Tag: julie corletto

Memorable Matches: Firebirds defeat Swifts in 2015 ANZ Championship Grand Final

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 the Queensland Firebirds’ come-from-behind victory over the NSW Swifts in the 2015 ANZ Championship Grand Final.

It was the culmination of a massive ANZ Championship season which set the Queensland Firebirds and NSW Swifts against one another, and the Swifts never looked like losing – before the Firebirds stunned in the final minutes of the match. It was a slow start for both teams and while the Swifts had the early lead, the Firebirds did not back down, contesting every single ball. With star players across the court it was all about momentum and the Swifts were swimming in it early, with Caitlin Thwaites and Sharni Layton impressing at both ends and connections all down the midcourt.

The feisty matchup saw neither team leave any stone unturned, with Laura Geitz and Kim Green seeing more of each other than a goal keeper and wing attack typically would. Meanwhile, quality defensive pressure from Julie Corletto and Layton saw the Swifts duo dominate much of the play, with Firebirds goalers Gretel Bueta and Romelda Aiken stopped in their tracks and unwilling to make risky moves. The Swifts had the accuracy going for them on court, with Thwaites and Susan Pettitt firing on all cylinders, unfazed by the persistent defensive pressure from the likes of Geitz and partner in crime, Clare McMeniman who continually pushed the shooters to attempt risky shots – though those shots continued to pay off. It was the Firebirds’ penalty count which saw them struggle for much of the match, almost doubling the Swifts’ at half time and finishing with a higher contact penalty count alone (66 and 16 obstructions) than the Swifts did overall (50 and 10).

While Swifts continued to prove too strong across the court, the Firebirds started to regain some control bit by bit, working their way into the match and continuing to pressure the Swifts and fight for a chance to win the second half. A quality third term from Geitz was part of the reason why the Firebirds were able to steal back momentum, holding Thwaites to just 12 goals in the second half – five in the third – while Aiken stepped up to ply her trade, shooting 28 in the second half to well and truly take the game by storm. While Geitz racked up the stats in the second half, the Swifts slowed down. Despite still holding the lead, it was clear the hosts were on their way back and were not about to lie down.

With the premiership in sight, Queensland unleashed at the right moment and with 30 seconds left on the clock levelled the scores, with the next centre pass going their way making for a tense countdown. The Firebirds played keepings off to finish, patiently chipping the ball around before Bueta went to post to deny a last second chance for the Swifts – with her only goal for the quarter seeing the Firebirds hit the front for the first time. With 14 seconds left on the clock, only a massive save would stop the Swifts from scoring, so Geitz did just that – taking a game saving intercept and passing the ball off, seeing the Firebirds defeat the Swifts 57-56 and sending the purple army into hysterics.

While not the most accurate of the day, sinking the winning goal was enough for Bueta, who shot 10 from 17 to provide a quality support for Aiken (47 from 51). It was a shared effort for the Swifts goalers however, with both Thwaites (30 from 34) and Pettitt (26 from 28m, 35 centre pass receives) providing scoreboard pressure and proving influential in attack. Bueta’s wealth of work to get the ball to Aiken was second to none, leading the assists with 20 from 32 feeds and 33 centre pass receives, while Swifts midcourter Green came in second with 17 from 38 and doing a lot more second phase work alongside Pettitt. It was a battle of the goal keepers, with both Geitz and Layton finding a wealth of turnover ball, though Geitz was the big performer with six intercepts (eight gains). Layton was not far behind with three intercepts (four gains but seven deflections) and shared the defensive stats with Corletto (two intercepts, three gains).

