Tag: Madi Browne

2020 Suncorp Super Netball Preview: Round 12

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

West Coast Fever v. NSW Swifts
Saturday, 12 August

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

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

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

Collingwood Magpies v. Melbourne Vixens
Saturday, 12 August

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

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

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

Sunshine Coast Lightning v. Queensland Firebirds
Sunday, 13 August

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

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

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

Adelaide Thunderbirds v. GIANTS Netball
Sunday, 13 August

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

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

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

Draft Central Courtside Comments: Round 11 – Mel Bragg

EACH week the Draft Central team will focus on one Suncorp Super Netball player across the round and take a look at their individual highlights, key moments and improvements across their match. Our Round 10 focus is Collingwood Magpies’ Mel Bragg, with the wing defence holding down a regular spot on court credit to her hunt and ability to create turnover ball. Each set of notes showcases the opinions of our writers individually.

Despite this being Bragg’s first full season out on court, she has had to somewhat take on the experienced role through the midcourt since the retirement of Madi Browne and Kelsey Browne’s step back from court time due to injury. What makes Bragg such an intriguing to player to watch is that often she can fade into the background given the calibre of defensive stars behind her, but has been fairly effective this season, using the big names behind her to build confidence and help bolster her individual game. Against the GIANTS on Thursday night Bragg had a more quiet outing in terms of stats with 13 centre pass receives, two deflections (one gain), one goal assist while also tallying four turnovers, however it was her ability to block drives of her opposition that counted in the close affair.

Here’s what we had to say:

By: Sophie Taylor, Draft Central Senior Editor

Bragg had a solid game this week, not quite as stats-heavy as other recent performances but fairly consistent. Had a few good looks at the loose ball but gave away a couple of easy turnovers especially in the first quarter, leaving the court but returned to start the second. Bragg seemed to be tracking Jamie-Lee Price in the GIANTS attack third, using her strength to block the centre and peeling off when required to allow speedy Molly Jovic to pull focus on transition from defence. Gave plenty of physicality back to Price, and scrapped for the ball on a number of occasions, willing to do the dirty work. Bragg put Maddie Hay under all sorts of pressure, forcing her off circle edge in the pocket and managed a handy deflection on circle edge not long toward the end of the first half, with her front positioning on Hay paying off and resulting in a Magpies gain. In the second half, Bragg did a good job on the centre pass to force the ball to go backwards of play, darting out across the transverse line and blocking the drive of the GIANTS attackers. Took on Kiera Austin in the second half who seemed to find space a lot easier than Hay but Bragg upped her game in the final quarter, putting the wing attack under a heap of pressure.

By: Taylah Melki, Draft Central Managing Editor

It was another consistent performance by Bragg who used her drive down court to punch through the GIANTS defence. Playing in wing defence, Bragg worked tirelessly to try and win ball back for her side and despite spending some time on the bench in the opening quarter came back out with a real fire in the belly. She contested hard throughout the game, tussling around circle edge for prime position and used her three-foot marking to block Hay’s vision. Had to shake up her game play in patches given Austin rotated into the wing attack position. Bragg was a constant option at the centre pass, often bursting out of the blocks to release long bombs toward the circle and catch the defenders off-guard. She was not afraid to back herself in the contest and use her quick footwork to dance around her opponent. Although it was not a stats stuffing performance from the wing defence the work she did off the ball was impressive, tracking her opponent’s every move and using her hands over pressure to create wayward passes and mount the pressure on the GIANTS forward half.

By: Lucy Pollock, Draft Central UK Writer

I have enjoyed watching Bragg make her mark on the SSN this season. She is a quiet achiever at wing defence and has been consistently putting out solid performances, despite the Magpies not seeing much success. Initially matching up against Hay, Bragg was doing a good job at tagging the wing attack and contributing to the success of the other Magpies defenders by doing so. When Austin moved into wing attack, Bragg started to fade slightly, due to Austin’s speed and deception in the wing attack position. Bragg is confident to bring the ball through court, although in this game she had a few general play turnovers which spoiled some of her hard work. Overall I think Bragg has demonstrated that she is a tenacious player with good game smarts. Like a lot of wing defences, she might not always get the credit for her efforts but she was a key cog for the Magpies in this game.

By: Kate Cornish, Draft Central volunteer writer

Melissa Bragg is relishing time on court this season and she improves with every game. She has a ‘typical Aussie’ defending style that is body-on-body and her role is to wear her opponent down and contest every ball. As wing defence in round 11 against the GIANTS she needed to stop Hay, who has performed well over the last few rounds in wing attack. Magpies coach Rob Wright took Bragg from the court in the first quarter and had her watch a few minutes from the bench after giving her instructions and when she was reintroduced into the game she came on with new purpose. She was back to contesting every ball and she had good hands over the pass trying to disrupt the feed into the circle. Bragg also does a great deal of work off the centre pass for the Magpies allowing a lovely second phase for the attacking end and in this game. She took 13 centre pass receives and with beautiful vision and a lovely wind up shoulder pass, Bragg also saw her name appear twice on the ‘feed’ list. Four general play turnovers during the game is an aspect that Bragg will want to tidy up to really cement herself as a wing defence that other teams need to be wary of.

Suncorp Super Netball Preview: Round 11

THE fight for finals continues to heat up with a couple of top four clashes headlining the Round 11 action. Just outside the top four, the Adelaide Thunderbirds will be looking to find their way into the mix while the Melbourne Vixens will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table.

NSW Swifts v. Melbourne Vixens
Tuesday, 8 September

In their Round 8 encounter the Melbourne Vixens got the wood over the Swifts, something the reigning premiers will be hoping to rectify this round as they look to steal top spot on the ladder. Both sides are evenly matched across the court however Briony Akle is not afraid to swing the axe and change the line-up given the amount of depth the Swifts boast.

