Tag: maisie nankivell

2020 SSN: Season preview- Adelaide Thunderbirds

AFTER an extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season is set to commence on August 1. Draft Central takes a look at each team, starting off with the Adelaide Thunderbirds. 

Coach: Tania Obst
Captain: Layla Guscoth and Chelsea Pitman
2019 finish: 7th 

Breaking their 27 game losing streak in Round 1 against the Fever last year, the Thunderbirds seemed to uncover a new lease on life attacking the ball with intensity. Unfortunately they could not maintain that style of play throughout the season only notching up two more wins. Riddled with injuries, England Roses midcourter Beth Cobden was ruled out early with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and co-captain Layla Guscoth missed the second half of the season after rupturing her Achilles. Sasha Glasgow also went down late in the season with an ACL topping off what had been a trying season for the Thunderbirds. They will be keen to put that to bed in 2020 and put their foot down. Adelaide well and truly proved they have the defensive firepower to change the course of the game, something they will be hoping to build on this season to register more wins. 

2020 predictions/expectations:

With the key loss and retirement of long bomb specialist Maria Folau and uncertainty surrounding Glasgow’s return the Thunderbirds shooting end oozes plenty of youth and inexperience when it comes to connections. Welcoming quickfire goal shooter and Spar Proteas star Lenize Potgieter the Thunderbirds attack will rely heavily on her to deliver while the likes of Samantha Gooden and Charlee Hodges will also have a challenge on their hands stepping into a new-look side. The midcourt remains relatively unchanged with Chelsea Pitman the key through the attacking third with her clever ball placement, speed on the pass, strong circle edge positioning and vision into the circle. Her output will be key to ensuring the goalers get good access. Defensively Adelaide are littered with ball winners, none bigger than Shamera Sterling. The Jamaican goal keeper took the competition by storm last year, using her long arms, speed off the mark and pressure over the shot to win ball back and cause havoc. The versatility of Kate Shimmin also worked wonders for the Thunderbirds while Shadine van der Merwe also slotted into the team seamlessly with her hands over pressure and strength to swing into circle defence or wing defence. The return of Guscoth will also be huge for the Thunderbirds with the England Roses representative able to have an impact with her calming nature, skill to win ball back and tagging style of play. 

Key player to watch:

New to the Thunderbirds this season, Potgieter is a real playmaker and staple hold under the post for any team. She is quick on her feet, able to change up the angles in an instant and more importantly score quickly and accurately. Having played with the Steel in the ANZ Premiership last season and spending time with the Queensland Firebirds midseason the Proteas goal shooter is well aware of what it takes to perform at SSN level. She is unfazed by the physical nature of the game, instead relying on her strong holds, baseline drives and range to do all the talking. She is an exciting prospect for the Thunderbirds this season given it will be her first full SSN season and has proven time and time again on the international stage that she is a true competitor, able to read the play and command the ball. 

Team list:

Sasha Glasgow
Samantha Gooden
Layla Guscoth
Charlee Hodges
Maisie Nankivell
Hannah Petty
Chelsea Pitman
Lenize Potgieter
Kate Shimmin
Shamera Sterling
Shadine van der Merwe

Lightning storm home to claim minor premiership

SUNSHINE Coast Lightning secured the minor premiership after a dominant performance against Adelaide Thunderbirds in the final game of the home and away season (58-37). Lightning walked away with seven points to snatch top spot from the NSW Swifts and claim rights to a home final while restricting the Thunderbirds to their lowest score to date.

The opening couple of minutes was played at a frenetic pace with the ball flying up and down the court before the Thunderbirds settled into a routine. With both Emma Ryde and Sasha Glasgow out with knee injuries, Cody Lange got the nod at goal shooter and did not look back. Lange was composed at the post and made the most of her opportunities with two goals straight, albeit playing second fiddle to New Zealand international, Maria Folau who slotted 13 goals at 100 per cent. Adelaide were determined not to go down without a fight, striking first and establishing a four goal lead in the opening term thanks to Shamera Sterling putting on a show in defence with her impressive aerial skill. Sterling put on a clinic denying easy entry into the circle with five gains; three intercepts, two deflection and one rebound. But Karla Pretorius proved that anything you can do I can do better, taking her fair share of intercepts in the first quarter to keep the Lightning in the match and create doubt in Adelaide’s minds. With two minutes left in the quarter Cara Koenen made her way onto the court replacing Peace Proscovia who struggled to make an impact in the goal circle only registering five goals. Sunshine Coast were not the only side to make changes with Maisie Nankivell replacing Shadine Van der Merwe.

Down by four goals at quarter time the Lightning well and truly flipped the script, piling on the pain both in attack and defence. Although they did not post a huge total they kept the Thunderbirds to a mere seven goals highlighting their defensive prowess and pressure to limit their transition and impact under the post. Koenen made her presence felt in the goal circle with eight goals straight while Laura Langman lifted her intensity, hitting the circle edge repeatedly with pace and precision. Her offensive work was just as impressive as her defensive efforts amassing one gain, one intercept and one pick-up. Goal keeper Phumza Maweni also upped the ante applying strong hands over pressure, clogging up space and forcing errors in the defensive third. After a solid start Lange struggled to find the net, not sinking a single shot from her three attempts and forcing Folau to carry the load in the circle. Tania Obst rung in the changes with Chelsea Pitman and Kate Shimmin making their way to the bench while Hannah Petty switched into wing attack. Kelly Altmann also entered the game in centre while Van der Merwe took the court once more in goal defence in hope to reclaim their first quarter form.

