Tag: shamera sterling

2021 SSN Round 12 preview

AFTER a week off given continued COVID-19 restrictions, Round 12 of the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) returns in what is going to be a condensed final couple of weeks of netball action. The finals are just around the corner and with the top four still not set, every win counts.

Collingwood Magpies vs. NSW Swifts
Tuesday, July 27 @ 3:30pm

The contest between the Magpies and Swifts is going to be an enthralling one with the latter hoping to notch up another victory and continue to build some form heading into the back-end of the season. Currently in second spot on the ladder, the Swifts will be hoping to inch their way to the top of the table and create some separation while Collingwood will be hoping to keep their slim finals chances alive.

The battle between goal shooter Sam Wallace and goal keeper Geva Mentor will be one to keep an eye on with the two players real barometers for their respective sides. Wallace has proven to be a key contributor for the Swifts time and time again but needs the likes of Helen Housby and Sophie Garbin to provide that supplementary support. Housby is incredibly crafty with ball in hand but will have her work cut out for her against the likes of Jodi-Ann Ward who has been in scintillating form with her closing speed and tenacity on full display.

The midcourt is the real point of intrigue for both the Swifts and Magpies given just how many options they have. The Swifts are not afraid to throw around the magnets with Tayla Fraser, Maddy Proud, Paige Hadley and Nat Haythornthwaite all able to rotate through that midcourt role and ply their trade with great efficiency and effectiveness. For Collingwood the move of Kelsey Browne into centre has provided that extra level of spark and class to transition the ball down court with great ease, while both Molly Jovic and Ash Brazill are more than capable of filling that centre role or playing in other midcourt positions to combat the Swifts’ moves. It will all come down to whether or not Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner are able to stop that high ball going into Shimona Nelson and really contest the hands of the Jamaican goal shooter. If they are able to do that then it will go a long way in favouring the Swifts and setting them up for the win.

West Coast Fever vs. Queensland Firebirds
Tuesday, July 27 @ 6:30pm

There is no love lost between the West Coast fever and Queensland Firebirds and it is fair to say that this game is set to be a cracker as the Firebirds look to keep their finals hopes alive. Unfortunately, Queensland will be without the services of key defender Tara Hinchliffe who has ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and will be out for the remainder of the season leaving a huge dent in their defensive structure. This will provide an opportunity for the Fever to really romp home a win.

Without Hinchliffe for the Firebirds it will be up to the likes of Rudi Ellis and Kim Jenner to take on and nullify the influence of Jhaniele Fowler under the post. Fowler is one of, if not the most dynamic and potent shooter in the SSN with her ability to hold space under the ring and score at a great speed. Both Alice Teague-Neeld and Sasha Glasgow have proven to be dynamic options out the front despite not putting up a wealth of shots. The real kicker for West Coast is the workload of Verity Charles with the wing attack able to slice and dice with great ease meaning that Gabi Simpson will have to be on her A-game to stop her. She will also need support from the likes of Kim Ravallion in centre to stop that easy ball into Fowler.

There is no denying that the combination between Gretel Bueta and Romelda Aiken is one to watch out for with the pair able to create so much movement and use their athleticism to their full advantage to keep Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang on the back foot – but all eyes will turn to whether or not Aiken is fully fit, having limped off the court in the previous round with an ankle injury. The Firebirds will also still be without the services of Tippah Dwan with the goal attack having to endure a 14 day quarantine, meaning Queensland’s frontend could be under plenty of duress.

GIANTS Netball vs. Melbourne Vixens
Wednesday, July 28 @ 3:30pm

Sitting in first place on the ladder the GIANTS will be hoping to continue their winning ways and put Melbourne Vixens to bed with a strong win. It has been a disappointing season for the Vixens and they will be eager to gain some respectability with an improved effort here but will have their work cut out for them against a firing GIANTS outfit.

There is no denying that Mwai Kumwenda is the lynchpin in attack for the Vixens with the goal shooter providing both  a calming and demanding presence inside the circle. Her athleticism and smarts is what sets her apart but she will not have things all her own way with the GIANTS goal keeper in Sam Poolman a real warrior. If the Vixens are to put up a worrying total they will need either Kaylia Stanton or Ruby Barkmeyer to up the ante and put up a couple more goals. But that is no easy feat with April Brandley in fine form out in goal defence for the GIANTS, with her closing speed and spatial awareness enabling her to win back a wealth of ball.

The real battle is going to be penetrating through the midcourt with Jamie-Lee Price and Amy Parmenter proving to be a damaging duo. Parmenter will be up against the likes of Hannah Mundy who despite finding her form in the past couple of weeks will have to bring her A-game to combat the constant niggle of the wing defence. Speaking of midcourt battles, Kate Eddy will have to employ her strong hands over pressure to upset Maddie Hay around circle edge who has proven she can deliver into both Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer with her eyes closed. It does not matter where she is in the attacking third, but Hay has an uncanny ability to sight either shooter and release pinpoint passes with the pair nine times out of 10 up to the task. The Vixens will be hoping that Jo Weston and Emily Mannix are able to offset the GIANTS goalers early with their one-on-one defence under the ring while Kadie-Ann Dehaney is another option if they need to win ball back given her long limbs and read of the play.

Sunshine Coast Lightning vs. Adelaide Thunderbirds
Wednesday, July 28 @ 6:30pm

The Sunshine Coast Lightning will need to secure a win against Adelaide Thunderbirds if they are to stay within striking distance of the top two on the letter. All eyes will turn to whether or not they are at full capacity given how many players went down in their previous outing while the Thunderbirds will be hoping to bounce back after a very disappointing performance.

Lightning fans and players alike will be hoping that Steph Wood is up and raring to go in this clash with the goal attack an integral part in the Lightning outfit with her class and silky movement, not only inside the ring but outside it, often dictating the way the game goes. It will also be interesting to see whether or not Laura Scherian is ready to take the court with the wing attack hitting the deck and forced to the sideline in her last game. But the Lightning will take full confidence in both Cara Koenen and Peace Proscovia inside the ring with Koenen proving she is more than capable of playing extended minutes out in her non-preferred position of goal attack. However, the Lightning will have to be wary of the likes of Shamera Sterling with the goal keeper a real menace in the air for the Thunderbirds while Matilda Garrett is an unassuming goal defence able to niggle away at her opponent and create tips and deflections aplenty.

It is going to be a South African filled circle down with Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni for the Lightning and Lenize Potgieter for the Thunderbirds. The trio all know each other’s games exceptionally well meaning the likes of Maisie Nankivell and Hannah Petty will have to be creative upon delivery into the circle. But the Lightning are littered with classy midcourters as Kate Shimmin can play that negating wing defence role along with the likes of Mahalia Cassidy and Maddy McAuliffe. Youngster Georgie Horjus will be hoping to have more of an impact on the goal scoring front while Sam Gooden has proven to be an impact player when needed especially when the super shot is in play for the Thunderbirds.