The Swifts have a plethora of options through the midcourt with Paige Hadley, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Tayla Fraser and Maddy Proud all viable options through the centre. The potential matchup between Hadley and Vixens wing attack Liz Watson will be one to keep an eye on given their strength and courage while the Swifts will look to match the energy and go-get it attitude of Kate Moloney in centre. The likes of Sam Wallace, Sophie Garbin and Helen Housby have struggled to hit their stride so far this year, plagued by inconsistency and will have their work cut out for them against the Vixens. Emily Mannix will miss the clash for the Vixens however Jo Weston proved to be a handy option in goal keeper.

The increased versatility in the Vixens line-up has given them an edge this season not only in defence with Kate Eddy plying her trade in either wing defence or goal defence but so too in attack as the shooters have seamlessly rotated through. Caitlin Thwaites has had a resurgence out in goal attack while Mwai Kumwenda and Tegan Philip have proven to be a menace under the post. The concerning part for the Swifts is the fact that all three can punish from the super shot zone meaning Maddy Turner, Sarah Klau, Lauren Moore and potentially Sophie Craig will have to be switched on every second of the match if they are to keep the Vixens out of the game.

Sunshine Coast Lightning v, West Coast Fever
Tuesday, 8 September

The Lightning will be out for redemption against the Fever who completely outclassed them in their last outing, scoring a staggering 80 goals, the highest of the season. Sunshine Coast simply had no answers for Jhaniele Fowler with the goal shooter slotting a staggering 57 goals, an area they will be hoping to address this time round to keep them in the hunt for finals.

West Coast are blessed with a number of defenders who have stepped up to the plate in 2020 with Sunday Aryang and Olivia Lewis the two revelations down back while the ever reliable duo of Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis are solid contributors. Up against the constantly changing attacking unit of Cara Koenen, Peace Proscovia and Steph Wood, the battle under the post is set to be intriguing. In recent weeks Wood has showcased her versatility able to switch into wing attack with the Lightning not afraid to pull the trigger through the centre court and make wholesale changes.

Without Ingrid Colyer it will be up to Emma Cosh to stand up in wing attack while the playmaking load will likely land on Alice Teague-Neeld with the goaler able to dictate the flow out the front. The defensive combination of Phumza Maweni and Karla Pretorius however is no mean feat with the duo renowned for their ability to steal possession and shut down attacking units, something they will be hoping to inflict in this contest. The likes of Maddy McAuliffe and Laura Langman are also crucial cogs in the defensive third for the Lightning with their hands over pressure and read of the play impressive.

GIANTS Netball v. Collingwood Magpies
Wednesday, 9 September

It has been a disappointing season for the Magpies who farewelled Madi Browne and lost Kelsey Browne to injury while for the GIANTS 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride, filled with plenty of ups and downs. Collingwood have not won a game against the GIANTS in the past two years, a feat the GIANTS will be hoping to keep intact as they cast one eye on a finals berth.

Caitlin Bassett has struggled to get much court time in season 2020 with Jo Harten and Kiera Austin often getting the nod in goal shooter and goal attack respectively. However Bassett is no slouch, able to change the course of a game with the speed in which she can score and given the experience of Geva Mentor and Jodi-Ann Ward could likely be injected into the game against the Pies.

Molly Jovic has proven to be a key cog through the centre court with her speed and dynamic movement while Kelly Altmann has also showcased her strength around circle edge but copped a nasty knock last round. Tyler Orr debuted in Round 10 and did not skip a beat for the Magpies however the GIANTS are not without star power of their own through the mid court with Jamie-Lee Price, Amy Parmenter and Maddie Hay all formidable forces through the centre third. Defensively the GIANTS have a wealth of options with Matilda McDonell, April Brandley, Kristiana Manu’a and Sam Poolman all able to effectively ply their trade under the post.

Adelaide Thunderbirds v. Queensland Firebirds
Wednesday, 9 September

In a battle of the birds expect the game to go down to the wire with both sides coming off strong victories and looking to prove themselves in 2020. The Thunderbirds have steadily worked their way up the ladder and sit marginally out of the top four while the Firebirds are eager to keep their winning ways going.

There is no denying that Romelda Aiken is in career best form while Tippah Dwan is relishing the court time and feeding off the energy and dominance of Aiken at the post. However the goal shooter will have her work cut out for her against compatriot Shamera Sterling as the Thunderbirds goal keeper is an aerial mastermind, able to swat away ball time and time again. Partners in crime Layla Guscoth and Kate Shimmin are also major ball winners who are renowned for their tagging style of play to nullify the influence of their opponent.

The midcourt battle is also set to be enticing as both sides boast a wealth of youth and one experience spearhead – Chelsea Pitman for the Thunderbirds and Gabi Simpson for the Firebirds. The two are likely to match up against one another meaning it will be up to the players around them to impact the play as they often cancel each other out. Lara Dunkley really came into her own last round while Jemma Mi Mi offers plenty of dash in the attacking third. The strength of Mahalia Cassidy could match up nicely against the likes of Maisie Nankivell or Hannah Petty while Shadine van der Merwe is another handy option. Inside the goal circle Lenize Potgieter oozes nothing but class, composure and accuracy while Georgie Horjus has quickly become a super shot star meaning the likes of Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe will have to be on their A-game and look to attack the play if they are to upset the Thunderbirds and keep their slim finals hopes alive.

2020 Suncorp Super Netball preview: Round 10

WITH the home stretch in sight now that we have surpassed the midway point of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season, teams will be raring to go to prove that they are capable of pushing the top teams and get in the way of a finals berth. This round will be a repeat of Round 5’s proceedings, with the Melbourne Vixens, NSW Swifts, Adelaide Thunderbirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning all coming away with wins last time around making for some huge matches.

Melbourne Vixens v. West Coast Fever
Saturday, 5 September

A huge match opens Round 10 with Melbourne Vixens hoping to solidify top spot on the ladder with a second win against the Fever, while the Fever have had an excellent run over the past few rounds and will look to continue that against the ladder leaders.