The Lightning continued to go from strength to strength, unphased by Adelaide’s wholesale changes. Former training partner, Charlee Hodges made her way onto the court but simply could not find the post, struggling to have an impact under the post with one goal from three attempts. Folau continued on her merry way but Pretorius outshone her with an impressive four gains and three intercepts credit to her defensive nous and cleanliness to win ball back. Up the other end, Steph Wood took control in the circle for Sunshine Coast with her cuts and drives on full display. Meanwhile, her ability to turn and shoot created headaches for the Thunderbirds with the goal attack scoring seven goals at 100 per cent. Sunshine Coast won their second bonus point thanks to an 18 goal to eight third quarter.

With one hand on top spot and the minor premiership crown, the Lightning pushed hard to end their home and away season on a high. Annika Lee-Jones replaced Maweni in goal keeper while Proscovia also re-entered the game late in the final quarter. Maddy McAuliffe donned the centre bib with Langman heading to the bench. Even with the changes the Lightning were slick with ball in hand while the Thunderbirds simply looked out of sorts across the court. Folau finished the match with 33 goals from 39 attempts at 85 per cent while Koenen topscored for the Lightning only missing two of her attempts to finish with 30 goals.

STARTING LINE-UP:

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

GS | Peace Proscovia
GA | Steph Wood
WA | Laura Scherian
C | Laura Langman
WD | Maddy McAuliffe
GD | Karla Pretorius
GK | Phumza Maweni

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS | Cody Lange
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD | Shadine Van der Merwe
GD | Kate Shimmin
GK | Shamera Sterling

Finals are go for GIANTS after defeating Thunderbirds

IT was a highly physical encounter with plenty of players hitting the deck for both the GIANTS and Thunderbirds but in the end the GIANTS prevailed by 14 goals (54-40). The game was not without plenty of controversy and injuries with both Sasha Glasgow and Emma Ryde going down with knee injuries while Shamera Sterling was handed a caution.

With a spot in the top four up for grabs, the GIANTS came to play quickly surging ahead thanks to a 17 to seven first quarter. Shooters Jo Harten and Caitlin Bassett found their feet with both goalers combining well in the circle and setting up clever plays for one another however they struggled for accuracy with a combined percentage of 71. Harten did a wealth of work out the front creating plenty of front space for her shooting partner while also showcasing her ability to turn and shoot herself. Despite the repeat entries Sterling stood up down in defence injecting herself into the game with three intercepts, three gains and two deflections. GIANTS centre, Jamie-Lee Price seemed to have the ball on a string throughout the quarter finding good space in the attacking third while running hard in defence to apply strong hands over pressure and block easy avenue to goal for the Thunderbirds. The GIANTS really hit their straps early with their connections across the court on song and unfazed by the physical nature of the game. With only seconds left in the quarter Glasgow went down with a suspected knee injury after landing awkwardly sending shock waves throughout the Thunderbirds camp but continued to play.

The Thunderbirds lifted their intensity in the second quarter but were still searching for a spark. South African, Shadine Van der Merwe made her way onto the court in goal defence and made an immediate impact for the Thunderbirds winning back some ball and helping to propel it back down the court. With Glasgow injured Ryde took the court using her height and strong holds to command the ball under the post against both Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a. Ryde highlighted her ability to turn and shoot with confidence nailing 10 goals straight while Maria Folau worked tirelessly out the front to draw the attention of Manu’a and create a one on one in the circle. The battle between Maisie Nankivell and veteran Kim Green provided plenty of interest with both players going toe to toe throughout the quarter. Nankivell shadowed Green’s every movement and applied strong hands over pressure to limit her influence in the attacking third however Green was not bothered racking up five goal assists.

After a disappointing start to the game the Thunderbirds showed some fight to draw even on the quarter scores with 10 goals apiece. The Jamaican goal keeper put on a masterclass in defence credit to her long reach, incredible aerial skills and read of the play racking up another five gains, three intercepts, three deflections and two rebounds. The GIANTS brought on youngster Kiera Austin with the wing attack stepping up to the plate immediately with her clever feeds and good vision while also putting in the hard yards defensively with one deflection and one pickup. Amy Parmenter took control in the defensive third with three gains, one intercept and two deflections displaying her ability to apply strong pressure, force turnovers and limit easy access to goals. With the T’birds attack end connecting well they were struck by injury once again with Ryde going down late in the quarter with another suspected knee injury. With two players out Adelaide were forced to make some wholesale changes with Chelsea Pitman dropping into goal attack, Hannah Petty into wing attack and Kelly Altmann coming on in centre. Though Pitman did not hit the scoreboard her work to feed the ball into Folau and create space in the goal circle was second to none.

The GIANTS regained control after a relatively even third term to run out with another bonus point. With effectively one shooter, Folau proved that accuracy was no problem piling on 12 goals from 14 attempts well and truly carrying the load in attack. The Silver Ferns shooter nailed 18 from 22 at 82 per cent while Ryde was going along nicely with 18 from 19 before injury struck. Altmann and Petty paired nicely through the midcourt but the GIANTS were just too good closing down every option and capitalising on turnover ball. Bassett finished with 32 from 38 attempts at 84 per cent while Harten slotted 22 from 28 at 79 per cent both down on their seasons average accuracy. Sterling broke the record for the number of intercepts with an impressive 10 for the game surpassing Emily Mannix’s nine earlier in the season.

STARTING LINE-UP:

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS | Sasha Glasgow
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD | Maisie Nankivell
GD | Kate Shimmin
GK | Shamera Sterling

GIANTS Netball:

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

Adelaide thunders home against struggling Firebirds

IT was a hard and fast start for the Queensland Firebirds in their final home game of 2019, but it was unfortunately a mostly forgettable match to say goodbye to upcoming retirees, Laura Clemesha and Caitlyn Nevins. The Adelaide Thunderbirds were far too good on the day, winning three bonus points against the struggling Firebirds and poking holes in their connections across the court on their way to a 71-59 victory.