Photo credit: Collingwood Magpies

SSN 2021: Quiet achievers

WITH uncertainty around the fixture still remaining, Draft Central has taken a look at each Suncorp Super Netball team, unpacking which players have gone about their business but have not necessarily received a wealth of accolades.

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

Although it has not been the best of seasons for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, one player that has developed at a rate of knots and relished the extra court time is Matilda Garrett. The former Collingwood Magpies goal defence has not skipped a beat since crossing to the T’birds with her defensive prowess on full show. Her dogged style of defence complements partner in crime, Shamera Sterling quite well as Garrett can easily double back on her goaler or go out roaming for the intercept with full confidence. Garrett can close down the space in the blink of an eye while her hands over pressure both over the shot and in play in general is a key element to her game play.

Collingwood Magpies:

After a breakout season last year Molly Jovic has been one that has continued to impress in the black and white. Consolidating her role in centre this season, Jovic has not looked out of place with her two way running and netball smarts on full display. Often overshadowed by some of the bigger names at the club, particularly through the midcourt with the likes of Ash Brazill and Kelsey Browne in the mix, Jovic’s workrate and tenacity can go unnoticed – however she has proven to be a key cog for Collingwood. She is more than capable of playing any role thrown at her through the midcourt and does not take her foot off the pedal with her give and go mentality paramount to Collingwood’s recent success.

GIANTS Netball:

It would be fair enough to argue that Maddie Hay is not necessarily a quiet achiever given she won player of the match two weeks in a row, but the wing attack does go about her business playing a quiet and unassuming role. Combining with newcomer Sophie Dwyer and of course experienced campaigner Jo Harten, Hay has been the barometer for the GIANTS in season 2021. She is one of those players who is extremely influential with ball in hand, able to negate her opponent with her clever timing and use her vision into the circle to bypass the mess time and time again. With international talent and Diamonds all around her, Hay simply digs in hard and gets the job done time and time again and is unfazed by the physical attention she often receives.

Melbourne Vixens:

One player that has steadily gone about her business in her debut season is Hannah Mundy. Thrown into the deep end this season due to the unfortunate injury to Liz Watson, it has taken some time for Mundy to hit her straps but she has steadily shown that she has the skillset and smarts to prevail. She has grown with confidence week in, week out with her timing around circle improving at a rate of knots alongside her composure and class with ball in hand. Factor in that she is still only just 20-years-old, and the developing talent has plenty to be proud of after stepping up this season, improving week on week alongside captain Kate Moloney.

NSW Swifts:

There is no denying that the Swifts have a number of exciting players across the court that often draw the limelight but one player who has somewhat flown under the radar is up and coming speedster Tayla Fraser. The fancy footed midcourter has found a new home back in wing defence and has not skipped a beat. Often used as an impact player, Fraser offers drives and speed to slice through opposition teams and provide a bit of spice to the Swifts’ clinical style of play. Not the most defensively-minded player just yet, Fraser has proven to be a quick learner and most importantly can also ply her trade in centre or wing attack depending on the side’s requirements.

Queensland Firebirds:

Although not an unfamiliar face to the SSN landscape, Lara Dunkley has well and truly upped the ante in season 2021 and has provided a level of consistency and composure for the Firebirds. The wing attack is class personified and is a really clever player with the way she is able to deliver passes into the circle for the Firebirds. Not the fastest or flashiest player out on court, what Dunkley does well is provide a steady head that is able to plant her feet and create a level of calmness in a frenetic Firebirds frontend headlined by the likes of Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta. Dunkley has impressed on the second phase with her good depth into the pocket while her strength around circle edge has allowed her to set up numerous attacking forays.

Sunshine Coast Lightning:

With a star studded line-up it can sometimes be hard to command the limelight, but someone that definitely deserves the attention this season is Maddy McAuliffe. Having played most of her career as a wing defence, McAuliffe has found herself in the centre role a lot more often this season and she has not skipped a beat for the Lightning. A real workhorse with a high endurance base, McAuliffe has proven she has the talent and workrate to impact both in attack and defence and can be the connection between the two ends of the court. Her combination with Laura Scherian and Mahalia Cassidy has developed throughout the season, with the midcourter digging into her big bag of tricks to continuously win ball back and highlight her class through the middle.

West Coast Fever:

Another player that has taken like a duck to water in her new colours is Sasha Glasgow with the typical goal shooter adjusting to life as a goal attack and thriving. Glasgow is a very crafty player that has taken on the role as an impact player for the Fever with her ability to score from anywhere in the circle or provide a calming presence in attack when needed. More of a holding style shooter, Glasgow has added to her repertoire this season with her fancy footwork and overall spatial awareness to ensure she has a profound impact when playing out in goal attack. Not the most commanding or damaging player out on court, what Glasgow does well is present and create opportunities for the Fever frontend with her nicely timed drives and strength.

Photo credit: SSN

2021 Stats wrap: SSN Round 11 and ANZ Premiership Round 14

ROUND 14 in the ANZ Premiership and 11 in the Suncorp Super Netball rolled around and it did not disappoint with a number of players racking up the stats. We take a look at some of the top performers across both leagues.

Goals:

Southern Steel goal shooter, George Fisher was accurate to post nailing 33 goals from 34 attempts, at an impressive 97 per cent accuracy. In fact it was the round of goal shooters as Caitlin Bassett impressed under the post with her 40 goals from 42 attempts, and Ellie Bird did enough to get the Tactix over the line with her 38 from 42 attempts at 91 per cent. Grace Nweke continued to top the table with a round high 52 goals from 61 attempts albeit at a slightly lower conversion rate than she would like at 85 per cent. It was a rough day at the office for Maia Wilson with the Stars captain only managing a mere 11 goals from 21 attempts at a lowly 52 per cent. But that did not stop Jamie Hume from stepping up to the plate nailing 30 from 38. Speaking of goal attacks Tiana Metuarau was as dominant ever for the Steel finishing with 13 goals and 14 goal assists. After a shaky start Te Amo Amaru-Tibble worked herself back into the contest with her 18 goals from 26 attempts as Te Paea Selby-Rickit finished with 10 from 17.

Accuracy proved to be no issue for Shimona Nelson with the Magpies goal shooter sitting at 100 per cent with 37 goals straight. Lenize Potgieter also shot at 100 per cent for the Thunderbirds nailing 26 goals while Jhaniele Fowler was hot on her tail with her 98 per cent accuracy but much higher volume thanks to her 57 goals from 58 attempts. Cara Koenen impressed playing out in goal attack managing 31 goals from 36 attempts as Peace Proscovia held her own in goal shooter with her 17 goals. Romelda Aiken shook off the yips early to nail 40 from 48, as Gretel Bueta imposed herself inside the circle with her 18 from 20 at 90 per cent, while also amassing 12 goal assists. The combination between Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer was on song once again as they shot 33 and 21 respectively with the latter converting at 91 per cent. They also combined for five super shots. For the Swifts, Sam Wallace was down on her accuracy sitting at 81 per cent but still managed to hit the scoreboard in a big way with her 39 goals. Mwai Kumwenda was once again the most dominant shooter for the Vixens scoring 33 from 37 at 89 per cent.