There are a couple huge matchups in this game, none bigger than the battle inside the goal circle between Jhaniele Fowler and Emily Mannix. Last time these two sides met, it was the defensive effort from Kate Eddy and Jo Weston out the front that hindered Fowler’s ability to find the ball and put up a winning tally, meaning the Vixens will want to match that effort while Fever’s Alice Teague-Neeld will need to do more than just spot Fowler at the post. Fever speedster Ingrid Colyer will miss this round after going down with a suspected knee injury on Thursday night, meaning the Vixens may need to shuffle their defensive unit depending on who gets the start in wing attack. Verity Charles has had a huge few rounds and will be tested in this one against an in-form Kate Moloney, while Liz Watson has been on fire this season so will be the real challenge out the front for the Fever. In the Vixens goal circle, expect plenty of rotations between Caitlin Thwaites, Mwai Kumwenda and Tegan Philip, with all three players offering something different to post against a hugely versatile Fever defensive unit headed up by captain Courtney Bruce.

NSW Swifts v. Queensland Firebirds
Saturday, 5 September

The Queensland Firebirds have had an excellent few rounds coming into a second match against the NSW Swifts, meaning that this match is well within their reach if they can negate the Swifts who are yet to really put a four quarter effort together despite sitting in second on the ladder. 

Romelda Aiken has been in fine form in recent weeks and is coming up against Sarah Klau in an enticing battle, with the goal keeper putting on a show in patches but not quite yet hitting the heights of her 2019 season. Tippah Dwan has also had a solid few weeks, using her footwork and speed to find space with ease, and will likely take on Lauren Moore and Maddy Turner in defence while Sophie Craig is a smaller option to rotate through if Paige Hadley takes a step back to wing defence once more. While Hadley has typically plied her trade in the attack, her speed to shut down Jemma Mi Mi could be critical here with both Maddy Proud and Nat Haythornthwaite more than capable of holding down the midcourt. Question marks are still around Swifts goal attack Helen Housby at the other end, with fellow goaler Sophie Garbin forced off the court with a rolled ankle during the week, making for an interesting circle if the duo both cannot take the court, especially given the form of Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe down back for the Firebirds, with the height of Rudi Ellis a great option if needed to negate the effort of Sam Wallace at the post.

GIANTS Netball v. Sunshine Coast Lightning
Sunday, 6 September

GIANTS have had a frustrating few rounds on the court, only just getting over the line against the Firebirds last weekend and dominated by the Vixens during the week, and will be tested again this round by a tough Lightning outfit who come in off the back of similar circumstances. It was in this matchup back in Round 5 that Kristiana Manu’a was sent off which ultimately resulted in the Lightning’s come from behind win, meaning the GIANTS will surely be back with a vengeance in this contest.

For the GIANTS, three highly impactful goalers is the name of the game, with two of the three able to hit the super shot with ease and unafraid of the long bomb. Jo Harten and Kiera Austin are the go-to girls from range but with the likes of Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni lifting defensively during the week, expect a tough battle both inside and outside the circle. Laura Scherian and Laura Langman are always a tough ask, able to keep going and going, but with two great defensive midcourters in Jamie-Lee Price and Amy Parmenter able to take them on, this match will really be won or lost through the midcourt. At the other end of the court, Steph Wood has lifted her game after a slow start to the season, while Cara Koenen continues to exploit defenders with her smooth movement along the goalline, although Sam Poolman’s netball nous could see her step up to the plate to block the speedy goal shooter on the drive.

Adelaide Thunderbirds v. Collingwood Magpies
Sunday, 6 September

A massive match between Thunderbirds and Magpies will complete Round 10, seeing the Thunderbirds running out in front of a home crowd for the first time all season. But the Magpies will be on a mission to honour their fallen troops in Browne sisters Madi and Kelsey, with Madi announcing her retirement during the week and Kelsey out for the rest of the season to recover from a knee tweak.

While the Magpies are missing two of their leaders through the midcourt, the side held up fairly well during the week before the Swifts lifted their game, with Molly Jovic, Kelly Altmann and Mel Bragg all doing their jobs well and standing up to the Swifts’ rotations. They will come up against a tough Thunderbirds midcourt though, with Chelsea Pitman and Hannah Petty leading through the centre and some influential defensive midcourters in Maisie Nankivell and Shadine van der Merwe holding up ball movement. But where the Magpies may be able to get a look in is in the attack, with no confirmation yet whether Shamera Sterling will take the court after a nasty ankle roll during the week, though the remaining defensive duo of Kate Shimmin and Layla Guscoth is more than capable of holding up the defensive end. Shimona Nelson will want to lift her game after a sloppy few weeks on the court, aided by Gabby Sinclair, while at the other end expect Lenize Potgieter and Georgie Horjus to come out flying once more although a tough defensive duo of Geva Mentor and Jodi-Ann Ward will do anything in their power to block the pair from hitting the scoreboard.

SSN stats wrap: Round 8/9

ROUNDS 8 and 9 of Suncorp Super Netball saw some huge results, and instead of combining player stats from the two rounds, we will now take a look at the two different rounds of competitions separately and delve into the top performers based on individual outings. The two rounds were topped off with a premature retirement from Collingwood Magpies midcourter Madi Browne, who sat out of both games but deserves a mention for her services to netball over the past 15 years, including time at four clubs in the Melbourne Kestrels, West Coast Fever, Melbourne Vixens and most recently, Magpies.

ROUND 8

Round 8 saw some huge results as the Queensland Firebirds put a second win on the board, beating their 2019 tally while the West Coast Fever absolutely blew the Sunshine Coast Lightning out of the water to mount a real top four berth that many were unsure whether the side was capable of. The Melbourne Vixens narrowly defeated the Swifts while the Magpies had a magnificent opening quarter before the GIANTS ran away with the win.