The old-school connection between Gretel Tippett and Romelda Aiken was firing well in the first, finding plenty of ball and combining for 16 goals from 17 attempts in the first to generate some excitement for the home crowd. However it did not last long with the likes of Shamera Sterling putting on a show in defence, collecting two intercepts in the first quarter alone to propel plenty of ball back down court to Sasha Glasgow and Maria Folau in attack. It took some stellar work from captain, Gabi Simpson to get the Firebirds over the line in the first quarter, applying phenomenal pressure on Chelsea Pitman early to head into the second quarter up by one goal. It was the Firebirds’ only competition point for the day however, with the Thunderbirds holding their ground for the rest of the match and shooting 38 goals to 29 in the second half to run away with an impressive win.

The second quarter saw the Thunderbirds kick into gear, shooting nine of their 18 goals from range to showcase their ability to turn and shoot as well as building confidence as they headed into the second half up by three goals. For the Firebirds, the turning point was their penalty count having only sat up by five in the first before collecting a whopping 17 contact calls in the second. With Nevins having a hard time penetrating the goal circle only managing eight assists thanks to the defensive efforts of both Shadine Van Der Merwe and Maisie Nankivell, coach Roselee Jencke threw the bibs around moving Jemma MiMi into wing attack bib while young gun Macy Gardner took the court in centre in the hope to spur the home side into action. The 18 goal to 14 second term ultimately set up the beginning of the end for the Firebirds, with the Thunderbirds well and truly controlling every aspect of the contest.

Half time saw Kim Jenner head to the bench with Tara Hinchliffe returning to the court after a few weeks off with injury, but the switch was to no avail as the Thunderbirds continued to fire on all cylinders, applying great pressure down court and shooting goals with both accuracy and volume. While the Firebirds maintained accuracy once more, only dropping one shot for the quarter, it was the lack of ball coming into the circle that lost them the term with the percentage of goals converted from centre passes dropping with every quarter. While Simpson and Clemesha worked tirelessly to provide ball back up to attack, the lack of connection through the midcourt gave the Thunderbirds plenty of time and space to force turnovers. Simpson was impressive in wing defence with six gains and three intercepts, leading from the front to spur the defensive unit into action.

While the Firebirds regained some composure in the third despite still being down by five goals at three quarter time, a win was still in sight if they played their cards right. However it was easier said than done with the Thunderbirds unleashing a phenomenal 20 goal quarter to run home for a third win of the season. While the Firebirds shared the load at the post better in the final term, it was the phenomenal effort of Glasgow at the post with 15 goals at 100 per cent accuracy to not only outshoot the Firebirds’ final quarter alone but also set up a massive win that did not reflect the closeness of the contest prior to the final quarter. Both sides stuck by their connections in goals with no changes made throughout the match. For the losing side, Aiken (38 from 39 at 97 per cent) and Tippett (21 from 25 at 84 per cent, 22 goal assists) were back up to their usual tricks but were unable to receive easy ball into the circle thanks to the defensive efforts of the Thunderbirds. Glasgow (36 from 37 at 97 per cent) and Folau (35 from 38 at 92 per cent) shared the load well in a moving circle for the opposition, with plenty of ball finding its way into attack. Pitman was impressive around the circle with 28 assists from 31 feeds despite all efforts of Simpson while Hannah Petty managed 18 assists and two gains in just over half a game in centre. It was an exceptional full court effort from the Thunderbirds, with Sterling collecting seven gains and five intercepts despite also getting a talking to from the umpire in the final quarter.

STARTING SEVEN

Queensland Firebirds
GK | Laura Clemesha
GD | Kim Jenner
WD | Gabi Simpson
C | Jemma MiMi
WA | Caitlyn Nevins
GA | Gretel Tippett
GS | Romelda Aiken

Adelaide Thunderbirds
GK | Shamera Sterling
GD | Kate Shimmin
WD | Shadine Van Der Merwe
C | Hannah Petty
WA | Chelsea Pitman
GA | Maria Folau
GS | Sasha Glasgow

Vixens too strong for forceful Thunderbirds

LAST time the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Melbourne Vixens met saw a comfortable win by the Vixens and a 16-goal margin that the Thunderbirds were unwilling to submit to again. The six-goal victory this time around was not the margin the Vixens wanted for Tegan Philip’s milestone game – overtaking Bianca Chatfield for the most games at the club – but it was a win all the same, which the Vixens needed coming back from the Netball World Cup, sitting in third on the ladder.

A big late exclusion for the Thunderbirds saw Maria Folau pulled out of the lineup ahead of the match, with Victorian Fury’s Emma Ryde pulled into the fray. Meanwhile, Vixens fan favourites Mwai Kumwenda and Kim Commane were selected for the side’s extended lineup, though neither player took the court. It was a very defensive first half, with the Vixens getting a handy lead early in the first before the Thunderbirds found some form thanks to the defensive prowess and long arms of Kate Shimmin and Shamera Sterling. While it did not look it on the scoreboard, the Thunderbirds made the Vixens work for every ball into the circle, finding difficulty using the space and giving away too many easy balls. Down the other end, despite the late exclusion of star goaler, Folau, it seemed to be business as usual in attack for the Thunderbirds with Sasha Glasgow rotating well with Cody Lange. However despite relative ease getting into the circle, the likes of Jo Weston and Emily Mannix did their best to cause issues, forcing the Thunderbirds to shoot from distance and denying easy rebounds.