Midcourt:

Peta Toeava was up to her usual tricks for the Mystics amassing 24 goal assists and 17 centre pass receives in her sides win. Whitney Souness was also a commanding force for the Pulse with 24 goal assists and 27 centre pass receives of her own. Teammate Claire Kersten was her reliable self through the centre for the Pulse with her 18 goal assists as Maddy Gordon proved to be a ball magnet in wing defence with her three intercepts and two deflections. Sam Winders was a real maestro for the Magic racking up 19 goal assists as Grace Kara chimed in with 13. Erikana Pedersen found her groove for the Tactix coming on at quarter time with her 13 goal assists. For the Stars it was Gina Crampton that led the charge with her 22 goal assists as Shannon Saunders got busy for the Steel with her 17 goal assists.

West Coast Fever midcourter Verity Charles led all comers with her 27 goal assists as teammate Jess Anstiss chimed in with 15 of her own. The feeding was shared around in the Firebirds camp as Kim Ravaillion topped the table with 17 goal assists as Lara Dunkley managed 10. Paige Hadley was a commanding presence through the centre third racking up 17 goal assists while Maddy Proud found her groove in attack and defence with 11 goal assists and one intercept. Maddie Hay and Jamie-Lee Price were unstoppable for the GIANTS with the former amassing 19 goal assists. Teammate, Amy Parmenter fired on all cylinders in wing defence with eight deflections and two intercepts. Kelsey Browne was an energiser bunny for the Pies in what was a stats stuffing performance racking up 17 goal assists, two deflections and an intercept as Molly Jovic also plied her trade in the Collingwood frontend with her 15 goal assists. Hannah Mundy continued to consolidate her form leading the way for the Vixens with 16 goal assists.

Defence:

Defensively Karin Burger starred for the Tactix as she racked up five intercepts, three deflections and two rebounds in what was an all-round stellar performance from the goal defence. Jane Watson showcased her read of the play racking up four deflections, while former teammate and current Magic goal keeper Temalisi Fakahokotau was amongst the thick of things with her six gains. Erena Mikaere utilised her long arms to rack up three deflections. Kelly Jury and Kelera Nawai combined for four gains and six deflections as Sulu Fitzpatrick impressed for the Mystics with her three gains. Goal keepers Taneisha Fifita and Anna Harrison imposed themselves racking up eight and seven gains apiece with the latter reeling in five intercepts credit to her go-go gadget arms.

Jodi-Ann Ward was once again at her best for the Magpies collecting nine gains, eight deflections and a couple of intercepts while Geva Mentor also showcased her class in goal keeper registering seven gains. The combination of Jo Weston and Emily Mannix was on full display as they combined for eight gains. Sarah Klau was a pillar of consistency for the Swifts recording four gains and six deflections as crosstown rival Sam Poolman was just as damaging for the GIANTS with her eight gains and four deflections. Adelaide Thunderbirds defender Shamera Sterling impressed with her six deflections, two intercepts as Matilda Garrett got busy with her four deflections. Courtney Bruce got plenty of hands to ball finishing with four intercepts and two deflections as Sunday Aryang took advantage of her long limbs and closing speed to pick up five deflections and four gains. Kim Jenner and Rudi Ellis imposed themselves with a combined 10 deflections.

Photo credit: AAP

Five things we learnt: Round 11

ROUND 11 of Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) saw the competition take a trip across the border to South Australia as Victoria headed back into lockdown, with rescheduled matches and team lists impacted long the way. In this series, Draft Central will look at five key learnings from the round whether it be consistent themes or standout performances.

The SSN is more than equipped to handle last-minute changes

Netball Australia pulled all the strings it was capable of last week to keep the 2021 season alive, and while the situation may still not be ideal, with four of the eight teams – NSW Swifts, GIANTS Netball, Melbourne Vixens and Collingwood Magpies – forced to relocate once more to keep the season alive, it is a result that everyone is grateful for purely because of the quick thinking and actions surrounding it. With a new CEO in Kelly Ryan at the helm ensuring transparency across fans and the media, as well as things clicking into place prior to Victoria’s late lockdown announcement last Thursday afternoon, Netball Australia proved it has the capacity to pull the trigger and make those hard decisions to ensure the season can be finished. With fresh restrictions across the nation and players like Tippah Dwan impacted, forced to go into 14-day quarantine, it is safe to say there are still more decisions to be made and jobs to be done, especially now that Adelaide has been confirmed to go into lockdown from tonight onwards.

What if the season has to be condensed once more?

It is safe to say that the season has ben dealt its fair share of fallbacks this season, starting out nation-wide, before heading to Queensland, Victoria, and now south Australia, will all three states suffering lockdowns of some sort. With the latest move – to Adelaide, where they have now announced further restrictions – the question has been posed about whether the remainder of the season should be condensed to ensure the season is complete and that players left in limbo can head home as soon as possible. Something we learnt last year was that players are certainly up to the tough task, however it took extra hands on deck, namely an extra two players on the bench, to do so. If there is anything we have learnt this season, it is that younger, developing players are more than capable of stepping up – think Sophie Dwyer and Rahni Samason – with depth appearing to be no issue for some sides, for example Lightning, with Peace Proscovia and Kate Shimmin on the bench with both capable of holding down a starting position, and Firebirds’ Rudi Ellis who played out her first full SSN game on Monday and was hard to stop when she got going. While it would not necessarily be ideal to condense the season once more, it may be the best possible decision at this point in time with so many changes still happening around the country.

Weekend of SSN derbies provides the goods

Four huge matches played out across a rescheduled round of action with Victorian and NSW derbies played back-to-back on Saturday with four-goal deficits apiece, and the Queensland derby playing out on Monday night in the sunshine state. While the South Australian-West Australian rivalry did not play out quite as tightly as hoped after a huge first quarter from Shamera Sterling, and the Queensland Battle of the Bruce saw injuries mount up – both prior to and during the match – there was plenty to take out of the action-packed round. The ladder was shaken up once more, with the Firebirds keeping their finals hopes alive and the GIANTS earning a critical win to take top spot of the ladder once more. Percentage is sure to play a vital role once finals come around with GIANTS and Swifts going toe-to-toe, and if the Firebirds can rack up a couple more wins they could claim a big scalp of the Lightning who have a lower percentage. It is safe to say that Round 11 was a huge one in terms of the final finish, with everything on the line heading into the final stretch.

Who is Australia’s leading goal defence right now?

Defensively, the Suncorp Super Netball is no slouch when it comes to producing stellar defenders with international and domestic players alike sharing the spotlight. But all that is to say, who would be the Diamonds’ starting goal defence? Starting with the current starter in Jo Weston, it is clear the Vixens’ lack of success this season is not because of the side’s defensive issues, but rather their offensive prowess. But at the same time, Weston certainly has not been at her most potent this season, likely down to a lot of positional switches around her, and ultimately opening up chances for other Australian defenders to get a look in at that starting goal defence position. If April Brandley were to put her hand up for selection, it is safe to say the former Diamond has been one of the most reliable and impactful defenders this season with a renewed confidence and willingness to contest. Sunday Aryang would also be a viable option, now earning the starting goal defence bib at Fever almost every round, but could perhaps be pegged as too inexperienced, while Kim Jenner has been nowhere near her typical ball-hunting self this season, but was part of the Diamonds’ extended bench during the Constellation Cup earlier this year. Further on the outer would be Maddy Turner – who is definitely in better form than last season but not quite at her peak 2019 form – and Matilda Garrett, who had a stellar start to the season but appears to have fatigued as the season has gone on. Two clubs in Magpies (Jodi-Ann Ward) and Lightning (Karla Pretorius) have international starters in goal defence.

