Tag: Sharni Lambden

Top 15 SSN training partners: #8 Sharni Lambden

WITH a number of netball leagues across the world being suspended due to COVID-19, the Draft Central team is making a case for the top 15 training partners stepping up to the Suncorp Super Netball plate in 2020. Coming in at number eight is Collingwood Magpies midcourter, Sharni Lambden. This countdown is purely opinion-based, taking into consideration recent form, individual potential and future development.

A talented defensive midcourter, 22-year-old Lambden has caught plenty of attention on the international stage from a young age, part of the Australian Diamonds Development Squad 2016 with plenty of drive to improve and consistency through the centre despite not yet having that big opportunity to line up in the Super Netball. Lambden is a valuable partner with the Magpies, able to apply pressure on both the ball and the player while also being able to be that impact player where required. While unlucky on the Magpies part with injuries aplenty over the court last season potentially impacting the side again this season, Lambden could have a real chance to break into the Collingwood side if she puts her best foot forward at training.

With an ability to switch between centre and wing defence, Lambden can be a crucial link-up through the midcourt with her drive down the court and ability to switch between offensive and defensive mindsets with relative ease. Already familiar with the training partner role after being on the list for the past two seasons with the Magpies, Lambden will look to continue her development alongside midcourt injury returnees Madi and Kelsey Browne while Ash Brazill is sure to be a solid mentor playing a similar role at the club despite being highly unlikely to make her return in 2020. A crucial link through an already star-studded midcourt at the Tasmanian Magpies in the Australian Netball League, Lambden has been touted as a massive threat for a while coming so will look to put that into practice this year.

TOP 15 SSN TRAINING PARTNERS SO FAR:

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

Collingwood and Lightning set to face off in practice match

COLLINGWOOD Magpies and the Sunshine Coast Lightning are set to face off in Hobart on Friday night, with both sides preparing for yet another big year of Suncorp Super Netball. It will be the Magpies’ first outing in 2020 since winning the Super Club tournament over in New Zealand, while the Sunshine Coast will be hoping to get on the winners list after going down to the Fever last week in a practice match.

The Magpies will be missing the defensive prowess of Ash Brazill with the dual code athlete unable to make the trip due to her AFL Women’s commitments on Friday night, instead allowing the likes of Sharni Lambden to step up to the plate. It will be a great opportunity for the side to try out new combinations with a 10-player squad filled with new players set to make the trip down south. Replacement player for Nat Medhurst, Victorian Netball League (VNL) premiership star Julia Woolley, will be hoping to make an immediate impact on the court with her strong drives and ability to go to post. Woolley will be a real surprise packet for the Lightning given she has not played at Australian Netball League (ANL) or Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) level before. The clash will provide an opportunity through the midcourt for the likes of Kelsie Rainbow and Molly Jovic to formulate strong connections with the likes of Shimona Nelson with the duo looking to use their dash and clean hands to exploit the Lightning’s weaknesses. Having already played with the Magpies, Mel Bragg will be aiming to impose herself with her defensive style while recruit Jodi-Ann Ward will be hoping to use her long arms to force turnovers. Despite playing in the Bushfire Relief game for the All-Stars, co-captain Geva Mentor will pull on the goal keeper bib for the Pies. Renowned for her quick feet and ability to cause confusion in the circle Mentor will need to be on her A-game and lead from the front being the most experienced player in the Collingwood line-up.

With a loss fresh in their mind, the Lightning will be hoping to rectify their issues and claim an early win over the Magpies. They have a plethora of options in the goal circle with Cara Koenen and Peace Proscovia proving to be a damaging duo. In the absence of Steph Wood, Koenen has found herself out of position in goal attack but has not looked uncomfortable using her silky movement and strong drives to full effect. Ugandan shooter, Proscovia is strong under the ring with her accuracy to post and strong holds the key aspects of her game play. Jacqui Russell even showed her hand in goals floating through goal attack highlighting her versatility. With the Bushfire Relief game on Sunday, both Laura Langman and Karla Pretorius may have limited minutes on the court but will be hoping to have an impact with their ball-winning ability. Langman will be hoping to exploit Collingwood’s young and inexperienced midcourt with her gut running, speed and impressive ball placement across the court, while Pretorius is no slouch given her dynamic movement and go-go gadget arms. In her second SSN season, Phumza Maweni will be hoping to build on her form and cement her connections with young up and coming players in the side despite it not changing a whole heap over the off season. Speedster, Laura Scherian will be looking to take the reins in wing attack once again with up the other end expect the combination of Ash Unie and Maddy McAuliffe to be trialled.