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 11 | 14 | 16 | 16 (57)
NSW SWIFTS 14 | 16 | 15 | 11 (56)

Queensland Firebirds

GS: Romelda Aiken
GA: Gretel Bueta (Nee Tippett)
WA: Caitlyn Nevins
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Clare McMeniman
GK: Laura Geitz

BENCH: Bec Bulley, Verity Charles, Laura Clemesha, Beryl Friday, Amy Wild
COACH: Roselee Jencke

NSW Swifts

GS: Caitlin Thwaites
GA: Susan Pettitt
WA: Kim Green
C: Paige Hadley
WD: Abbey McCulloch
GD: Julie Corletto
GK: Sharni Layton

BENCH: Jade Clarke, Erin Hoare, Taylah Davies, Micaela Wilson, Steph Wood
COACH: Rob Wright

SHOOTING STATS

FIREBIRDS

Romelda Aiken 47/51
Gretel Bueta 10/17

SWIFTS

Caitlin Thwaites 30/34
Susan Pettitt 26/28

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

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

Melbourne Kestrels:

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

BENCH: Cynna Kydd, Chelsey Tregear, Janine Ilitch

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

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

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

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

 

Melbourne Phoenix:

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

BENCH: Abby Sargent, Sarah Wall, Jo Curran

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

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

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

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

Who would win?

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

Who would reign supreme in Melbourne?
Kestrels All-Stars
Phoenix All-Stars
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Netball fantasy team: All-Star Vixens v. All-Star Swifts

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

All-Star Melbourne Vixens

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

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

All-Star NSW Swifts

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

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

Who would win?

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

Which All-Star team would win?
All-Star Vixens
All-Star Swifts
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Fantasy Head 2 Head – Australia vs. New Zealand 1990 to now

AUSTRALIA and New Zealand have been locked in their fair share of battles throughout history so Draft Central has combined the ultimate fantasy team combining players from the 1990 era to now. With a host of star players littered across the court it is hard to determine which country has the upper hand given both sides ability to turn a game on its head with their explosiveness and ability to do the unthinkable.

Australia:

GK: Liz Ellis
GD: Laura Geitz
WD: Renae Ingles
C: Natalie Bode (nee Von Bertouch)
WA: Kim Green
GA: Gretel Bueta (nee Tippett)
GS: Sharelle McMahon
BENCH: Claire McMeniman, Catherine Cox, Julie Corletto

Over the years the Diamonds have had a multitude of a-class players take the court none more than the legendary Sharelle McMahon. The Bendigo born shooting prodigy was one of a kind with her smooth movement and strong drives consistently on show while her ability to hit the scoreboard with ease was another feature of her game. Goal attack, Gretel Bueta however, has a very different approach. The unconventional shooter is renowned for her explosive power, speed and towering height. She has developed into arguably one of the Diamonds most important assets given her influence on the court. Classy, wing attack Kim Green is another handy inclusion in the hypothetical side with her bullet like passes and ability to stop on a dime a key feature of her game. Her physicality and hustle sets her apart from other midcourters while the likes of Natalie Bode is a more consistent and tempered centre. Renae Ingles has been one of the Diamonds key contributors with her long arm span causing all sorts of havoc for attackers thanks to her ability to block their vision into the circle. Her deceptive speed, quick reactions and intense defensive pressure creates opportunities for turnovers time and time again. Although she is typically a goal keeper, Laura Geitz was too good to sit on the bench and has spent some time throughout her career out in goal defence. Geitz was one of the most exciting defenders to watch given her tenacity and ability to sense the moment and take a big intercept that would change the court of the game. The former Diamonds captain oozed nothing but class, composure and netball smarts always able to muster up something to disrupt the flow in attack. Fellow defender, Liz Ellis was similar consistently able to get hands to ball and force a turnover. Ellis will go down as one of Australia’s most prominent netball figures leading her country to World Cup glory. Geitz’ partner in crime Claire McMeniman made the bench thanks to her attack on the court and ability to shut players down with her tagging style of defnce while through the midcourt the likes of wing defence Julie Corletto made her way into the team. In the shooting circle, it is hard to go past Cath Cox with the talented shooter able to score from anywhere in the circle and put up a hefty total.