Steph Wood is key to Lightning success

It is safe to say that when Steph Wood is not on, both physically and mentally, the Lightning struggle to win games. With a couple of knee niggles over the past year or so keeping Wood from performing at her best, the goal attack has been creating a starring role out the front for the Lightning this season with her workhorse attitude and renewed winning mentality. With fresh confidence to go to post and an excellent combination with Koenen, Wood’s form is a huge part of the Lightning’s success and potent front-end, but whether she is taken out of the game by a rogue knock – like during the Queensland derby on Monday night, only taking the court for 11 minutes – or taken out mentally by a zoning defender such as Weston, the Lightning’s confidence and winning attitude seems to fade entirely. Realistically, it is not ideal for so much of the success of the team to be focused on one player, with so much heat directed on Wood’s shoulders as a goaler already, however there is no denying that when Wood steps up and takes control, the entire team rallies and looks the better for it. In the case of this round, the loss of Wood certainly took the wind out of the sails, and even though they still kept close to the Firebirds throughout the contest, struggled to generate that momentum in the final quarter with both Wood and Laura Scherian on the sidelines.

 

Picture credit: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Fever stamp their authority with resounding win

WEST Coast Fever got back on the winners list in a big way defeating Adelaide Thunderbirds by 25 goals, 69-44. Playing in front of their home crowd for what is expected to be the last time this season, the Fever faithful farewelled outgoing coach Stacey Marinkovich in style as the side bounced back from two consecutive shock losses.

Jhaniele Fowler picked up where she left off nailing the opening goal of the game for the Fever to quickly assert her side’s dominance. But the Thunderbirds were up to the task early in the piece as youngster Georgie Horjus answered the call with a goal of her own. In fact, both sides traded blows for the first few minutes before the home side managed to find some continuity with Fowler sinking back-to-back goals. Holding a two-goal lead the Fever looked to be in control of proceedings with Verity Charles proving to be a thorn in the Thunderbirds’ side with her pinpoint passes into Fowler causing all sorts of headaches early.

But the momentum started to slowly swing as the Thunderbirds connections in attack started to come to the fore. Maisie Nankivell found her groove with her hustle around circle edge allowing her to deliver crafty passes into Lenize Potgieter who was simply on fire inside the circle. There was plenty of niggle under the post with Potgieter and Courtney Bruce going toe-to-toe and contesting hard for every inch of space. The Thunderbirds went on a three-goal run as they stole the lead from the Fever and claimed some ascendancy on the match. Playing with confidence and conviction the Thunderbirds held sway extending to a three-goal lead. But each time the Thunderbirds tried to pull away West Coast would find a way to edge their way back into the match with a couple of big defensive wins and consecutive shots.

It was a complete switch up in the second term as the Fever put the foot down. Adelaide’s one goal buffer quickly evaporated as Fowler went on a tear slotting five goals straight while it took three and a half minutes for the Thunderbirds to put their first goal on the board in the second term. Shamera Sterling and Matilda Garrett simply had no answers for what West Coast were throwing at them as the home side penetrated the defence with great ease and arrested control. Elle McDonald’s injection into the centre to replace Hannah Petty took a while to kick into gear as the Fever’s well drilled midcourt took centre stage. The combination between Charles and Jess Anstiss was firing on all cylinders as they directed traffic and dished off silky passes into Fowler as the lead steadily grew.

Down by 10 goals the Thunderbirds rung in the changes as Sam Gooden entered the fray as Horjus pushed out to wing attack. Petty re-entered the game in at wing defence as Nankivell was gifted the centre bib to try and rein in the Fever who were cruising along nicely. Bruce and Sunday Aryang were up and about creating deflections and intercepts aplenty as they halted the ball from entering the goal circle with their stifling defence. Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds the changes made next to no difference as the Fever continued to motor on. A super shot from Potgieter almost sparked the Thunderbirds into action but Alice Teague-Neeld replied with one of her own as the Fever went into half time with a commanding nine-goal lead.

It was much of the same in the third quarter as the Fever continued on their merry way in attack. Sasha Glasgow made her way onto the court and while she was not overly accurate to post her smarts to pass off into Fowler was on full display. The Fever seemed to have the ball on a string as the Thunderbirds simply could not get ball into the circle. Stacey Francis-Bayman was doing a mountain-load of work in wing defence to nullify the influence of Horjus while Bruce and Aryang blocked the movement of the goalers in the circle. A string of four goals to the Fever extended their lead to 15 goals as they refused to take the foot off the pedal.

The final quarter did not get any better for the Thunderbirds as Tania Obst threw the bibs in the air. The visitors could not find any form of continuity rendered goalless for five minutes while the Fever were having a field day out on court. West Coast capitalised on every single turnover that came their way with their desperation and hunt on full display. Potgieter added some respectability back on the scoreboard with three goals in a row but that was short-lived as the Fever once again asserted their dominance to run out with a dominant 25-goal win.

Fowler was once again at her damaging best piling on 57 goals from 58 attempts as Glasgow slotted six from 12 but racked up eight goal assists. Teague-Neeld also had an influence with her 12 assists but it was Charles that proved unstoppable with her 27 goal assists. Bruce and Aryang were up to their usual tricks down back amassing a combined 10 gains including seven intercepts and seven deflections. Potgieter shot at 100 per cent for the Thunderbirds draining 26 goals straight as Horjus chimed in with five goals and Gooden slotted eight. Nankivell registered 16 goal assists, the highest of any Thunderbird on court while down back it was the efforts of Sterling that shone through as the goal keeper managed two intercepts and six deflections.

West Coast Fever 14 | 20 | 16  | 19 (69)
Adelaide Thunderbirds 15 | 10 | 11 | 8 (44)

STARTING SEVEN: 

Fever: 

GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Alice Teague-Neeld
WA: Verity Charles
C: Jess Anstiss
WD: Stacey Francis-Bayman
GD: Sunday Aryang
GK: Courtney Bruce

Thunderbirds:

GS: Lenize Potgieter
GA: Georgie Horjus
WA: Maisie Nankivell
C: Hannah Petty
WD: Shadine van der Merwe
GD: Matilda Garrett
GK: Shamera Sterling

Photo credit: Will Russell

2021 SSN Preview: Round 11

IT has been a whirlwind 24 hours in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) with the COVID-19 restrictions throwing a spanner in the works and forcing wholesale fixture changes. South Australia will now form a hub with five of the eight clubs taking up residence with only the Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning unable to enter the state and West Coast Fever fortunate to remain at home for the time being. Two consecutive losses from the Fever has kept the finals door ajar for the Firebirds while the GIANTS have re-kindled their winning ways.