With a four-goal margin at the end of the first, the Vixens had the lead but were unable to extend it to their full capacity with the relatively young Thunderbirds side unwilling to let the game slip away. The two sides went goal for goal in the second, with both sides capitalising off their own centre passes and turnover after turnover denying opportunity to both extend and reduce the lead. Late replacement and ex-Vixens training partner Ryde took the court in goal shooter and proved an instant threat to the Vixens, with her height and strength making her a difficult target to stop at the post, forcing a final minutes change to the Vixens lineup with Kadie-Ann Dehaney taking the court in goal keeper. While the ball started moving more smoothly in attack for the Thunderbirds, it was another story altogether for the Vixens whose movement seemed stilted, with hesitance letting go of the ball a big issue with the likes of Sterling and Shimmin finding plenty of air ball. While the Vixens’ telltale cleanliness and patience eventually worked the ball into the circle, the side was fortunate that the Thunderbirds were not scoring well off turnover opportunities. The mostly even quarter saw the Vixens finally break away towards the end of the term, extending the margin to six goals thanks to the defensive effort of Dehaney on Ryde, with the pair teammates in the Australian Netball League. While the Vixens had more scoring opportunities, the Thunderbirds shot true with 100 per cent accuracy in the second compared to the Vixens’ 86 per cent.

The second half saw the two sides equalise, with the Vixens unwilling to let go of their lead but the Thunderbirds matching them almost goal for goal, with no bonus points handed out. The third quarter saw a flurry of changes across the court, with both sides fighting for control. The Thunderbirds took a chance on the youth coming through the ranks, with Maisie Nankivell taking the court in wing defence on fresh legs to make work harder for the ailing Liz Watsonin wing attack, while Glasgow put on a show in the goal circle shooting from all over the circle while out in the unfamiliar position of goal attack. The Vixens produced some great turnovers with the help of Renae Ingles using her strength and speed to corner Chelsea Pitman and send the ball back up the court, while Dehaney put out a stellar performance forcing Ryde away from the post and over the goal line time and time again, working well with Mannix and Weston to confuse the space. A tactical timeout with four minutes left in the quarter saw Kelly Altmann take the court for Hannah Petty with Shadine Van Der Merwe re-taking the court in goal defence, while the Vixens made an unprecedented change in attack with Caitlin Thwaites switching into goal attack as Philip sat back in goal shooter, with the aim to use Philip’s stellar footwork to open up the circle and run Sterling off her feet in defence. A last ditch effort from Dehaney denied a bonus point to the Thunderbirds, with the Vixens scraping by with the narrowest of saves before the whistle.

The final quarter saw the Thunderbirds get so close yet so far once more, unable to steal away a bonus point once more, with the clinical Vixens going back to basics to scrape the win. The Thunderbirds continued their form in getting young players out on court, emptying their bench with young defender Chelsea Blackman taking on Thwaites for the final five minutes, looking to win the bonus point rather than the match but unable to finish with the win or bonus point. Player of the Match in her milestone game, Philip lead the goaling tally with 33 goals from 40 attempts, almost matched by Thwaites with 30 from 33. Despite a quiet game for the most part, Watson came away with 27 assists from 43 feeds and 31 centre pass receives, combining well with captain, Kate Moloney who finished with 25 assists from 34 feeds and three pickups. Defensively, Ingles and Dehaney starred with three intercepts apiece, combining for 10 deflections and followed closely by Mannix with two intercepts. For the Thunderbirds, Glasgow (28 goals from 32) and Ryde (28 goals from 30) paired well to combine for 90 per cent accuracy, fed well by Pitman (18 assists from 29 feeds, 30 centre pass receives). Sterling finished with seven gains and three intercepts, while Nankivell also came up with three gains in her 30 minutes on court.

STARTING SEVEN

MELBOURNE VIXENS
GK | Emily Mannix
GD | Jo Weston
WD | Renae Ingles
C | Kate Moloney
WA | Liz Watson
GA | Tegan Philip
GS | Caitlin Thwaites

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS
GK | Shamera Sterling
GD | Kate Shimmin
WD | Shadine Van Der Merwe
C | Hannah Petty
WA | Chelsea Pitman
GA | Sasha Glasgow
GS | Cody Lange

ANL Review: Round 7

WITH the final round of the Australian Netball League done and dusted the NSW Waratahs claimed top spot with Victorian Fury also imposing themselves at the top of table. Cellar dwellers Queensland Fusion failed to make a splash this season while the Southern Force and Western Sting only managed four wins for the season.

Western Sting (57) defeated Southern Force (47)

Though the Western Sting did not hold the lead from the get go they worked hard to turn the tables and build their own winning margin. The Southern Force jumped out to a two-goal lead at quarter time credit to the work of Maisie Nankivell around the circle edge to feed into the likes of Asha Thurlow and Cody Lange. A big 17 goal effort in the second quarter helped to set them up for the rest of the game and claim some momentum and control over the match. Both sides finished the game with a shooting average of 83 per cent with the main difference the number of attempts with the Sting putting up 12 more (69-57). As the game went on, the Force brought on Lucy Austin who impressed under the post with 20 goals from 23 attempts at 87 per cent. For the Sting, Emma Cosh and Sloan Burton worked well in the goal circle setting up good screens and making their presence felt on the scoreboard. Burton top scored with 39 goals from 45 attempts at 87 percent.

NSW Waratahs (49) defeated Canberra GIANTS (48)

After a hot start the Canberra GIANTS fought their way back into the contest against the NSW Waratahs. NSW jumped out to a big lead early on, scoring a whopping 19 goals to 10 in the first term and keeping that momentum up until a last quarter flurry from the GIANTS sent shockwaves through the side. The Waratahs had no issues ringing the changes in the goal circle with Alison Miller and Amorangi Malesale both getting a run with a combined seven shots. Meanwhile Kelly Singleton and Sophie Dwyer were prolific under the post with Dwyer highlighting her shooting prowess with 26 goals from 32 attempts. Through the midcourt Claire O’Brien and Tayla Fraser worked tirelessly to work the ball down the court and get into good feeding position while Abbey McCulloch showed her experience and class in at wing defence. The GIANTS are yet to provide statistics and a team list.