New Zealand

GK: Casey Kopua
GD:  Katrina Rore
WD: Joline Henry
C: Laura Langman
WA: Liana Leota
GA: Maria Folau
GS: Irene Van Dyk
BENCH: Catherine Tuivaiti, Julie Seymour, Leana de Bruin

It is hard to deny that the Silver Ferns had one of the most prominent and damaging shooters that netball has ever seen in Irene Van Dyk. The talented South African come New Zealander guided her side to many famous victories over the Aussies thanks to her cool calm and collected approach to the post plus her ability to hold space directly under the post. In the goal attack position, Maria Folau was renowned as the long bomb shooter able to slot them with her heels flapping on the edge of the circle. Folau was one of a kind, consistently backing herself from range and able to inflict pain with her silky shot and clever movement around the circle. In the centre it is hard to go past the talent which is Laura Langman. The gut running midcourter is in a league of her own able to run all day and night often exhausting opponents and using her high netball IQ to slice through opposition defences. While her attacking is high class so too is her defensive work able to take match winning intercepts thanks to her endurance and class. Joline Henry was part of the furniture down back for the Ferns able to seamlessly rotate between wing defence and circle defence to provide a point of difference for New Zealand. But the combination of Katrina Rore and Casey Kopua has been one for the ages with the two creating a formidable duo time and time again. Just like fine wine, the two got better with age given their understanding and intense pressure to force turnovers or go out hunting for cross court balls. Their arms over pressure in the circle is a key attribute causing hesitation and held balls. On the bench the likes of Catherine Tuivaiti, Julie Seymour and Leana de Bruin were all great servants to the Ferns. Tuivaiti was often brought on as that impact player under the post able to hold her own and shoot accordingly while Seymour was recognised as one of the greatest centres of all time. Defensively de Bruin was a mastermind able to create something out of nothing.

Who would win?

History would suggest that the Aussies should take the honours given that since 1990 the Diamonds have won five World Cup titles against their Trans-Tasman rivals along with three Commonwealth Games gold medals, in which each of the aforementioned players had a monumental impact in. However, the games have been close in each of these encounters with a mere goal separating both countries at times showcasing just how stacked both sides are. Considering Australia’s defensive edge it would be fair to tilt the scales slightly in their favour but the combination of Van Dyk and Folau is one to be enviable of.

Compare the Pair: Julie Corletto and Jo Weston

THE Draft Central Compare the Pair series will aim to analyse two players from different Australian Diamonds eras, with the next showcasing defenders Julie Corletto (née Prendergast) and Jo Weston.

When thinking of defenders with plenty of composure and intensity, one cannot go past the consistency and excitement machines of Julie Corletto and Jo Weston. While both players possess different traits they share the common position of goal defence, along with a tagging ability to dog their goalers off their aim and with it a certain flair and ability to buckle down and get the job done. Both players also have the ability to rotate into wing defence where required to add some extra pressure around the goal circle, with the speed and endurance to run the opposition off their feet. Looking back home, Corletto was part of the inaugural Melbourne Vixens merger in 2008, while Weston has played with the Vixens since 2014.

With 52 caps to her name, Corletto is just one of a number of quality defenders in recent years who well and truly changed the game with her class, tenacity and bodywork doing much of the talking. While her time in the Australian Diamonds was staggered with injury, her drive to push harder with every effort was a real testament to her courage on the court, famously playing through a broken foot in the 2015 Netball World Cup final – and coming away with victory. Corletto was an electric player, always darting around the court and nullifying her opposition’s influence across the court thanks to her timing and closing speed. She ended her career on the ultimate high at the end of the 2015 final, and is one of a few Diamonds who played in three Netball World Cup titles throughout her decorated career. Corletto often shared the spotlight with Mo’Onia Gerrard and Bec Bulley, with the trio all able to offer different defensive options throughout their respective times in the green and gold.

Weston’s hands over pressure and ability to impact the play is the real game changer in the current Diamonds, with the defender holding down a starting position for much of the past few international series’. Typically going nowhere without a smile on her face, Weston is composed and clinical in her effort on the court, often running the ball down the court and keeping a steady hand through the midcourt. Her smothering defensive pressure allows her goal keeper to man the fort and a she has knack for pouncing on the loose ball, making her a real contender around the court. Weston’s speed and timing makes her a massive threat through the midcourt as much as the goal third, able to flick ball back into court and apply hands over pressure wherever required. Weston is still a key cog through defence for the Diamonds and with Courtney Bruce continues to pressurise the defensive end to propel crucial turnover ball up the court.