Unsurprisingly, Jhaniele Fowler topped the goal tally again in Round 8, dominating to post with 57 goals at 97 per cent – a tally that could easily have reached the 70s, given she was off for the last 10 minutes. Next in line were three other huge targets – all internationals – with both Mwai Kumwenda and Sam Wallace putting up 46 goals apiece (Wallace with three super shots) while Romelda Aiken continued her solid season with 40 from 45 attempts. In at goal attack, Kiera Austin (25 goals from 33 attempts), Georgie Horjus (23 from 30 including four super shots) and Steph Wood (21 from 27, seven super shots) were all huge in shared efforts alongside their respective goal shooters. When it came to feeds into the circle, there is no doubt that Liz Watson is the most prolific wing attack in the competition, racking up a whopping 37 assists from 53 feeds, with the next highest tally going to an impressive Verity Charles (26 assists from 41 feeds), assisted by Alice Teague-Neeld (21 assists, 10 goals, one intercept).

Defensively, a whopping five players collected three intercepts – two defenders (Courtney Bruce and Kim Jenner), two midcourters (Laura Langman and Maisie Nankivell) and one goaler (Austin) – while Jodi-Ann Ward was the only player to tally more with five to her name. Ward also topped the gains tally with 12, though Bruce (9) and Geva Mentor (7) also put out solid efforts. 

ROUND 9

The second round of the week saw all four “away” teams win their respective matches, with the closest margin of the round a six goal victory to the Lightning, bouncing back well from their Fever outing. Meanwhile, both Swifts and Vixens were convincing in their pursuit for top spot, bolstering their percentages as they came away with 15 and 20-goal wins. 

The usual suspect in Fowler put up another 63 goals to close out the round with both Wallace (47 goals) and Aiken (45) next in line, though Aiken’s 79 per cent left something to be desired for the Firebirds. Shimona Nelson and Peace Proscovia may not have gotten a wealth of court time this round (24 and 22 minutes respectively) but sunk all of their 16 and 15 attempts at 100 per cent, while rotation inside the circle seemed to be the flavour of the round as the GIANTS, Vixens and Lightning all had a trio of goalers hit double figures on the scoreboard. To the surprise of no one, Jo Harten topped the super shot tally for the round with seven from 10 attempts to keep the GIANTS in the contest against the Vixens. 

Watson once again topped the assists count with another 32 to her name, while partner in crime Kate Moloney racked up 18 to go with her five gains. Charles added another 24 assists to her tally while Mahalia Cassidy carried the load for the Firebirds with 21 from 41 feeds. Defensively, Sarah Klau was outstanding with seven intercepts against the Magpies and just six penalties to her name, while Karla Pretorius returned to her past form with six intercepts as did Bruce who continues to impress on return from injury. Despite sitting out for the last six minutes of the match to injury, Shamera Sterling racked up 10 gains, while Mentor and Jamie-Lee Price led the deflections tally with 15 and 10, though majority did not result in individual gains and their respective teams went down by significant margins. 

Courtside Comments: Round 1 – Maisie Nankivell

Courtside Comments: Round 5 – Georgie Horjus

2020 Suncorp Super Netball: Five talking points – Round 7/8

ROUND 7 and 8 of the Suncorp Super Netball saw plenty of close contests showcasing just how tight the competition is in 2020 while it also highlighted an interesting trend in the way teams are now approaching the super shot and confirmed some premiership favourites.

Melbourne Vixens firm as premiership contenders
Back-to-back wins in Round 7 and 8 saw the Vixens clinch top spot on the ladder and prove why they are considered premiership favourites. It was not only the fact they won, but the way in which they did it that showcased their development, proving they know how to win ugly and ride through the ups and downs of a game. They defeated the reigning premiers, NSW Swifts in Round 8 which was a testament to their increased versatility across the court and strong connections as the likes of the Mwai Kumwenda inflicted a wealth of scoreboard pressure. Liz Watson is arguably in career best form and is a clear barometer for the side while Kate Moloney is equally as important with her gut running. Their strength also lies in defence with Kate Eddy able to swing into goal defence to give Jo Weston a chop out in wing defence.

Fever reach new heights in the goal circle
West Coast Fever came out and stunned two-time premiers Sunshine Coast Lightning in Round 8 completely and utterly blowing them out of the water by half-time. In the first two quarters alone, the Fever piled on 20 and 24 goals respectively to take their total to 44 goals compared to their opponents 25 in what was a dominant performance. Jhaniele Fowler had the ball on a string throughout the game and while she sat out most of the final quarter, her influence was undeniable posting a ridiculous 57 goals from 59 attempts at 97 per cent efficiency. Alice Teague-Neeld also came into her own with the goal attack managing 10 goals but it was her work out the front that paved the way for Fowler’s dominance under the post with 21 goal assists.

Reduced number of super shots
The novelty of the super shot seems to have worn off for many of the teams throughout the Super Netball, with the amount of players willing to back themselves from range rapidly decreasing from the start of the season. In Round 1 the eight sides put up a collective 113 super shot attempts, however in Round 8 they combined for 68 highlighting the change in tactics from many teams. The Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts have steered away from the two-goal shot and that was evident in their Round 8 clash as the two sides only a collective nine attempts. Despite having a plethora of long bomb shooters in Helen Housby for the Swifts and Tegan Philip and Caitlin Thwaites for the Vixens, the top two sides have opted to stick to the one-goal shot.

Goal keeper master class
Both Round 7 and 8 were dictated by the goal keepers as the likes of Geva Mentor and Shamera Sterling got busy for their respective sides. Mentor has been the mainstay for the Pies in what has been a challenging season for the black and whites. However that has not stopped the goal keeper from racking up the deflections and intercepts. Sterling continued to be a menace in the air amassing seven intercepts and 14 deflections across the two games while Queensland Firebirds keeper Tara Hinchliffe was a wall in defence and even won player of the match honours in Round 8 for her stellar performance that saw her finish with four gains, eight deflections and two rebounds. West Coast Fever goal keeper Courtney Bruce is also not to be forgotten racking up the stats in what was a couple of impressive rounds by the defenders.