Queensland Fusion (52) defeated by Victorian Fury (58)

The Victorian Fury dominated in the first quarter to push out to a six-goal lead but the Fusion worked tirelessly to stay in the hunt. A 16 goal second quarter saw the Fusion get back within five goals at half time and continued to cut the margin down to four goals before a final quarter blitz from the Fury ended those hopes. Emma Ryde was prolific under the post once again using her height and reach to out body her opponents, finishing the game with 37 goals. Out the front in goal attack, Sacha McDonald and Ruby Barkmeyer applied scoreboard pressure and highlighted their accuracy to post for the Fury. For the Fusion, Macy Gardner and Jada Gafa worked hard through the midcourt to hit the circle edge and feed into the likes of Amy Sommerville and Rylie Holland. Holland top scored with 39 goals from 45 attempts with the goal shooter doing the most damage in the second quarter with 14 goals.

Territory Storm (63) defeated Tasmanian Magpies (60)

At the University of Sunshine Coast the Territory Storm claimed an upset win over the Tasmanian Magpies. It was a tight tussle with the Storm pushing out to a commanding lead but the Magpies continuously chipped away at the lead to fall agonisingly short by three goals. The Storm shooters capitalised on their opportunities in the second quarter with Cara Koenen and Binnian Hunt both sitting at 100 per cent shooting 10 and six goals respectively. Koenen’s accuracy to post continued throughout the match with 42 from 47 at 90 per cent showcasing her ability to break open a game with her timing and range. Annika Lee-Jones was important down in defence working with Sienna Allen and Sarahpheinna Woulf to limit the impact of the Magpies shooters. A couple of different combinations were tried out in the goal circle for Tasmania with Zoe Claridge showcasing her hot hand with 16 from 20 at 80 percent. Tried and tested duo Jane Cook and Samantha Gooden also played their role in attack with Gooden making the most of her opportunities at 84 percent.

Western Sting (47) defeated Southern Force (45)

It was a close encounter between the Western Sting and Southern Force with a mere two goals separating the sides in the end. The Southern Force worked their way back into the game to stay in touch with the Sting after they edged out to a four-goal lead heading into the quarter time break. Sunday Aryang and Olivia Lewis applied some strong pressure early on in the game to limit the ease of entry into the goal circle. But as the connection between Charlee Hodges and Lange grew they released the ball with confidence and looked to post more regularly. Hodges finished with 18 goals from 23 attempts while the work of Nankivell and Tayla Williams out the front was impressive. Goal keeper Kate Shimmin also showcased her defensive skill and aerial ability up against Sting shooters Kaylia Stanton and Burton. Stanton led all comers with 22 goals while Cosh showed her versatility switching between wing attack and goal attack. Through the Stings midcourt Courtney Kruta and Jessica Eales rotated through centre and provided good run both offensive and defensive.

Territory Storm (44) defeated by Tasmanian Magpies (66)

The Magpies completely flipped the tables on their previous clash to claim a 22 point win over the Storm. Though Tasmania struggled with accuracy finishing the game at 70 per cent they proved that volume is no issue putting up 95 goal attempts compared to 62. They put out a solid four quarter effort to transition down the court with ease and precision. But it was a 21 goal to nine third quarter that really enabled the Magpies to surge ahead and put their foot down. Cook took control in the goal circle with 35 goals but only managed 69 per cent shooting accuracy. Defensively Melissa Bragg, Brooke Allen, Zanna Jodlowska and Sharni Lambden all worked overtime to confuse the space and cherry pick any errant passes to try and nullify Lucinda Benjamin and Hunt. Benjamin threw her weight around with 31 goals while Chanel Dyer used her netball smarts to get into damaging feeding positions.

Queensland Fusion (49) defeated by Victorian Fury (59)

It was relatively close to start off with as the Fury held a three-goal lead at quarter time before they put the foot down and broke away to create a 12-goal deficit heading into the main break. Fusion tried hard to work their way back into the game but it was too far gone as the Fury stuck to their structures and capitalised under the post. Ryde continued her dominance under the post with 41 goals while Rudi Ellis and Jacqueline Newton worked hard in defence to confuse and clog up the space. Mia Stower made her presence felt for the Fusion on the scoreboard with the goaler converting 12 from her 16 attempts. Maddison Hinchliffe was solid through the midcourt with Laura Clemesha also working hard in defence to win the ball back with her hands over pressure and clever footwork.

NSW Waratahs (66) defeated Canberra GIANTS (27)

The Waratahs and Canberra GIANTS had a relatively even start until NSW kicked into gear and went on a scoring rampage in the third term. The main difference proved to be the volume of shots with the Waratahs simply outscoring them and transitioning down the court with pace and ease. The GIANTS had no answers only managing three goals in the third term while the Waratahs piled on a whopping 17 goals showcasing both their defensive and offensive prowess. Miller was simply unstoppable under the post with 43 goals at 90 per cent. Defensively they were just as impressive with Clare Iongi and Laura Rodger applying good strong hands over pressure and reducing Angelina Frketic’s dominance in the goal circle. Sophie Halpin and Madeline Hay also played her role in wing defence limiting the impact of Taylah Davies around the circle edge. Teigan O’Shannassy and Matilda McDonnell were outplayed by their opposition in defence but worked tirelessly to try and win ball back for the GIANTS.

ANL Review: Round 6

WITH the finals quickly approaching each team is pulling out all the stops in hope to feature late in the season. The Victorian Fury edged further ahead on top of the ladder while the New South Wales (NSW) Waratahs continued to stamp their authority on the competition with a couple of convincing wins.