_

Julie Corletto
52 caps, 2006-2015

Jo Weston
38* caps, 2015-present

*at time of publish

Top 5 Australian defenders from 90s to now

THROUGHOUT Diamonds history there has been a host of star players rotate through both the goal defence and wing defence position. Since entering a new decade we decided to rank the top five defenders from 1990 to now. This is an opinion-based article based on the perceptions of the individual writer and how they rank against other defenders. The likes of Rebecca Bulley and Claire McMeniman were also among contention but fell just short of making it into our top five.

#1 Julie Corletto
Corletto possessed all the class and composure in the world with the talented defender able to make something out of nothing more times than not. She was a highly skilled player able to read the play and swoop in to take an impressive intercept credit to her quick feet. The former Australian Diamond and Melbourne Vixens veteran consistently showcased her versatility, able to switch between wing defence and goal defence with ease. Most importantly though was her on-court leadership, able to control the flow in defence and provide assistance down the court to transition play from one end to the other. Despite being plagued with injuries throughout her career, Corletto was a key cog in the Australian defensive unit helping her side to three consecutive World Cup championships and Commonwealth gold.

#2 Renae Ingles
Arguably one of the most influential wing defences in Diamonds history, able to run opponents off their feet and dictate the surrounding space. Ingles is renowned for her ability to shut down wing attacks with her smothering pressure, long reach and silky movement across the court. Her balance around the circle edge and general netball nous is second to none, consistently imposing herself on the contest. Throughout her career, Ingles also showcased her attacking side able to drive the ball down the court and re-offer on the transverse line to help set up any attacking forays. She was deceptively quick, able to get hands to ball time and time again. Ingles has had a decorated career winning four domestic premierships along with a Commonwealth gold medal and World Championship.

#3 Mo’onia Gerrard
The former Adelaide Thunderbirds and NSW Swifts defender left a lasting imprint on the Australian defensive line-up thanks to her physicality and ability to hunt the ball. Gerrard was not afraid to put her body on the line, often throwing herself into the contest in hope of winning the ball. She wore her opponents down consistently, pestering them with her physical presence and taunting style of game play. She played majority of her career in goal defence but highlighted her versatility switching to wing defence and providing a constant threat with her quick feet and timely tips to disrupt any attacking flow. Unlucky with injury, Gerrard missed the 2006 Commonwealth Games but played a significant role in the later World Cup wins while her domestic career was also riddled with highlights.

#4 Gabi Simpson
Simpson can change up her game play with ease but is best known for her tagging style of play, consistently wearing her competitor down and clogging up space. She uses her speed off the mark to full advantage, repetitively getting hands to ball and stopping any free-flowing play in attack. She is dynamic across the court, able to chop off errant passes while her leadership is impressive, renowned for her ability to stand up when needed. The Queensland Firebirds captain is no stranger to the big stage using her quick footwork, impressive leap and balance to get around the body of her opponent and hustle them for the ball. She is a true game changer and has proven so on multiple occasions especially domestically with back-to-back premierships in 2015-16.

#5 Ash Brazill
There is no denying that Brazill is in a league of her own, credit to her sheer athleticism and ability to find loose ball. The talented wing defence has speed to boot, able to dart around the court seamlessly while providing a constant defensive threat. She has an uncanny ability to do the unthinkable and use her read of the play to pick off cross-court passes. Brazill is not afraid of the physicality, using her Aussie rules background to full advantage and taking the game on. Although she has just burst onto the international scene, she has been plying her trade for years at the domestic level allowing her clever body position and skill to shut down players do all the talking. Her transition work down the court is a key element of her game, weaving the ball through the thirds, and while she is not renowned for her ability to shut down players, given her flashy style she is more than capable.

Diamonds H2H Battle: 2000s vs 2010s

WITH the upcoming Netball World Cup looming, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and come up with our definitive Diamonds of the 2000s side and Diamonds of the 2010s (so far) side. Both sides consist of some familiar names, with players put in a specific side based on when they played the brunt of their international netball career.