It will be a tight battle between both sides but given the Lightning have a relatively unchanged side from last year and are filled with experience expect them to get over the top of Collingwood.

Recruits flood to VNL as 2020 fixture released

ROUND 1 of the 2020 Victorian Netball League (VNL) is set to commence at the end of March with an additional seven venues added to the already extensive list. The season will run for 18 rounds and sees some marquee players sign with clubs in the hope to boost their standings on the VNL ladder.

Melbourne Grammar, La Trobe University Bundoora, Banyule Stadium, MSCA, Mullum Mullum Stadium along with Wendouree and Traralgon Stadium are all set to play host to the VNL in 2020. The grand final rematch will take place in Round 5 while there will be games on the weekend from Round 1-12 throughout next year to make it more accessible for fans. The finals will follow their usual three week system and commence on August 5, with the grand final on August 19 next year.

Collingwood training partner Sharni Lambden along with Vic Fury premiership winner Sacha McDonald will line-up for Casey after making the switch from their respective sides. McDonald will join her brothers in the blue and red for 2020 while one of the biggest coups of the 2020 season will be the recruitment of Australian Diamonds great Sharni Layton. The highly talented goal keeper is set to play for the Peninsula Waves and will be a great addition to the side who struggled throughout 2019 only mustering up four wins. Layton will offer her immense defensive pressure and experience to an already developing side.

Vitality Super Netball League player, Rhea Dixon will also join Layton at the Peninsula Waves in 2020 making for an exciting up coming year. After taking a year off Rebecca Colwell is set to make her way back onto the court for the North-East Blaze in Division One with the goaler renowned for her proficiency and accuracy to post taking out the Hot Shot award in 2017 and 2018.

In addition to the VNL fixture there will be a pre-season tournament on February 23 to give teams a chance to iron out any issues prior to the official start of the season. The Casey Demons and Peninsula Waves will do battle with Boroondarra Express and Hawks Netball rounding out the double header at the State Netball and Hockey Centre for Round 1.

You can find the full VNL fixture here.

ANL: Semi-finals preview

WITH the semi-finals approaching we cast an eye over the match-ups with the top four all set to do battle. Victorian Fury and Canberra GIANTS face off first at the State Netball and Hockey Centre with the NSW Waratahs and Tasmanian Magpies following. All four sides have shown they have plenty of class and game changers if given the chance with the winner from both games going on to play in the grand final on Sunday.

Victorian Fury v. Canberra GIANTS

Last time they met the Fury had the last laugh with two convincing wins over the GIANTS in Round 1. But both sides have come a long way since then with their connections down the court developing.

Emma Ryde is the most prolific shooter in the competition posing a dominant threat for the GIANTS if they are unable to quell her influence under the post. Ryde averages 37 goals a match but can do much more damage while her imposing figure in the goal circle makes her an easy target to cite for Fury feeders. Her partnership with the likes of Sacha McDonald, Ruby Barkmeyer and Mikaela Vaughan will prove to be crucial up against the GIANTS if they want to surge ahead into the grand final. Defensively the Fury have some skilled players that can win ball back with Rudi Ellis and Jacqueline Newton able to apply good defensive pressure over the shot. Through the midcourt the likes of Kate Kelly-Oman and Elle McDonald work tirelessly to feed the ball into the circle and re-position in the attacking third to provide outlet passes.

The GIANTS should not be underestimated possessing some serious scoring power with the likes of Georgia Marshall, Amber Brophy and Angelina Frketic all able to turn a game on its head with their accuracy to post. The connection between Marshall and Frketic is second to none with the two finding good space and using their dynamic movement to open up space in the goal circle. Marshall is the leading goal scorer for the GIANTS with 421 goals for the season showcasing her ability to turn and shoot. Taylah Davies, Latika Tombs and Madeline Hay are all important players through the midcourt for the GIANTS credit to their ball speed and will have to be on their game to make the most of their opportunities across the court. Defensively the duo of Teigan O’Shannassay and Matilda McDonnell will have their work cut out for them against the likes of Ryde who uses her height and body positioning to her advantage. But the two work well together, rotating cleverly through the circle and applying strong pressure to confuse the space.

NSW Waratahs v. Tasmanian Magpies

Reigning premiers, the Tasmanian Magpies will be hoping to go move through the semi-final stage and go back to back after claiming the premiership last season while the NSW Waratahs will be wanting to end those aspirations. In their previous encounter the Magpies went down narrowly to the Waratahs making for a close contest come the semi-final.