Melbourne Vixens vs. Collingwood Magpies
Saturday, July 17 @1:00pm

The Melbourne Derby will once again be played outside of Victoria with the Melbourne Vixens taking on Collingwood. It has been a disappointing season for the Vixens while the Magpies have shown glimpses of magic but are just lacking that final level of finesse to really compete with the best in the competition.

The Vixens have found it incredibly difficult to penetrate in attack despite having the likes of Mwai Kumwenda at their disposal down in goal shooter. Neither Hannah Mundy or Kaylia Stanton have really been able to impose themselves week in week out which will allow the likes of Jodi-Ann Ward to really inflict some severe pain. Ward has been in scintillating form for the Magpies consistently getting hands to ball and combining nicely with stalwart and veteran Geva Mentor down in defence. Throw in the likes of Ash Brazill in wing defence and the Magpies may have the upper hand given just how quickly Brazill can change the course of a game with her dynamic movement and sheer athleticism.

Magpies fans will be hoping that Kelsey Browne returns to the court after missing last week with a concussion. Brown offers plenty of speed and excitement into this attacking unit headlined by Shimona Nelson in goal shooter and Gabby Sinclair out in goal attack. Molly Jovic is also another one that really relishes the presence of Browne out on court meaning that the Vixens will be hoping that Kate Moloney is able to combat that presence through the midcourt. Defensively the Vixens have been relatively strong with Jo Weston, Emily Mannix, Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Kate Eddy all able to ply their trade but will need a full 60 minutes if they are to get over the top of Collingwood.

NSW Swifts vs. GIANTS Netball
Saturday, July 17 @3:00pm

The battle between NSW Swifts and the GIANTS is going to be an exciting one with both sides coming off big wins. The Swifts toppled the Vixens in what was a one-sided affair while the GIANTS monopolised the play against the Pies. This contest however will throw up another lot of challenges as the two sides need a win to really secure their spot in the top four.

Sam Wallace only played a half of netball last week but showcased just how much damage she can do shooting at 100 per cent with 33 goals to her name and will be eager to replicate that performance in this clash. The GIANTS defence will need to really unify if they are to stop the Swifts from scoring with Helen Housby and Sophie Garbin both viable options as well. The GIANTS will need to put on a full court defensive press to stop the ball from transitioning into the hands of either Wallace, Garbin or Housby given how accurate they are to post. April Brandley will be one to watch for the GIANTS with her quick feet and tenacity while Sam Poolman will have to really contest and body up on the likes of Wallace if they are to upset the Swifts frontend. The battle between Amy Parmenter and any number of Swifts midcourters in Paige Hadley, Maddy Proud or Nat Haythornthwaite will also garner plenty of attention given just how dynamic and integral they are to their respective sides.

Up the other end of the court Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer are proving to be a match made in heaven with the pair able to rotate seamlessly through the circle and most importantly attack the goals from just about anywhere in the circle. The two ooze nothing but confidence and smarts meaning both Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau will have to be on their A-game to shut down the space and go out hunting early to send some fear into the GIANTS attackers. Maddie Hay has been somewhat of an unsung hero for the GIANTS with her crafty court play while Jamie-Lee Price is just a pillar of consistency. But one thing is for sure and that is that the Swifts are littered with versatility in the form of Lauren Moore, Hadley and Tayla Fraser who can all push into wing defence.

West Coast Fever vs. Adelaide Thunderbirds
Saturday, July 17 @8:00pm

The Fever are coming into this clash off the back of two consecutive losses and will be hoping to change their fortunes against the Thunderbirds if they are to remain in the hunt for finals. While the competition has been moved to South Australia, the Thunderbirds will travel to Perth to play as one of the only traveling teams this round.

It is going to be a battle between the two Jamaican with Jhaniele Fowler holding down the fort for the Fever and Shamera Sterling tasked with stopping the goal shooting machine. Fowler has been nothing but consistent throughout her time in the SSN with her high volume and accuracy to post something to behold meaning the Thunderbirds defence in Sterling and Matilda Garrett are going to have their work cut out for them. Luckily enough the Thunderbirds have a couple of options in defence with Latanya Wilson and Shadine van der Merwe also able to ply their trade whether it be out in goal defence or in wing defence in order to stop the Fever. West Coast also have the options of Sasha Glasgow and Alice Teague-Neeld to create a moving circle if need be which we have seen in the past couple of rounds.

The midcourt for the Fever is the real engine room as they have the likes of Verity Charles, Jess Anstiss and Emma Cosh all able to effectively ply their trade while the Thunderbirds are littered with a lot more inexperienced players. Hannah Petty notched up her 50th game last weekend and will be eager to continue that leadership role through the centre while in the attacking end for the Thunderbirds it will be up to Lenize Potgieter to really steer the ship to combat that physical presence from Courtney Bruce, Sunday Aryang and Stacey Francis-Bayman. Potgieter will need Maisie Nankivell to be firing on all cylinders in wing attack to give the T’birds a chance to score with any form of fluidity.

Sunshine Coast Lightning vs. Queensland Firebirds
Monday, July 19 @7:00pm

The Lightning are at the top of their game at the moment with their clean and clinical style of netball coming to the fore on the other hand the Firebirds have just lacked that consistency and four quarter ability to really grind out games. It is arguably a do or die clash for the Firebirds if they are hoping to make finals while Sunshine Coast are hoping to build some real momentum to solidify their standings in the top four.

There is no denying that the partnership between Cara Koenen and Steph Wood is one of the most damaging duos out on court and the pair found their groove well and truly last week. Given just how prolific the pair are to post it will be up to Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe to put in the ground work and upset the Lightning frontend with their constant niggle and physicality under the post. In fact if the Firebirds are any chance to win they will need a full court defence to stop the ball from firing into Koenen with Gabi Simpson and Kim Ravaillion likely to apply that strong hands over pressure through the midcourt.

All eyes will turn to the battle between Phumza Maweni and Romelda Aiken with both players barometers for their respective sides. Aiken is the tall timber under the post for the Firebirds and she plays some of her best netball when Gretel Bueta is up and about with the goal attack a real livewire credit to her athleticism and smarts. Maweni on the other hand is a real ball winner and can change the course of a game within an instant credit to her aerial ability and long limbs. Maweni and Karla Pretorius have been impressive throughout this season with the pair renowned for their ball winning ways and will need to stop the shooter to shooter connection if they are to upset Queensland. The Firebirds also have a great level of depth through the wing attack role with Jemma Mi Mi and Lara Dunkley viable options as for the Lightning they have Laura Scherian, Maddy McAuliffe and Mahalia Cassidy who are able to lead the charge.

Photo credit: Jason McCawley

2021 Stats wrap: SSN Round 10 and ANZ Premiership Round 13

IT was another action packed round of Suncorp Super Netball and ANZ Premiership with both competitions playing host to a number of surprise upsets with lower placed teams toppling their higher ranked opponents. We delve into the individual statistical performance of a couple of key cogs across the two leagues.