Territory Storm (59) defeated Southern Force (55)

The Territory Storm claimed their third win of the season after an impressive effort right across the court. It was neck and neck early on with the Storm holding a one goal lead before surging ahead to maintain a four goal buffer for the majority of the match. Though the Storm’s shooting accuracy was down sitting at 76 per cent compared to the Force at 86 per cent their avenue to goal was easier and volume was higher with 14 more attempts. Storm goal shooter, Lucinda Benjamin proved to be the difference between the two sides with her presence in the goal circle wreaking havoc slotting 44 from 56 at 79 per cent. Her partnership with Binnian Hunt was also important in helping to get the scoreboard ticking over. Up the other end the Force shooters shared the load between them more evenly with Lucy Austin showcasing her dominance under the post with 35 goals from 40 attempts while Jacoba Clough made her presence felt on the scoreboard nailing 20 goals. Defensively, Vivian Jordan and Chelsea Blackman worked tirelessly with their connection on show throughout the match.

Queensland Fusion (50) defeated by NSW Waratahs (65)

The NSW Waratahs much like their Suncorp Super Netball counterparts stamped their authority on the competition with a convincing 15 goal win over the Queensland Fusion. It was a tight opening half with only one goal separating the two at half time before the Waratahs took off in the third quarter to push out to a six goal buffer before putting on the afterburners and piling on 19 goals to 10 in the fourth. Waratahs shooter Sophie Dwyer was unstoppable finding the net with ease time and time again converting 41 of her 48 attempts. Meanwhile the work of Alison Miller and Kelly Singleton did not go unnoticed with the two goalers making the most of their opportunities under the post only missing three goals between them. Tayla Fraser and Elle Bennetts attacked the circle edge with ease and precision. While for the Fusion Rylie Holland was the leading goal scorer nailing 11 straight in the opening term to finish with 28 from 33 starved of opportunity later in the match credit to the defensive pressure of Clare Iongi and Nicole Styles. Mia Stower was important in attack for the Fusion scoring 19 goals while Macy Gardner was clever with ball in hand.

Western Sting (44) defeated by Canberra GIANTS (51)

It was a hot start from the GIANTS skipping out to an early lead against the Western Sting. The Sting were held to just nine goals in the opening term while the GIANTS streamed ahead extending the lead. The GIANTS were composed in attack and capitalised on their opportunities under the post finishing the match with a combined 93 per cent shooting accuracy compared to 84 percent. Angelina Frketic was impressive under the post with her composure and ability to turn and shoot only missing one shot for the game with 20 from 21 at 96 per cent. Her combination with Georgia Marshall in the goal circle was solid once again finding each other under the post and highlighting her shooting ability with 31 goals from 34 attempts. Taylah Davies and Latika Tombs were important in attack for the GIANTS feeding the ball into Frketic and Marshall while defensively Madeline Hay did a wealth of work to stop the influence of Sting wing attack Emma Cosh to hit the circle edge. Georgia Pitt was the go to girl for the Sting in the circle with 15 goals while Sloan Burton was equally impressive in the circle. Sunday Aryang and Jessica Penny worked hard in defence but it was not enough to stop the GIANTS.

Territory Storm (61) defeated Southern Force (46)

It was a dominant performance from the Storm who impressed with their slick ball movement, speed and precision under the post. They extended their lead at every break running out 15-goal victors. Peace Proscovia was dominant under the post in her half of netball converting 22 of her 23 attempts at a whopping 96 per cent. Fellow shooters Hunt and Benjamin also made their presence felt on the scoreboard finding the net with ease. Annika Lee-Jones was solid in defence for the Storm with her hands over pressure a real feature of her game. Through the midcourt Jacqui Russel and Stephanie O’Brien provided good leads into space. The Force shooters lacked accuracy at time with Cody Lange unable to capitalise under the post with 23 from 35 at 66 percent while Austin was the most accurate of the lot at 77 percent with 16 from 21. Veteran defender Kate Shimmin was instrumental down back working tirelessly to shut down her opposition shooter. Meanwhile Maisie Nankivell played her role in the centre applying good defensive and offensive pressure.

Western Sting (50) defeated by Canberra GIANTS (56)

The GIANTS made it two from two against the Western Sting with a six goal win. Canberra pushed out to an early lead with the clever ball movement and accuracy to post a real feature of their game nailing 17 goals to nine in the opening term. Credit to the Sting they worked their way back into the game winning turnover ball to reduce the 10 goal margin after half time. Pitt once again stood tall in the goal circle for the Sting with 32 from 38 while Alice Teague-Neeld managed six from seven attempts. She showed her versatility swapping between goal attack and wing attack throughout the match. Defensively the pressure was up from the Sting with Olivia Lewis and Shannon Eagland hunting every ball but it was not enough to quell the influence of the GIANTS shooters. Matilda McDonell and Teigan O’Shannassy showed their connection in defence rotating off their opponents and confusing the space well to win the ball back for the GIANTS.

Victorian Fury (65) defeated Tasmanian Magpies (41)

In their first clash of the round the Victorian Fury were victorious with a convincing win over the Tasmanian Magpies credit to some strong defensive pressure and ability to convert on turnovers. Fury held the lead for the entire match with the Magpies unable to match their intensity and hunt for the ball. It was a battle of the goal shooters in the first quarter with Emma Ryde and Jane Cook going toe to toe but in the end, it was Ryde that took home the chocolates with 40 from 46 at 87 percent. Sacha McDonald was also influential on the scoreboard for the Fury converting 18 from 19. Defensively Ellis Rudi and Jacqueline Newton worked well in the circle to reduce the influence of Cook, Samantha Gooden and Zoe Claridge. In the defensive end Melissa Bragg and Brooke Allen applied strong hands over pressure to try and clog up the space but it was to no avail with Ryde proving to be too big a target to stop.