The Waratahs have some influential players right across the court with the likes of Sophie Halpin and Abbey McCulloch dominating in that wing defence position and providing good drive through the midcourt to help to propel the ball into attack. Both players are renowned for their tenacity and hands over pressure to win ball back for their side. Up the other end of the court there are plenty of options under the post with Matisse Letherbarrow, Sophie Dwyer, Alison Miller and Kelly Singleton all posing a threat under the post. Dwyer sits tenth on the ladder for goals scored with 226 with Letherbarrow and Miller hot on her tail with 179 and 171 respectively. All four shooters have shown that they can shoulder the load and post hefty totals to get the Waratahs over the line while the work of Elle Bennetts through the midcourt provides plenty of opportunities for the goalers.

The Magpies have been here before and know exactly what it takes to make it all the way. They have no shortage of star players across the court with the likes of Matilda Garrett available for selection. Fellow defenders Sharni Lambden, Zanna Jodlowska and Brooke Allen are key players for the Magpies given their ability to win ball back and nullify their opponents influence under the post. Through the midcourt the Magpies ooze some dynamic movers with the likes of Kelsie Rainbow and Vanessa Augustini. Both players hit the circle edge with pace and precision to continuously deliver the ball into the shooters under the post. Meanwhile, the partnership between Samantha Gooden and Jane Cook is formidable given their ability to score quickly and accurately. Cook sits second on the ladder for the number of goals scored just behind Ryde with 470 goals averaging 31 goals a game at 88 per cent making her a real threat of they can get the ball to her.

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 5

ROUND 5 of the Australian Netball League brought plenty of excitement with the first draw of the season and some narrow losses highlighting the closeness of the 2019 competition.

Netball NSW Waratahs (54) defeated Tasmanian Magpies (53)

It was a nail-biting encounter with the Waratahs narrowly edging the Magpies out to claim a one goal win. The Magpies held a narrow two-goal lead heading into the quarter time break with all three shooters sitting at 100 per cent before the Waratahs wrestled back the momentum in the second quarter to claim a one-goal buffer. As the game went on the Waratahs pushed further ahead to establish a four-goal lead but full credit to the Magpies they lifted their intensity in the final term to get back within one goal. It was a tight tussle throughout the match with the lead ebbing and flowing. NSW made multiple changes in the goal circle with Alison Miller, Kelly Singleton, Matisse Letherbarrow and Sophie Dwyer all relishing the court time. Dwyer showcased her hot hand under the post shooting at 100 per cent with 20 goals straight. Her shooting effort was rivalled by Magpies goaler Jane Cook who top scored for the game with 34 from 38 attempts at 90 per cent. Waratahs goal keeper Clare Iongi had her work cut out for her but worked tirelessly to try and quell the influence of Cook. Samantha Gooden also made her presence felt on the scoreboard with the Tasmanian goal attack nailing 15 of her 17 shots while she did a wealth of work out the front to help bring the ball down. Kelsie Rainbow and Vanessa Augustini were also important for the Magpies in their attacking third driving hard to the circle edge and delivering clever passes into the shooters.

Queensland Fusion (47) drew Western Sting (47)

Both sides could not be separated credit to their intensity and hunt for the ball. The Western Sting held the lead for the majority of the game until the Fusion came home strong in the last term to pile on 14 goals to the Sting’s eight. At each break the Sting extended their lead but were unable to run out a full four quarter performance. Western goal shooter Georgia Pitt was prolific under the post and proved to be the go to girl for the Sting credit to her accuracy and clever positioning converting 37 of her 43 attempts at 87 per cent. The work through the midcourt from Emma Cosh, Jessica Eales and Courtney Kruta was impressive with the trio working hard to move the ball down court and create a spark for their side. defensively Sunday Aryang also applied good hands over pressure to try and reduce the influence of her opposition. Rylie Holland continued her hot form with 35 goals from 41 attempts while Mia Stower also contributed with her eight goals for the match. Maddison Hinchliffe was crucial through the midcourt with her defensive pressure and ability to penetrate the circle. She rotated the wing defence bib with teammate Leah Middleton who made her presence felt in the defensive end with her hands over pressure.