GOALS

It was dominant shooting display from Ellie Bird with the Mainland Tactix goal shooter slotting an impressive 44 goals from 45 attempts, with her only miss coming in the early stages of the first term. Grace Nweke was another tall timber that fired on all cylinders in Round 13 putting up a round high 50 goals from 57 attempts at 88 per cent accuracy. In terms of accuracy and volume, Aliyah Dunn skyrocketed up the rankings with her 41 goals from 44 attempts in the Pulse’s first win in five games, while George Fisher was back to her best slotting 39 goals from 41 attempts. Partner in crime Tiana Metuarau was also strong to post credit to her 22 goals at 85 per cent, as Magic shooter Khiarna Williams slotted 20 goals from 23 attempts at 87 per cent. Te Amo Amaru-Tibble was in fine form for the Pulse nailing 14 goals while Jamie Hume was consistent for the Stars with her 15 goals from 20 attempts. Although it was not the most accurate shooting performance from Te Paea Selby-Rickit only converting at 57 per cent it was her goal assists that shone recording 30 for the game.

There were a couple of shooters in the SSN that managed to get through the round with an unblemished record as Sam Wallace slotted 33 from 33 and West Coast Fever star Jhaniele Fowler managed 45 straight. Lenize Potgieter was almost a member of the 100 per cent group finishing with 37 goals from 38 attempts at 97 per cent while Gretel Bueta only missed the solitary shot with her 13 from 14 goal performance. Cara Koenen was also in scintillating form for the Lightning slotting 43 from 48 at 90 per cent as Steph Wood also stepped up to the plate nailing 19 goals from 21 attempts while also registering 18 goal assists. Mwai Kumwenda was once again the go to girl for the Melbourne Vixens recording 31 goal with a whopping eight super shots to her name. Firebirds pair Romelda Aiken was high on volume but down on accuracy managing 42 goals at 79 per cent as Shimona Nelson put up 37 goals from 44 attempts. The combination of Sophie Dwyer and Jo Harten was on full display as the pair managed 31 and 24 goals piece.

MIDCOURT

Through the midcourt it was Whitney Souness that led the charge with her 23 goal assists and work at the centre pass to rack up 26 centre pass receives. Peta Toeava was somewhat down on her lofty standards but still managed to record 22 goal assists while also picking up an intercept while Steel stalwart Shannon Saunders also impressed with her 22 goal assists and two intercepts. Renee Savai’inaea was in fine form collecting three gains, two of which were intercepts along with two deflections. Gina Crampton and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan shared the load in attack for the Stars with 16 and 15 goal assists respectively. Sam Winders was crafty with ball in hand for the Magic racking up 16 goal assists and collecting an intercept while Tayla Earle was influential credit to her 17 goal assists and intercept.

Maddie Hay was a real livewire out in wing attack for the GIANTS with her 23 goal assists, two intercepts and two deflections. Fellow GIANTS representative Amy Parmenter had a real pep in her step racking up four deflections and two intercepts. Kim Ravaillion continued her hot form with 19 goal assists, three intercepts and two deflections to keep the Firebirds motoring along while in her 50th game Hannah Petty upped the ante with her 20 goal assists and three deflections. Verity Charles controlled proceedings for the Fever with her 24 goal assists and intercept while in the Lightning camp it was speedster Laura Scherian that seemed to have the ball on a string racking up 11 goal assists and two deflections. teammate Mahalia Cassidy also hit her straps in the win amassing 10 goal assists, two intercepts and deflection. Maddy Proud’s season only continues to get better as the NSW Swifts centre recorded 19 goal assists and an intercept as Tayla Fraser plied her trade in wing defence collecting two deflections. Hannah Mundy led the charge for the Vixens topping the table with her 10 goal assists.

DEFENCE

It is hard to go past the performances of Jane Watson and Karin Burger with the two defenders working in overdrive and gathering the stats to prove it. Watson amassed 10 gains in her outing on the weekend including two intercepts along with three deflections. burger took things up another notch with her 12 gains including five intercepts, five rebounds and four deflections. Anna Harrison was a ball magnet in defence collecting eight gains, four intercepts and six deflections as teammate Elle Temu chimed in with five gains and four intercepts. Mystics captain Sulu Fitzpatrick was a force to be reckoned with down back with her four gains and two intercepts as Kate Burley recorded one intercept and four deflections. Kelera Nawai and Kelly Jury combined for six gains and six deflections in the Pulse’s win.

Defensively it is hard to go past the services of Sarah Klau who had a hand in just about everything with her 11 gains and 11 deflections. Fellow goal keeper Courtney Bruce collecting three intercepts and six deflections as Lightning defender Phumza Maweni was on fire with her two intercepts and two deflections. Partner in crime Karla Pretorius was also influential with her four deflections and two gains. Firebirds power duo Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe were back to their usual tricks with a combined six gains and nine deflections highlighting their defensive nous. Shamera Sterling was down on her lofty standards but still managed three intercepts and six deflections as fellow Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward had a standout performance for the Magpies with her 10 gains including a staggering six intercepts and four deflections.

Photo credit: Paul Kane/Getty images

Firebirds take down shaky Thunderbirds

THE Queensland Firebirds have kept their Suncorp Super Netball finals hopes alive with a 63-47 victory over Adelaide Thunderbirds during Round 10, as the Battle of the Birds went the way of the Queensland-based side. Despite only leading by two goals at the main change, the Firebirds came out flying in the third quarter to pile on 17 goals to nine and eventually claim the 16-goal victory.

It was the Firebirds that made the first move as both Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta were quick to get on the board and Kim Jenner‘s smothering defence kept Georgie Horjus away from the action. Lenize Potgieter‘s clean movement allowed her to add a couple goals to the table but it did not take long before a 6-2 lead emerged the way of the Firebirds, with their seamless transition down court and defensive pressure negating the work rate of the Thunderbirds. Kim Ravaillion fired on all cylinders, finding circle edge with ease as both Bueta and Aiken found space inside the circle, while Gabi Simpson worked in overdrive to limit Maisie Nankivell‘s impact in the front-end. With Bueta running rampant Latanya Wilson was injected into the action in goal defence for Matilda Garrett and had an immediate impact, registering an intercept. A flurry of Potgieter goals toward the end of the quarter saw the margin tighten again though with just two goals in it at the first break, with Shadine van der Merwe‘s fine form continuing as she blocked Lara Dunkley‘s every move.

An improved start to the second term saw the Thunderbirds briefly hold the upper hand early, as Potgieter managed three straight and Shamera Sterling got in on the action at the other end, however it proved to be the Firebirds attack that once again got up and going as a couple of gains – via Dunkley and Tara Hinchliffe in her 50th national league appearance – allowed Bueta and Aiken to wreak havoc and extend the scoreline out to six goals. But all that hard work was undone by errors as Ravaillion uncharacteristically gave away a couple of errant turnovers and offensive contacts came to the fore, with seven of the last 10 goals of the quarter going the way of the Thunderbirds credit once again to Potgieter’s footwork and accuracy and some excellent feeds from captain Hannah Petty in her 50th national league milestone match. Just two goals separated the two sides at the main break, 29-27.