The 2000s side consists of a number of household names in Australian netball, with three of Australia’s elite most-capped players taking the court. Sharelle McMahon, Liz Ellis and Cath Cox have almost 350 caps between them, more than half the amount of the entire 2010s’ starting seven. Shooters Cox and McMahon dominated in goals together for the majority of the 2000s, while Ellis, with the help of key defenders through the years, Mo’Onia Gerrard and Peta Squire, remained the stalwart backend goal keeper throughout her ten years in the side. Though Gerrard and Squire played majority of their respective careers in goal defence, both players took the court in wing defence towards the later end of their time as Diamonds. Natalie Bode stole the top spot of centre, with 76 caps to her name and captaining the side from 2010 – 2012. Lauren Nourse took the last starting position on court at wing attack. Despite only 25 caps for the Diamonds, Nourse was clinical at circle edge when paired with Bode.

More familiar names line the bench, with the likes of defenders, Bianca Chatfield, Susan Fuhrmann, Alison Broadbent and Janine Ilitch all in the side based on their respective successful stints in the Diamonds throughout the course of the 2000s. Eloise Southby-Halbish was the only other shooter to be named in the 2000s list, playing second fiddle to the dominant pairing of Cox and McMahon throughout her career and collecting 34 caps to her name.

 

Diamonds team of 2000s:

GS: Cath Cox (2002 – 2014), 108 caps
GA: Sharelle McMahon (1998 – 2011), 118 caps
WA: Lauren Nourse (2007 – 2011), 25 caps
C: Natalie Bode (nee von Bertouch) (2004 – 2013), 76 caps
WD: Peta Squire (1999-2004), 54 caps
GD: Mo’Onia Gerrard (2004 – 2013), 68 caps
GK: Liz Ellis (1993 – 2007), 122 caps

BENCH:

Bianca Chatfield (2001 – 2009), 42 caps
Eloise Southby-Halbish (1998 – 2006), 34 caps
Janine Ilitch (1995 – 2006), 51 caps
Susan Fuhrmann (2006 – 2011), 33 caps
Alison Broadbent (2001 – 2006), 28 caps

 

The Diamonds of the 2010s (so far) is just as star-studded as the 2000s list, with a number of familiar faces in the line-up; some retired but some still taking the court. Champion, Laura Geitz has been selected in goal keeper, seamlessly taking over from the likes of Ellis through the late 2000s. Joining Geitz in defence is Bec Bulley and Renae Ingles, who were both first named in the Diamonds line-up in the late 2000s, but were pivotal in the early 2010s. Taking the court in goals is speedster Nat Medhurst and current Diamonds captain, Caitlin Bassett, who is already at 90 caps for her career and showing no signs of slowing down, sitting in the top ten most capped Australian players alongside Ellis, McMahon, Cox and Medhurst. Nabbing centre and wing attack are Kim Ravaillion and Kim Green, respectively. Ravaillion applies plenty of defensive pressure throughout the centre court and her effective ball movement helps produce turnovers, while Green’s speed and grit through the midcourt and attacking third helped to boost goal shooting opportunities.

On the bench are some well-known players who just missed out on a starting position due to the number of caps they have played. Goal attack Susan Pettitt has shared the role with Medhurst and McMahon throughout the years, with Medhurst pipping her at the post this time with more caps to her name. Caitlin Thwaites has also been effective on the Diamonds stage, but with a number of dominant goalers shooting at high accuracy throughout the past 20 years, has been overshadowed on court by the likes of Cox and Bassett. Defenders Sharni Layton and Julie Corletto also dominated while on the court, narrowly missing out on a starting positions. The final player in the 2010 side is Madi Robinson who stepped up in the absence of Kim Green, with her ability to get ball to post quickly and use the angles to set up clever plays.

 

Diamonds team of 2010s:

GS: Caitlin Bassett (2008 – present), 90* caps
GA: Natalie Medhurst (2007 – 2017), 86 caps
WA: Kim Green (2008 – 2015), 74 caps
C: Kim Ravaillion (2013 – present), 57* caps
WD: Renae Ingles (nee Hallinan) (2009 – 2017), 57 caps
GD: Bec Bulley (2005 – 2015), 42 caps
GK: Laura Geitz (2008 – 2018), 71 caps

BENCH:

Sharni Layton (2009 – 2017), 46 caps
Julie Corletto (nee Prendergast) (2007 – 2015), 42 caps
Susan Pettitt (2006 – 2018), 71 caps
Caitlin Thwaites (2012 – present), 47* caps
Madi Robinson (nee Browne) (2009 – 2018), 61* caps

*At time of publish