Queensland Fusion (54) defeated by NSW Waratahs (64)

The NSW Waratahs claimed another solid win over the Queensland Fusion. It was a close contest in the first quarter with only two points separating either side at quarter time. But NSW built into the game with their transition play on display as the game went on along with their accuracy to post sitting at 96 percent compared to the Fusion’s 84. The Fusion got within four goals in the third quarter before the Waratahs pushed ahead to edge out any chance of them winning. Holland was important under the post top scoring for Queensland with 36 goals while Amy Sommerville showcased her ability to turn and shoot with 12 from 15 at 80 per cent. For the Waratahs, Dwyer was once again unstoppable in the circle showcasing her hot hand with 43 from 44. In wing defence Dakota Thomas was important credit to her three feet pressure and intent to cover her opponents every move while wing attack Claire O’Brien was instrumental in helping to feed the ball into the shooters tussling hard on circle edge to claim prime position.

Victorian Fury (54) defeated by Tasmanian Magpies (48)

It was a tight encounter in the opening half of netball with only one goal separating the two sides at half time. The Magpies looked strong and composed edging out to a three goal lead at three quarter time before the Fury came home strong in the final term piling on 18 goals to nine. Their quick ball movement and endurance prevailed out running the Magpies and allowing their structures to hold true when the game counted. Ryde was prolific for the Fury scoring 40 from 43 while Ine-Mari Venter also appeared for snippets throughout the game shooting three goals. Lara Dunkley showcased her versatility switching through centre, wing attack and wing defence while Jamaican defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney also made her presence felt thanks to her aerial ability. For the Magpies Gabby Sinclair showed her attacking prowess feeding the ball into her teammates while also putting up her fair share of shots with 22 from 31 at 77 per cent. Through the midcourt Kimiora Poi got a run using her speed to dice through opposition defence while Kelsie Rainbow also showcased her strength around the top of the circle.

Thunderbirds assemble to beat ailing Firebirds

THE Adelaide Thunderbirds enjoyed their second win of the year, outclassing a determined, yet wounded Queensland Firebirds by three goals, denying them of their first win on the board for season 2019. The battle of the birds saw the two lower teams on the ladder fight for dominance all match, with both sides having moments of brilliance with turnovers aplenty. Both sides have struggled with injuries so far this season, with the Thunderbirds losing England wing defence, Beth Cobden in Round 3 while the Firebirds came in with another big blow to their starting seven, losing Romelda Aiken during the week with Kim Jenner already out of the side, making for an interesting match.

It was a strong start for the Firebirds with Gretel Tippett, shooting her 100th consecutive Suncorp Super Netball goal – the first Australian to do so, but it was a tale of missed opportunities as the Thunderbirds came out hard and fast to take control through the midcourt. The Firebirds were hit early with yet another injury for the season with speedy centre, Mahalia Cassidy going down with a suspected Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury, piling yet another name onto the Firebirds’ already stacked injury list.

Despite the individual strengths of Laura Clemesha and Tara Hinchliffe in defence, their rotation allowed too much space to Thunderbirds shooters, Maria Folau and Sasha Glasgow as they patiently worked their way around the circle, with Folau putting up her distinctive long range shots at a high accuracy to put her side in the lead early. The clean hands and rebounding efforts of Glasgow and Folau was solid, almost cancelling out the defensive efforts of their opposition. Glasgow was also not afraid to turn and shoot, sharing the load despite the boatload of pressure from the Firebirds’ defensive unit. Though the circle was uncontrolled at times, pressure from from captain Gabi Simpson was phenomenal on the circle edge as she kept Chelsea Pitman at bay and reduced feeds into the circle, meaning the goalers had to make the most of every opportunity. The Firebirds’ zone defence through the midcourt was impressive, putting pressure on each receive of the ball and causing turnovers as the Thunderbirds resorted to forcing the ball down the court before cleaning up their act and settling into a more patient play through the midcourt in the second half.

Defensively for the Thunderbirds, Shamera Sterling and Layla Guscoth were up to their typical tips and tricks, causing turnovers and creating stoppages around the circle to give time for a defensive setup. The Thunderbirds created six deflections in the first quarter alone – three to advantage – as well as three pickups and an intercept, credit to the smooth movement of Sterling and the immense pressure piled on throughout defence. The Thunderbirds put up four goals from gains in the first term alone, capitalising on opportunities better than the Firebirds as they forced turnovers to lead by five at quarter time. The Firebirds evened out goals from turnovers across the rest of the match, however the damage was already done.

Tippett was her usual solid self in the goal circle, using her strength and clever bodywork to put herself in a good position to receive feeds and put shots up under the constant hands-over pressure of Sterling and Guscoth, shooting 27 from 28 at 96 percent. In Aiken’s absence, Tippett worked well with both Amy Sommerville (6/10) and returnee, Abigail Latu-Meafou (18/22) in her first match back in Australia following time in New Zealand’s ANZ Premiership. Tippett found good space in the circle against the likes of Sterling, not allowing her the time or space to get front position. Latu-Meafou contributed well, settling midway through the second quarter and finishing out the match at 82 percent accuracy credit to her smooth movement, footwork and speed off the mark. Circle feeders, Jemma MiMi and Caitlyn Nevins were patient in their approach, wary of Sterling’s reach and prepared to pass around to ensure clean possession in the circle, though the likes of Maisie Nankivell, Kelly Altmann and Hannah Petty were consistent blockages around the edge of the circle, making it hard to feed in with ease.