It was one again a hot start from the Firebirds that allowed them to get ahead as the second half began, however this time it was not taken away from them as the side tightened up across the court and extended their lead seamlessly. With eight early goals only blocked by a couple of Potgieter shots in the middle, the Firebirds were beginning to gain some confidence as Ravaillion set the court alight with three intercepts for the term. Nankivell’s influence was well and truly nullified by Simpson while the quick passes of the Firebirds made it hard for Sterling and Garrett to find purchase on the loose ball. An eight-goal buffer was lessened to six once more as the two sides went goal for goal, before Tippah Dwan joined the fray out the front to create a new-look circle and put up a super shot to extend the margin to 10 goals at the final change. The Aiken-Dwan combination appeared to pay off immediately as the duo rotated seamlessly and worked in tandem with the quick hands of Jemma Mi Mi.

The final quarter was do or die for the Thunderbirds, and they came out with a point to prove as Potgieter piled on six of the first 10 goals. But where Potgieter stepped up, so did Aiken, as the Firebirds goal shooter continued to fire on all cylinders credit to the impressive feeding load of Ravaillion and Mi Mi. Each time the Thunderbirds looked like rallying it was the Firebirds midcourt which stepped up, with confidence exuding from the side as Sam Gooden took the court for the Thunderbirds in a last ditch effort to reduce the margin with the super shot. But it did not pay off, as it was the Firebirds that extended the scoreline continually, as they ran away with a 63-47 victory.

Aiken impressed with 42 goals from 53 attempts, as Bueta (13 from 14) and Dwan (five from eight) both played valuable assisting roles. Ravaillion topped the assists tally with 19 to her name to go with her three intercepts, while Jenner (two intercepts) and Hinchliffe (one) were smothering in their defence. For the Thunderbirds, Petty registered 20 goal assists and three deflections to lead the charge as Nankivell finished with 14 and five while Sterling (three intercepts) and Potgieter (two intercepts, 37 goals from 38 attempts) led from their respective ends.

 

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS | 12 | 15 | 9 | 11 (47)
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS | 14 | 15 | 17 | 17 (53)

STARTING SEVENS

Thunderbirds

GS: Lenize Potgieter
GA: Georgie Horjus
WA: Maisie Nankivell
C: Hannah Petty
WD: Shadine van der Merwe
GD: Matilda Garrett
GK: Shamera Sterling

Firebirds

GS: Romelda Aiken
GA: Gretel Bueta
WA: Lara Dunkley
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Kim Jenner
GK: Tara Hinchliffe

2021 SSN Preview: Round 10

A HUGE round of Suncorp Super Netball action is up this weekend with Round 10 looking like one for the books. With milestones and potential final clashes alike, this round of netball has everything as teams come in off the back of some intriguing results last weekend.

Melbourne Vixens vs. NSW Swifts
Saturday, July 10 @3:00pm

Expect a huge clash between the Vixens and Swifts with both sides coming off unprecedented Round 9 wins last week. But while the Vixens certainly have their confidence up after a win over Sunshine Coast Lightning, the Swifts have everything to prove after a win over Fever and everything to gain as they look to secure the Sargent-McKinnis Cup. Expect the Swifts to come out with a hot start but they will need to do everything in their power to limit the Vixens after half-time with the Melbourne-based side’s second half proving to be their strong suit this season.

It is safe to say that the matchup between Emily Mannix and Sam Wallace is the one to watch in this one with both players having viable replacements if one or the other is not firing on all cylinders. Sophie Garbin has proven to be a huge drawcard for the Swifts this season and it is much the same for Jamaican import Kadie-Ann Dehaney as the Vixens goalkeeper can switch up her side’s backline within the blink of an eye, while Jo Weston will need to keep an eye out for a resurgent Helen Housby. Through the centre expect the matchups between Paige Hadley, Kate Eddy, Kate Moloney and Maddy Proud to play a significant role, while Hannah Mundy has really stepped up into the role of centre in the past few rounds so will look to have an impact from the get-go and Tayla Fraser has provided a valuable impact option off the bench. At the other end, Mwai Kumwenda and Sarah Klau are sure to go toe-to-toe, while Kaylia Stanton is coming off one of her best performances all season and will want to assert herself against an in-form Maddy Turner.

West Coast Fever vs. Sunshine Coast Lightning
Saturday, July 10 @8:00pm

This second matchup between the Fever and the Lightning should be a real cracker with both sides coming in with a fire in the belly after losses last week. The Fever dismantled the Lightning earlier on in the season so will surely be coming back for seconds, however the Lightning have proved their best performances do have the capacity to individually beat players, they just need to all combine seamlessly to earn the win. Expect the Fever’s confidence and consistency to win out once more, however you can never underestimate the Lightning.

It will be very interesting this week to see who earns the starting goal attack position for Fever with Sasha Glasgow getting the start last week but Alice Teague-Neeld providing that spark alongside with Jhaniele Fowler and wreaking havoc on the front end. Meanwhile, Karla Pretorius had a huge start last round so could be key here, while Phumza Maweni may not play a whole game after coming off injured last week. That being said, they certainly have no slouch in their back pocket with Kate Shimmin more than capable of holding ground in goal keeper. At the other end, Courtney Bruce has been in sparkling form for the Fever and will look to wreak havoc on goal shooter Cara Koenen, with Peace Proscovia a viable option to come on as an impact player for the Lightning. Steph Wood’s speed and run of form will prove very interesting coming up against young gun Sunday Aryang or Stacey Francis-Bayman, while this match could realistically be won through the midcourt with Laura Scherian, Jess Anstiss, Verity Charles, Mahalia Cassidy and Maddy McAuliffe all set to go head to head to head. 

Adelaide Thunderbirds vs. Queensland Firebirds
Sunday, July 11 @1:00pm

Another two sides coming off wins last round, this one could be a huge do or die clash for the Firebirds and Thunderbirds who are really vying for that last-ditch finals attempt. While it is probably unlikely either side could make finals with their up and down form, both have shown glimpses of what they are capable of this season and could certainly shake things up if they were to make a strong run home from here. Last time they met it was the Firebirds that reigned supreme, but you can never underestimate this Thunderbirds side especially when they have confidence behind them.

It will be a battle of the Jamaicans as Shamera Sterling and Romelda Aiken go head-to-head underneath the goals with both players serious firepowers for their respective teams. Sterling’s ability to spur her side into action is second-to-none, while Aiken’s excellent connection with Gretel Bueta constantly leaves the opposition with headaches. Matilda Garrett has been in excellent form while Shadine van der Merwe is also coming in off a great outing last week and will look to force changes in the Firebirds attack. The battle between Gabi Simpson and Maisie Nankivell is sure to set tongues wagging the both with both players in great spirits at the moment, while elsewhere Lenize Potgieter and Georgie Horjus have been fine-tuning their connection over the past few rounds. That being said, Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner have been hard to stop when they get going and will take advantage of any loose ball that comes their way, making for a huge contest.