Territory Storm (38) defeated by Victorian Fury (64)

The Victorian Fury showcased their class against the Territory Storm with their strong connections down the court. It was a close start with the Fury only holding a two goal lead before pulling away in the second quarter to establish a 10 goal lead. They piled on 18 goals to 10 in the second term and increased the defensive pressure to starve the scoring opportunities for the Storm. Defensively the likes of Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Jacqui Newton worked hard to win the ball and confuse the space for the Storm feeders. Dehaney’s hands over pressure and aerial ability also posed a threat for the Storm. Through the midcourt Lara Dunkley impressed once again with her speed, clever drives and netball nous to open up space for the Fury shooters. Ine-Mari Venter showcased her ability to turn and shoot with her good timing nailing 31 goals from 41 attempts while Emma Ryde also made her presence felt 16 from 19. Ugandan star shooter Peace Proscovia was a key cog in attack for the Storm leading the way with her 22 goals from 26 attempts at 85 per cent. She had a hot start nailing 10 from 11 before coming in and out of the game. Annika Lee-Jones posed a daunting prospect up the defensive end with her height and lean but it was not enough to stop the Fury.

Canberra GIANTS (50) defeated Southern Force (46)

It was a close encounter between the GIANTS and the Force with the lead chopping and changing throughout the contest. The GIANTS were down at three quarter time before an inspired effort saw them clench a four goal victory. Canberra were quick off the mark and accurate to post with both Angelina Frketic and Georgia Marshall both shooting at 100 per cent in the opening term with the first missed shot coming in the second term for Marshall. Southern Force shooter, Asha Thurlow lifted her intensity in the third quarter to become more available under the post and spark her side outscoring the GIANTS but they could not maintain the intensity. Thurlow finished with 34 from 41 while fellow shooters Cody Lange (five from eight) and Nyah Allen (six from seven) struggled to trouble the scoreboard as opposed to the GIANTS shooters who had a combined shooting accuracy of 91 per cent. Frketic finished with 16 from 18 while Marshall converted 34 of 37 shots. Madeline Hay and Latika Tombs were solid through the midcourt for the GIANTS applying good defensive and attacking pressure. Kate Shimmin worked hard to keep the Force in the game with her timely tips and hands over pressure.

Queensland Fusion (49) defeated by Western Sting (54)

The Western Sting learnt from their last meeting with the Fusion holding on to run out five goal victors. With both sides unable to be separated in their prior match the Western Sting maintained their pressure and composure with the Fusion falling away as the game went on. Holland was once again the key player for the Fusion in the goal circle scoring 34 goals from 38 attempts. Amy Sommerville was a real play maker in the attack end nailing nine goals. Defensively Laura Clemesha showcased her experience and clever footwork to get around the body of her opponent but it was not enough to stop the Sting shooters. Pitt was impressive again under the post with 24 from 26 while Alice Teague-Neeld managed to hit the scoreboard putting up 11 goals. Down back for the Sting youngster Olivia Lewis was impressive using her feet and read of the play to disrupt the attack of the Fusion while Shannon Eagland showcased her experience and composure to get hands to ball.

Netball NSW Waratahs (50) defeated Tasmanian Magpies (46)

The NSW Waratahs made it two from two against the Magpies with their intensity and scoring ability on show throughout the match. Tasmania pushed out to a two goal lead heading into quarter time but the tables quickly turned with Waratahs firing back to post 13 goals in the second term. Down on their usual shooting accuracy NSW took full advantage under the post finishing the game at 87 per cent compared to 72. Dwyer was once again dominant under the post only missing one goal for the game with 39 from 40 at 98 per cent. Midcourters Kristen Kessler and Elle Bennetts found good feeding position on the circle edge to deliver into the shooters. For the Magpies Gooden struggled to capitalise under the post with 19 from 29 while Zoe Claridge also chipped in with six goals. Defensively, Sharni Lambden, Zanna Jodlowska and Brooke Allen all imposed themselves on the contest for the Magpies trying to win the ball back for their side but it was to no avail.

Canberra GIANTS (44) defeated Southern Force (42)

The GIANTS and Southern Force played out another close game with Canberra nudging out the Force by two goals. The Southern Force had all the momentum in the opening half skipping out to a six goal lead at the main break credit to their clever play and transition down the court. But the GIANTS worked their way back into the game with a big second half outscoring their opponents 25-19. Marshall was unstoppable in the goal circle with 31 goals while Madeline Eaton pulled her weight under the post with 11 goals from 17 attempts. Goal keeper, Kara Ellen Styles applied good defensive pressure over the shot and worked hard to push her opposition up high. There are currently no statistics or information recorded for the Southern Force.