Collingwood continues to languish at the bottom of the ladder
Without a host of their key players from season 2020, the Magpies have struggled in the 2020 season so far, unable to put out a consistent four quarter performance. Donning new connections across the court it is fair to say the links are missing for Collingwood able to move the ball with much conviction despite the best efforts of speedsters Madi and Kelsey Browne. The fresh faces inject plenty of energy into the side however Collingwood seem to lack that finesse across the court, often throwing away a lot of ball with a combined 49 turnovers in Round 7 and 8.  Mentor has been solid down back while Jodi-Ann Ward has had moments of magic but the attack end seems to be missing a link as Shimona Nelson and Gabby Sinclair are struggling to hit the scoreboard in a big way.

Swifts dominate final term to claim 15-goal victory over Collingwood

THE second placed NSW Swifts dominated from start to finish against a languishing Collingwood side that struggled to find its flow through the midcourt and attacking third going down by 15 goals (54-69).  Despite challenging for patches, Collingwood never really looked like upsetting the reigning premiers who showcased their ability to hold strong and revert to their structures when things got trying.

Both sides took a couple of minutes to settle into the game with space well and truly congested in attack and some scrappy passages of play marring the start to the match. Despite the scrappiness, it was goal for goal to start the game with the flavour of the match being look long into the goal circle with both Shimona Nelson and Sam Wallace dictating the flow in attack for their respective sides. Geva Mentor made life hard early for Wallace in the goal circle, contesting the high ball and pressuring the hands of Wallace. The Swifts got the break early capitalising on a turnover off the Magpies centre pass to push out to a two goal buffer. Nelson came out with a fire in the belly for the Pies commanding the ball under the post but a couple of poorly directed passes cost Collingwood as the reigning premiers put the foot down.

With a four-goal lead in the favour of the Swifts, Collingwood called a timeout and looked upbeat. A quick goal to Nelson cut the deficit to three before Jodi-Ann Ward showcased her impressive aerial ability and three-foot marking to steal an intercept and get back to two goals. But the Swifts regained composure and looked to punish the Magpies in attack with Sophie Craig and Sarah Klau putting in the hard yards to reel into intercepts and force turnovers. Wallace landed the first super shot of the game to extend the margin to seven goals while the increased defensive pressure from the Swifts got into the heads of the Magpies with the frontend riddled with errant passes.

The Swifts made a couple of changes to kickstart the second term with Kelly Singleton replacing Sophie Garbin. The goal attack hit the scoreboard early but had her work cut out for her against Ward who challenged her every step of the way. Molly Jovic and Kelly Altmann showcased their speed in transition for the Magpies with the midcourt duo combining seamlessly to hit circle edge. It was not pretty for either side as their movement down the court was stagnant due to the defensive hands over pressure but the Swifts found a way to ride through it and find some form of continuity. Maddy Proud also entered the game in wing attack using her speed and strength to carve up Mel Bragg around the circle and deliver the ball on a silver platter to Wallace.

Youngster Tayla Fraser injected plenty of speed into the Swifts midcourt, contesting every pass and using her hot hands to keep the defenders guessing. With the super shot coming into play Collingwood shook up the shooting circle with Nyah Allen taking the court quickly getting into the thick of things against Klau. Consecutive super shots from from Allen and Gabby Sinclair saw the Pies draw the margin back before another two point shot allowed Collingwood to get within six goals as the Swifts called a timeout. The break seemed to pay dividends for the Swifts who came out composed with ball in hand, happy to work their way down the court to try and treasure possession. With Mentor wreaking havoc down back and getting plenty of hands to ball Garbin re-entered the game and had an immediate impact with her strong drive to allow Wallace to control the flow in attack.

Holding a handy nine-goal buffer, Collingwood looked to eat into the margin through the hands of Emma Ryde but the Swifts were up to the challenge contesting every ball and holding firm. The defensive combination of Matilda Garrett in goal defence, Ward out in wing defence and Mentor started to kick into gear as the trio picked up some loose ball. Ryde seemed to have the ball on a string under the post using her height and body positioning to keep Klau at bay and the scoreboard ticking over. Getting back to within seven goals, Wallace turned it up a notch under the post as Natalie Haythornthwaite came alive in wing attack for the Swifts to find a wealth of space in the attacking third. Goal defence Maddy Turner also flipped the tables on Sinclair with her lean over the shot and shadowing style of play wearing her down in patches.

Holding the momentum early the Magpies wrestled back the control from the Swifts as they increased the intensity across the court. Collingwood worked in overdrive to chip away at the deficit but a couple of errant passes and missed connections given both Madi and Kelsey Browne were out of action saw the lead blow out once again as Paige Hadley and Maddy Proud plied their trade to pick up a wealth of defensive ball. Collingwood simply could not capitalise on their chances while the Swifts consistently found a way to hit the scoreboard.

An injury scare to Garbin looked like it was going to disrupt the Swifts’ line-up but their class shone through with youngster Singleton stepping up to the plate and finding her range. Klau further sparked her side into action, proving to be a wall in defence as the Swifts opened up a 10-goal lead. The Swifts started to hum across the court linking up with great ease and streaming down the court to slice Collingwood open in every which way to run out comfortable victors.

Without Housby the shooting load fell to Wallace who was well and truly up to the task sinking 47 goals for the game, while Garbin also hit the scoreboard with eight goals from 13 attempts down on her usual output. For the Pies the scoring responsibility was shared with Nelson plying her trade under the post with 16 goals at 100 per cent accuracy, as Sinclair highlighted her long range shooting, recording three super shots to go with her five normal goals. Ryde was the topscorer with 21 goals while Allen also managed three goals for the game.

