role to centre. The explosive and highly athletic midcourter did not leave anything to chance especially in the final game running laps around her opponents. Despite taking some time to find her feet in the opening game Brazill was not overawed by the opportunity and did not look out of place credit to her defensive pressure.

A

Caitlin Bassett:

In her hundredth game the Diamonds captain put on an absolute masterclass, moving around the circle with ease and reeling in stray passes. It was a vintage performance from the goal shooter who turned back time making full use of her height and strength. Although her previous three games were not up to the same standard as her final performance Bassett was consistent and provided a strong target under the post sinking 87 goals from 99 attempts at 88 per cent for the series.

Caitlin Thwaites:

In what would be her last international campaign Thwaites made the most of her opportunities oozing composure and accuracy. The talented goaler made no mistake using her experience and silky movement to pose a threat under the post. She did not play in the second game of the series but featured in all three others playing a huge role in Game 3 with 16 goals from 17 attempts. She finished the series with 25 goals from 27 attempts and will be sorely missed in the Diamonds side.

Courtney Bruce:

Although she missed the first game, Bruce came back with a vengeance using her physicality to get into the heads of her opponents and wreak havoc in the defensive third. Her speed, lean over the shot and dynamic movement was a real feature in the Diamonds win in Game 2 with the goal keeper capitalising on anything that came her way. She notched up 16 gains for the series along with six intercepts credit to her impressive defensive prowess.

B+

Laura Scherian:

The 31-year-old made her debut for the green and gold and did not skip a beat. With speed to boot Scherian nipped around the court to receive the ball and deliver it into Bassett time and time again. She relished the extra court time and although she tired at times showed plenty of grit to work herself back into the contest and create clever second phase plays. She was a real energiser bunny often unmarked around the circle edge credit to her speed and grew with confidence as the series progressed.

Liz Watson:

The ever-reliable Watson was tasked with a challenging opponent, spending large amounts of time against Langman. However, she stood up in Game 2 taking it to the veteran Silver Fern using her strength, endurance and smarts to have an impact across the court. she went missing at times but ran hard both ways applying both offensive and defensive pressure. Watson worked hard on the circle edge with 63 goal assists credit to her vision and variety of feeds into the circle.

Sarah Klau:

She was relatively hot and cold throughout the Constellation Cup. Klau got the start in the first game but was and truly outclassed by Ferns shooting duo Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio. When she came on as an impact player in future games she shut down her opponent and highlighted her versatility moving out to goal defence at times.

Jo Weston:

The Melbourne Vixens goal defence offered plenty of defensive pressure down back but was costly at times giving away her fair share of contacts and obstructions. She has plenty of speed and can read the play with ease able to pick off passes but struggled to maintain her pressure over four quarter fading in and out of games.

B

Maddy Turner:

The youngster made her much awaited debut in the last game of the series and had an immediate impact forcing a held ball on no other than Maria Folau along with a huge intercept. She played with confidence and backed herself in the short time she was given. An exciting prospect going forward for the Diamonds.

Paige Hadley:

A broken wrist in the second game ended, Hadley’s series early but when on court she offered plenty of versatility and strength. She hustled hard for prime position on the circle edge and made her opponent accountable with her strong drives and quick ball movement. Hadley faded in and out of games a bit unable to have a full four quarter impact against the likes of Katrina Rore and Laura Langman.

C

Jamie-Lee Price:

Price really struggled to find her feet throughout the series with the young up-and-coming wing defence relegated to the bench for majority of the Constellation Cup. However, when she did make an appearance she was a fraction off the pace given the amount of time out of the game. Did some really clever things though using her speed and defensive pressure to limit her oppositions access to the ball.

Tegan Philip:

The Melbourne Vixens goaler had an up and down international series standing up at times and crumbling at others when the pressure was on. Her movement was solid while her connection with Thwaites was undeniable with the two moving well to create space.