Collingwood Magpies vs. GIANTS Netball
Sunday, July 11 @3:00pm

The final match of the round sees the biggest milestone of the round, as Geva Mentor suits up for her 200th national league game against the GIANTS. But while the Magpies have showcased some great form over the past few rounds, the GIANTS are an entirely different kettle of fish despite their current slump and inconsistency, and will be looking to bounce back against this Collingwood side which is also coming in off a loss, however must keep in mind the last time they played the Magpies, Mentor was missing from the fray. 

It is safe to say the match up to watch in this clash is the battle between Mentor and Jo Harten. The two England internationals know each other’s games inside and out, and both have had topsy-turvy seasons so far meaning whoever gets the upper hand early will most likely be able to retain control. Meanwhile, Jodi-Ann Ward and Ash Brazill have been in scintillating form for the Magpies and will want to utilise that to shut down the likes of Sophie Dwyer and Maddie Hay who have both shown glimpses of brilliance. Elsewhere through the midcourt is Magpies livewire Kelsey Browne who will take on Amy Parmenter and be looking to improve on her effort last week, while GIANTS’ Jamie-Lee Price is also a viable option to slip back into wing defence as she has done throughout the past couple of rounds. Both sides have looked slightly fatigued over the past few rounds, especially through the midcourt, so will need to assert dominance early and retain some real consistency to win that midcourt battle. The real test for the Magpies will be whether Gabby Sinclair is back in goal attack following a niggle last week, with her connection with Shimona Nelson really missed.

 

Picture credit: Collingwood Magpies Netball

2021 Stats wrap: SSN Round 9 and ANZ Premiership Round 12

THERE was no shortage of impressive individual and team efforts across both the ANZ Premiership and Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) this week. Round 9 of the SSN rolled around with some upsets headlining the round while across the ditch the Northern Mystics consolidated their spot atop of the ladder.

GOALS:

It is becoming a weekly occurrence in the ANZ Premiership with Grace Nweke once again topping the table for the number of goals scored slotting 54 goals from 65 attempts to convert at 83 per cent, lower than her usual accuracy but still dominant to post. Maia Wilson increased her load for the Stars nailing 40 goals from 46 attempts while Caitlin Bassett showcased just what she is capable of with an impressive 34 goals from 35 attempts at 97 per cent. It was arguably Bassett’s best game to-date with the goal shooter starring under the post with her accuracy while Pulse goal shooter Aliyah Dunn was also accurate to post but was down on her volume finishing with 21 goals from 22 attempts. In terms of goal attacks, Khiarna Williams had a game to remember with her 20 from 23 while Tiana Metuarau also imposed herself for the Steel sinking 15 goals at 75 per cent. Ivana Rowland enjoyed her time out on court nailing 11 goals from 13 attempts for the Pulse while Te Paea Selby-Rickit was solid with her 16 goals but lacked accuracy. Speaking of lacking accuracy, Jamie Hume struggled to find her radar with 20 goals from 33 attempts at 61 per cent.

There were a number of strong performances across the board in the goal circle with West Coast Fever goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler impressing with her 47 goals from 48 attempts at 98 per cent. She was not alone when it came to accuracy with Sophie Garbin starring in her 39 minutes out on court with 31 goals at 94 per cent while Adelaide Thunderbirds shooter Lenize Potgieter upped the ante finishing with 42 goals from 45 attempts. The combination of Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta was back to its damaging best with the pair scoring 39 and 23 goals respectively at a combined 87 per cent. Helen Housby had a hot hand from super shot range sinking four of her five attempts while also shooting at 100 per cent from the one zone. Cara Koenen was a strong force under the post for the Lightning sinking 26 goals from 30 attempts while Steph Wood also found her groove shooting at 94 per cent. Meanwhile Kaylia Stanton arguably had her best game to date finishing with 18 goals from 21 attempts as Mwai Kumwenda was up to her usual tricks with 34 goals.

MIDCOURT:

Northern Stars wing attack Gina Crampton led the competition for goal assists this round racking up 35 with her precise ball placement consistently coming to the fore, as did Peta Toeava with the Northern Mystics wing attack amassing a team-high 26. Whitney Souness was the go-to girl for the Pulse finishing with 21 goal assists while Sam Winders led the charge for the Magic with 21 of her own. Shannon Saunders was electric with ball in hand for her 19 goal assists as Kate Heffernan impressed both in defence and offence with her nine assists and two gains. Both Kimiora Poi and Tayla Earle had strong performances through the centre with seven goal assists and two intercepts for Poi and 14 goal assists and an intercept for Earle. There is no denying that Charlotte Elley was the pick of the crop in wing defence with the Tactix speedster collecting an intercept and two deflections.

It was a standout performance from Maisie Nankivell with the Adelaide Thunderbirds wing attack amassing 31 goal assists with the next closest Queensland Firebirds centre Kim Ravaillion with 29. It did not stop there for Ravaillion as she also picked up three deflections and a gain. Verity Charles proved to be the go-to girl for the Fever collecting 23 goal assists and two deflections while in her milestone 100th game Maddy Proud made her presence felt racking up 18 goal assists, three deflections and an intercept. For the Lightning it was Laura Scherian that paved the way with her 12 goal assists meanwhile Hannah Mundy and Kate Moloney recorded 15 and 10 respectively. Kelsey Browne led the charge for the Pies with 14 while Ash Brazill got plenty of hands to ball with her two gains and four deflections. Speaking of wing defences and both Shadine van der Merwe and Kate Eddy had impactful games for their respective sides with the former registering two intercepts and three deflections while Eddy managed three gains. Jamie-Lee Price also racked up the defensive stats with her two gains and four deflections.

DEFENCE:

Defensively the Tactix had the run of the mill with Jane Watson and Karin Burger impressing down back. Watson finished with four intercepts, a pickup and a rebound as Burger collected two intercepts and three gains. Kelera Nawai was strong for the Pulse with her two intercepts and three rebounds while Sulu Fitzpatrick showcased her wares both in goal keeper and goal defence for the Mystics to accrue five gains. Anna Harrison was a shining light for the Stars picking up four deflections and three gains as Erena Mikaere run amuck for the Magic finishing with eight gains including two intercepts. Teammate Georgia Tong also got hands to ball with her three gains.

It is hard to go past the efforts of Shamera Sterling with the Thunderbirds goal keeper picking up a whopping eight intercepts to accompany her five gains and six deflections. Geva Mentor also imposed herself with six deflections and three gains as the Firebirds duo in Kim Jenner and Tara Hinchliffe ran riot combining for 11 deflections, four intercepts and five rebounds. Courtney Bruce was at her damaging best for the Fever continuously getting hands to ball credit to her nine deflections and three intercepts as Lightning’s Karla Pretorius showcased her star power with seven gains. Emily Mannix did not skip a beat upon her return with four intercepts and two gains as partner in crime Jo Weston also got busy with her three deflections.

Photo credit: SSN Twitter