In terms of defensive efforts, Mentor and Ward worked in overdrive for Collingwood collectively amassing eight gains (four of which were intercepts) and 15 deflections. Up the other end Klau shone for the Swifts with her read of the play to register a whopping seven intercepts while Proud starred winning the MVP thanks to her 15 goal assists, one intercept and one gain performance.

>>> MAGPIES TEAM PAGE
>>> SWIFTS TEAM PAGE
>>> FULL MATCH STATS

Collingwood Magpies 13 | 14 | 15 | 12 (54)
NSW Swifts 20 | 16 | 12 | 21 (69)

STARTING SEVEN:

Collingwood Magpies:

GS: Shimona Nelson
GA: Gabby Sinclair
WA: Kelly Altmann
C: Molly Jovic
WD: Melissa Bragg
GD: Jodi-Ann Ward
GK: Geva Mentor

NSW Swifts:

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

2020 Suncorp Super Netball preview: Round 9

PASSING the half way point of the season the race for finals intensifies with a couple of teams all vying for that elusive fourth spot. After some big losses last round, expect Collingwood and the Lightning to bounce back while the Vixens hope to hold onto top spot in Round 9 of the Suncorp Super Netball season.

GIANTS Netball v. Melbourne Vixens
Tuesday, 1 September

The top of the table Melbourne Vixens will be looking for their eighth win of the season and firmly secure their spot while the GIANTS will be hoping to work their way back into the top four. Both sides have struggled to find a consistent shooting combination but have proven they have options aplenty.

Still toying with their best starting seven, the GIANTS will be hoping to inflict some early scoreboard pain with Jo Harten and Kiera Austin proving to be a menace from the super shot zone. Not getting a consistent amount of time on court, Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett has highlighted her skill to be an impact player and could once again be the trump card needed to upset the Vixens defensive unit. Emily Mannix is a strong force in goal keeper with the defender able to get hands to ball and stop the ball from entering the goal circle, while Jo Weston is also renowned for her ball tracking ability and hands over pressure to force turnovers. Kate Eddy has made a seamless transition into the Vixens making the wing defence position her own often getting tips and deflections to regain possession,

It will be a ferocious battle in the mid court with both Kate Moloney and Jamie-Lee Price set to go head to head. Neither player are known for their ability to take a backward step, often contesting every single pass and throwing their body on the line to win ball. Liz Watson has been in ripping form for the Melbourne Vixens with the wing attacks slicing up her opposition with her dynamic footwork and change of direction but will have her work cut out for her against up and coming youngster Amy Parmenter who is proven that she oozes nothing but class and determination. The Vixens will be hoping that the combination of Caitlin Thwaites, Tegan Philip and Mwai Kumwenda can all hit the scoreboard with relative ease and take out the the influence of Sam Poolman, Kristiana Manu’a, April Brandley and Matilda McDonnell.

 

Collingwood Magpies v. NSW Swifts
Tuesday, 1 September

Coming off another disappointing loss the Magpies will be keen to work their way up off the bottom of the ladder, while the Swifts will also be hoping to jump back on the winners list. Last time these two sides met Collingwood pushed the reigning premiers to their limits, falling just short.

The Swifts have lacked continuity throughout season 2020 often swapping and changing players and most importantly have not been able to treasure possession as regularly as they did last year. The connection between Helen Housby, Sam Wallace and Sophie Garbin has been hit and miss something the Collingwood defensive unit in Geva Mentor, Jodi-Ann Ward and Matilda Garrett will be looking to exploit. Through the midcourt Natalie Haythornthwaite and Maddy Proud have often rotated that wing attack position struggling to hit circle edge with great penetration another area Collingwood will look to break down through Mel Bragg and Molly Jovic.

The influence of Paige Hadley in wing defence has been huge for the Swifts with the centre court player providing that drive and defensive pressure while Sophie Craig is another option to fill the role. Collingwood have a wealth of speedsters to choose from through the midcourt with Madi Browne hopefully returning after missing last round, Kelsey Browne, Kelly Altmann and Jovic. In the goal circle, Shimona Nelson has been a bit shaky but Gabby Sinclair has proven she is more than capable to lead the way under the post with her long bomb shooting and cut and drive. Still working her way into match fitness Maddy Turner will be hoping to have a more profound impact while Lauren Moore has proven to be a ball winning machine alongside Sarah Klau in defence making for a hotly contested match.

 

Adelaide Thunderbirds v. Sunshine Coast Lightning
Wednesday, 2 September

Both teams will be licking their wounds after Round 8 making for a highly anticipated clash. A loss for the Thunderbirds could make it hard for them to make finals, while the Lightning could slip out of the four meaning this game has huge repercussions when it comes to ladder positioning.

The Lightning will be out for revenge after their poor showing last round with Phumza Maweni and Karla Pretorius expected to capitalise and go out hunting against a relatively young frontend. Georgie Horjus has taken the competition by storm with the goal attack slicing up the goal circle thanks to her hard drives and spatial awareness paired with her ability to go to post. She often brings the likes of Lenize Potgieter into the game, while Sasha Glasgow is another handy option under the post with her strong holds and rebounds. Wing attack Chelsea Pitman is in career best form, while fellow midcourters Maisie Nankivell and Hannah Petty have showcased their drive and determination throughout the season making for an enthralling contest against the likes of Laura Langman and Laura Scherian.

Inside the goal circle, the Lightning possess options aplenty with Cara Koenen able to seamlessly transition between goal shooter to goal attack in a heartbeat while Steph Wood has shown she can swing into wing attack with ease. Peace Proscovia has been relatively up and down in season 2020 but should not be underestimated given her strength. However the Thunderbirds are not without star power of their own; Shamera Sterling a ball winning magnet while England Roses duo Kate Shimmin and Layla Guscoth often rotate through that goal defence position to keep their opposition guessing.