It was a big battle for the four points with the final quarter looming and the Firebirds down by seven goals, before shooting eight in a row to take a one-goal lead – their first of the game – before the Thunderbirds got a final quarter goal on the board. Credit to the Thunderbirds for wrestling back the lead and the all important win, finding a hole in the Firebirds’ defence and composure. Despite a quieter second half, Sterling pulled a vital turnover out of the bag to steal back the lead and bring back some of the consistency they built on early. Pitman’s hands-over pressure at the centre pass was exceptional, helping to boost the intensity and lift her side with minutes to go. Though the momentum ended with the Firebirds, it was the Thunderbirds who had the composure to use the ball better in the final quarter to get the three-goal win and seven premiership points on the ladder.

STARTING LINE-UPS:

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS | Sasha Glasgow
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD | Maisie Nankivell
GD | Layla Guscoth
GK | Shamera Sterling

Queensland Firebirds:

GS | Amy Sommerville
GA | Gretel Tippett
WA | Caitlyn Nevins
C | Jemma MiMi
WD | Gabi Simpson
GD | Tara Hinchliffe
GK | Laura Clemesha

Magpies swoop on all eight points against Thunderbirds

AFTER a disappointing loss last round against the previously winless GIANTS Netball, Collingwood Magpies have made an ominous statement to the rest of the competition in a huge 18-goal win over Adelaide Thunderbirds. The Magpies looked in control for almost the full hour on Friday night as they worked hard across the court, winning crucial one-on-ones, particularly with their famed midcourt during the 65-47 victory. Despite the heavy loss, Thunderbirds’ goalkeeper Shamera Sterling was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) on the night, with Sterling and Layla Guscoth making a number of crucial interceptions at times which without, could have led to the margin being even greater. Her direct opponent, Shimona Nelson was unlucky not to be awarded MVP however, playing her best game of the season against her former side. Up the other end of the court it was no surprise to see Ash Brazill also among the best, while Maria Folau had a terrific duel with April Brandley and then Geva Mentor.

Collingwood got off to a strong start to lead 5-2 in the opening stages of the game, but the Thunderbirds won a crucial intercept and scored the next two, before the Magpies again raced out to a four-goal lead which at that stage had seen Nelson be a dominant force in the circle. Up the other end, Folau was taking control of the game with some nice long bombs and keeping her side in it, but the Thunderbirds as a whole kept being called for held ball with their indecision proving costly, and the Magpies heading into the quarter time break with a six-goal lead, 17-11. Nelson was on fire, sinking 11 of her 12 attempts, while Nat Medhurst scored all six of her attempts.

In the second term, the Thunderbirds threw a surprise spanner in the works, sending Kate Shimmin to the bench – where she would remain for the rest of the game, replacing her with Maisie Nankivell at wing defence, the training partner who came in as a temporary replacement for the injured Beth Cobden. More of a fighter like her opponent, Kelsey Browne, Nankivell gained plenty of experience over the next 45 minutes, but it would mean little for stopping the raging Magpies. Sterling had three intercepts, while Mentor had two of her own up the other end in the quarter, as the goalkeepers were holding firm at both ends with loose passes costing sides. At 21-16 down, the Thunderbirds called a time out to switch Folau to goal shooter and bring on former Pie, Cody Lange to goal attack, sending Sasha Glasgow to the bench. There were also some nervous moments for the Thunderbirds as Sterling had her wrist strapped at the break after a fall, while Hannah Petty came off with Kelly Altmann coming in at centre. Sterling’s taping did not last long, eventually getting thrown off by the goalkeeper, while the Magpies maintained the rage to lead 32-23 at the main break.

The third quarter was certainly a term of two halves as the Magpies raced away to lead by as much as 18 goals at one stage midway through the term, scoring 14-5 to start the quarter, and some were starting to look up record winning margins. Nelson was phenomenal in the air, continuing her dominance in the game, using body position and clean hands to take control, shooting 13 of 15 attempts in the quarter, while Brandley and Mentor combined for three intercepts. Just as it looked like the Magpies might race away to the biggest win in some time, the Thunderbirds clicked for an electric five-minute passage of play, shooting five consecutive goals, which became 12 of the next 13 goals since that 18-goal advantage. A 46-28 lead to the Magpies had cut down to 47-35 by the final change and while they had collected the bonus point in the term, the Magpies looked like they had just got it done with a 15-12 third term. Glasgow had returned to replace Lange in the quarter after Lange shot 0/3, and Glasgow made it count with all her four attempts going in. Collingwood eventually got back to the 18-goal margin, running away with it in the end as Medhurst scored the final goal of the match to signal a 65-47 victory in front of a passionate Magpies fanbase at Melbourne Arena.

Nelson was dominant in the goal circle for the match, shooting 52 of a possible 57 attempts, while Medhurst scored 13 of 14. Up the other end, Folau managed 30 of 39, often from long range and under serious duress, while Glasgow and Lange both struggled with accuracy, shooting 17 of 25 between them. Despite the high scoring of Nelson, Sterling was named MVP for her eight intercepts and 10 gains, while Mentor was also terrific up the other end with five intercepts and eight gains – giving us a taste of World Cup fever for when England takes on Jamaica. Brazill kept buzzing around the court and was ever-present in the action, while Brandley stood tall in the goal circle nullifying her direct opponent. Guscoth had the three intercepts and five gains herself to assist Sterling in stopping the margin being even greater, while Nankivell could hold her head high on debut fighting hard against Browne. The Magpies now set their sights on the bottom-of-the-table West Coast Fever, while the Thunderbirds head home to host Queensland Firebirds next week.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

MAGPIES NETBALL

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

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS

GS | Sasha Glasgow
GA | Maria Folau
WA | Chelsea Pitman
C | Hannah Petty
WD  | Kate Shimmin
GD | Layla Guscoth
GK | Shamera Sterling