 

Queensland Firebirds v. West Coast Fever
Wednesday, 2 September

Both sides will be riding a wave of confidence coming off some impressive performances over the weekend making for an enticing match. It will be a battle of the Jamaican goal shooters with Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler both in scintillating form for their respective teams.

Aiken is in career best form with the goal shooter leading the way under the post and providing a wealth of experience and composure in the goal circle. Her connection with Tippah Dwan has developed at a rate of knots throughout the season with the youngster backing herself from range time and time again, while through the midcourt the likes of Mahalia Cassidy and Jemma Mi Mi have showcased their ability to tear open a game with their speed and precise ball movement into the circle. The Fever have no shortage of options when it comes to defence with Courtney Bruce a dominant forcing goalkeeper while both Olivia Lewis and Sunday Aryang have proven to be handy inclusions in the defensive rotation. Stacey Francis is another handy option for the fever with the England Roses defender able to swing between wing defence and circle defence depending on the needs of the team.

The contest between Kim Jenner and Alice Teague-Neeld will be one to watch with the duo boasting plenty of speed and excitement. Teague-Neeld is coming off a strong performance last round, while Jenner has shown that she is no slouch, able to pick up ball and change the course of a game within a blink of an eye. Her partnership with Tara Hinchliffe is arguably one of the most damaging elements for the Firebirds while Gabi Simpson is a workhorse out the front able to block the drive of Ingrid Colyer and Verity Charles to disrupt the flow in the Fevers attacking end.

2020 SSN – Head to head: Rounds 8/9

IN each round of Suncorp Super Netball we will identify key match-ups, provide an analysis of players and compare the two styles. This week’s head to head sees a couple of tough captains in Firebirds’ Gabi Simpson and Thunderbirds’ Chelsea Pitman do battle on Sunday afternoon.

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS v. ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS
Gabi Simpson (WD) v. Chelsea Pitman (WA)

A huge battle is set to commence on Sunday afternoon, with Simpson and Pitman both hoping to steer their respective teams to another victory, with both sides residing in the bottom four after losses during the week. Both key midcourt cogs leading the charge, Simpson and Pitman are both hugely influential in setting up plays and are well-matched in this contest.

With plenty of tenacity and the ability to lift her team when it is down, Simpson is a real barometer for the Firebirds and is a force to be reckoned with when she gets going. A huge burst of speed allows her to attack the loose ball from a mile away, while her transitional play allows her to zip back up the court on the back of turnover. Her ability to zone her opposition away from circle edge and into traffic is significant for the Firebirds, allowing Kim Jenner to do her thing out the front, while Simpson is no stranger to the spotlight herself, able to do the unthinkable around circle edge to create impressive intercepts and change the course of the game. Simpson’s impressive form this season has seen the captain rarely falter in the contest, always looking for the loose ball and able to play a real aerial, athletic game. With great timing to use her game awareness to block vision and creatively stop play in its tracks, Simpson is a force to be reckoned with, especially with Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe behind her picking up the scraps.

For the Thunderbirds, Pitman is a huge influence on circle edge and has really stepped up her game in 2020. Her ability to hit circle edge with speed and consistently provide an option around the edge of circle makes her a constant threat given her ability to thread the needle into her goalers at the post. While not the most flashy wing attack in the game, her consistency this season and continuous influence in attack for the Thunderbirds allows her to find plenty of space to drive into and stay away from the whistle. With plenty of endurance and quick feet to match, Pitman is a formidable attacker with the way she moves the ball and is able to open up opportunities for her centre and goalers to find the ball. Pitman’s physical strength is one of her biggest assets, able to hold ground on circle age with ease and is rarely beaten on the drive given her clever timing on the takeoff. Her combinations across the board have been tough to cut through this season, with Lenize Potgieter and Georgie Horjus clever with their positioning and Maisie Nankivell light on her feet, able to adjust her play to her captain’s attacking forays.

The two players will be an exceptional matchup in this game and realistically could be the difference between winning or losing for both teams. Simpson relies on getting in her opponents head and beating them on the lead, while Pitman’s strength on the hold means she will not budge on circle edge to give Simpson the space to create an intercept. That being said, Simpson’s continuous pestering cannot be underestimated, especially given the Firebirds will want to recover well after a one goal loss during the week.

In other matchups over the next round, Jo Weston will take on the crafty Helen Housby, and expect some tough battles across the court when Magpies’ Kelsey Browne takes on GIANTS’ Amy Parmenter and Courtney Bruce is tasked with shutting down the in-form Cara Koenen. Heading to the midweek Round 9 fixtures and so begins a repeat of Round 6, seeing another huge battle between Kate Moloney and Jamie-Lee Price, Phumza Maweni and Potgieter in the Lightning versus Thunderbirds battle, while Hinchliffe will get another go on Fever’s Jhaniele Fowler and the likes of Madi Browne and Paige Hadley take on the other once more.

2020 Suncorp Super Netball preview: Round 8

ROUND 8 of the Suncorp Super Netball sees a number of ladder defining matches as the top four teams all go head to head and look to secure their spot. Meanwhile, Collingwood and Queensland continue their hunt for their second win of the season.

Melbourne Vixens v. NSW Swifts
Saturday, 29 August

In a battle of first versus second the Melbourne Vixens will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table while the Swifts will be out to prove that they are still to be the team to beat in 2020. Both teams are coming off seven goal victories and have shown that they know how to win even if it is ugly, able to grind out games and take advantage of their experience across the court.

Rotating goalers seems to be the main focus for both sides with the Melbourne Vixens able to bring on Caitlin Thwaites, Tegan Philip and Mwai Kumwenda seamlessly while the Swifts boast the likes of Helen Housby, Sophie Garbin and Sam Wallace. All three Vixens shooters offer a different element to the attacking unit with Liz Watson and Kate Moloney able to adapt their game play on the fly meaning the Swifts will have to work in overdrive to stop their flow. Sarah Klau is a menace in defence with the goal keeper able to gobble up a wealth of ball, go out hunting and pressure the shot. Returning from injury Maddy Turner is still finding her groove while Lauren Moore has shown that she is more than capable of changing the course of a game with her intercepting ability.

The midcourt battle will be one of interest as Paige Hadley has slotted nicely into the wing defence position, switching in and out with Sophie Craig who has also spent time in goal defence in recent weeks. The Swifts have options aplenty through the centre third with Tayla Fraser a real pocket rocket while Maddy Proud is coming off an MVP performance. England Roses star Natalie Haythornthwaite often flies under the radar but her connection with Helen Houbsy has been faultless often providing that much needed spark in attack for the Swifts. The Vixens however do not lack star power of their own with Emily Mannix, Jo Weston and Kate Eddy all commanding forces down in defence, renowned for their intimidating three-foot marking and increased versatility.

Collingwood Magpies v. GIANTS Netball
Saturday, 29 August

Coming off a win the GIANTS will be looking to make it back to back victories while on the other hand Collingwood will be out for some form of redemption to get back on the winners list. Collingwood have not won a game since Round 3 despite being close a couple of times while the GIANTS have had a rollercoaster couple of weeks and are looking to secure a spot in the top four.

After spending a wealth of time on the bench, Caitlin Bassett came out firing last round and will be looking to own that goal shooter position against the experienced Geva Mentor. Joining Mentor down back, Jodi-Ann Ward has proven to be a solid pick-up for Collingwood with the Jamaican defender contesting every single pass while Matilda Garrett is another impact player thanks to her hands over pressure. But the GIANTS boast a stacked line-up in the frontend with Jo Harten and Kiera Austin able to attack the super shot and cause some real scoreboard pressure for Collingwood who have been off the boil the past couple of games.

Sam Poolman is renowned for her body-on-body physical approach to the game and if she is able to contest the hands of Shimona Nelson could be in for a huge game. Emma Ryde has shown strong patches of play for Collingwood while Gabby Sinclair has proven to a be a consistent performer for the Pies whether it be under the post or from range. However the GIANTS have the likes of Kristiana Manu’a and April Brandley at their disposal who can shut down the influential Sinclair in attack. With speed to burn through the midcourt with Madi and Kelsey Browne for Collingwood and Jamie-Lee Price and Maddie Hay for the GIANTS it will be about which team can settle first and control the tempo of the game. Although Collingwood have no shortage of options through the centre third with Molly Jovic and Kelly Altmann also strong options alongside the Brownes, they sometimes lack that finesse – something Amy Parmenter will be hoping to take advantage of.

Queensland Firebirds v. Adelaide Thunderbirds
Sunday, 30 August

Both sides dropped their last game and are seeking some type of consistency in their game play. Falling agonisingly short last round the Firebirds will be hoping to put out a full four quarter performance to keep themselves off the bottom of the ladder while the Thunderbirds will be keen to climb back into the top four and capitalise on their chances in attack.

This game is set up for a tantalising battle between Jamaican teammates Romelda Aiken and Shamera Sterling with Aiken arguably in career best form. Aiken is a real barometer for the Firebirds, able to command the ball and use her athleticism to dominate her defender while Sterling reads the play exceptionally well to cause havoc in the defence and pick off passes. The frequent rotation between Layla Guscoth and Kate Shimmin has worked wonders for the Thunderbirds with the defensive unit not skipping a beat while the pressure out the front from Shadine van der Merwe and Maisie Nankivell is next level meaning the Firebirds will have to be on their a-game if they are to overrun Adelaide. Tippah Dwan has been a revelation in season 2020 with the goal attack prone to the super shot and a smooth mover in the goal circle while the efforts of Jemma Mi Mi and Mahalia Cassidy on the attack are another focal point for the Firebirds.

The defensive duo of Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner has developed at a rate of knots so far this season with the two posing a constant threat down back, able to go out for a screamer and put fear into the opposition team. The contest between Georgie Horjus and Jenner will be one to watch while the versatility in the goal circle could pay dividends for the T’birds with Lenize Potgieter working seamlessly with both Horjus and Sasha Glasgow. However it will all come down to the battle between the two captains as Chelsea Pitman and Gabi Simpson are likely to match up. Both players set the tone for their sides with Pitman in scintillating form and Simpson a dominant figure around circle edge.

West Coast Fever v. Sunshine Coast Lightning
Sunday, 30 August

The final game of the round could change the top four with the fourth placed Fever taking on the third place Lightning. The Fever are coming off a dominant win while the Lightning will be ruing their final quarter performance making for a tight tussle between the two sides.

There is no denying that Jhaniele Fowler is the go-to girl in attack for the West coast Fever with the Jamaican goal shooter simply unstoppable under the post. her influence is what dictates the tone of the game for West Coast meaning Phumza Maweni will have her work cut out for her given the height differential. Alice Teague-Neeld and Kaylia Stanton are the other key cogs in attack for the Fever with their ability to feed into Fowler while Ingrid Colyer is another livewire with her deft touch and ball placement. However Sunshine Coast have plenty of star power of their own to combat the Fever frontline with Karla Pretorius renowned for her hunt of the ball and ability to nullify the influence of her opposition while both Maddy McAuliffe and Jacqui Russell have shared the wing defence role exceptionally well, able to come on and build a mountain load of pressure.

In attack Laura Langman and Laura Scherian are workhorses for the Lightning while Steph Wood is the undeniable playmaker with her quick feet and hot hands to dish off the ball. Cara Koenen has continued to develop at a rate of knots while Peace Proscovia has proven to be an impact player under the post. The Fever have an endless supply of defensive options with Olivia Lewis, Sunday Aryang, Stacey Francis and captain Courtney Bruce all viable options down back to quell the influence of the Lightning attackers.