Territory Storm (43) defeated by Victorian Fury (70)

The Victorian Fury put on a dominant display to assert their authority on the competition claiming a 27-goal victory over the Territory Storm who struggled to combat the defensive and attacking pressure the Fury applied. They came out hot from the get go with their slick ball movement, transition down the court and patience to let go of the right pass. The Fury piled on 17 goals to eight in the first term and did not look back with Ryde posting 27 goals from 36 attempts. Fellow goaler Ruby Barkmeyer was impressive under the post finding good space and capitalising on her opportunities to finish with 20 from 22 while Uneeq Palavi and Mikaela Vaughan also contributed to the scoreboard. Lucinda Benjamin was the leading goal scorer for the Storm credit to her ability to turn and shoot along with her clever positioning in the circle converting 29 goals from 36 attempts. The Storm rung in the changes in the defence end with Sienna Allen, Shay Maloney, Ashlee Unie and Lily-May Catling all rotating through in hope to stop the dominance of the Fury to post.

Australian Netball League Review: Round 4

IN Round 4 of the Australian Netball League there were plenty of close encounters, with the Queensland Fusion and Southern Force creating a thriller while the Victorian Fury and NSW Waratahs also produced a nail biter.

Southern Force (53) defeated Queensland Fusion (52)

It was a tight tussle from the first centre pass with neither side able to be separated at quarter time, credit to the intense defensive and offensive pressure. The Southern Force slowly edged ahead in the second term to hold the narrowest of margins before taking control of the game in the third term to extend the lead to three goals before the Fusion fired back. Queensland piled on 15 goals in the last term to come home strong but the Force held well under pressure and stuck to basics, moving the ball well and treasuring possession to claim a one goal win. Asha Thurlow was inspirational in the goal circle for the Southern Force, positioning well and commanding the ball. She was the leading goal scorer for the game with 36 from 43 at 84 per cent while Cody Lange was also good driving hard and creating space. Vivian Jordan and Chelsea Blackman were important defensively, working hard to stop the influence of the Fusion attacking end. Fusion goal shooter Rylie Holland showcased her hot hands under the post with 24 goals from 26 attempts at an impressive 93 per cent. Mia Stower was essential in helping build the comeback in the final quarter with six goals while Holland nailed seven from seven. Maddison Hinchliffe was solid in wing defence applying good pressure and working hard to cover the drives of her opposition.

Victorian Fury (56) defeated by NSW Waratahs (63)

The NSW Waratahs led for the entire match against Victorian Fury credit to their clever tactics and strong game play to position themselves in a dominant way throughout the match. The lead got out to 10 goals at one stage before the Fury pegged their way back but it was to no avail falling to NSW by seven goals. It was a shoot out between the prolific goal shooters with Emma Ryde utilising her height and experience to control the airways and shoot truly with 44 from 52 at 85 per cent, while youngster Matisse Letherbarrow shone with 48 from 58 at 83 per cent. The difference in style was well and truly on display, while it was the work from the Waratahs’ goal attacks that seemed to be the difference with Kelly Singleton getting into the goal circle and helping out with her 14 goals. The defensive pressure of Clare Iongi in the opening term helped to nullify the influence of Ryde at the post while the hands over pressure from Abbey McCulloch and Nicole Styles was also important in disrupting the Fury’s attacking flow. Rudi Ellis and Allie Smith worked tirelessly in defence to win the ball back for their side but they could not contain the offensive prowess of the Waratahs.

Territory Storm (38) defeated by Canberra GIANTS (61)

After claiming the lead early on, the Canberra GIANTS rallied in the second quarter to establish a six goal lead which they built on throughout the game to run out 23 goal victors. Their intensity and hunt for the ball increased in the second term, keeping the Storm to nine goals while adding 17 goals to their total. Shooting accuracy seemed to be the main difference between the two sides with the GIANTS sitting comfortably ahead with a 92 per cent accuracy compared to 67. Angelina Frketic dominated under the post only missing one goal for the match with 29 from 30, while her partner in crime Georgia Marshall was equally as impressive recording 30 from 34 at 89 per cent. Their connection in the goal circle for the GIANTS is invaluable and causes headaches for defenders. Latika Tombs and Madeline Hay were also important through the midcourt, working the ball down the court and getting into clever feeding positions on the circle edge. For the Storm, goaler Lucinda Benjamin proved to be the go-to girl nailing 25 goals from 36 attempts while Binnian Hunt also chipped in on the scoreboard with 12 goals. Defensively Sienna Allen and Sarahpheinna Woulf worked hard in that opening term to restrict the GIANTS shooters.

Tasmanian Magpies (61) defeated Western Sting (43)

The Magpies put on a dominant performance to claim a convincing victory over the Western Sting up in Bendigo. They led at every break and slowly extended the margin to run away 18 goal victors, credit to some slick ball movement across the court. The shooting combination between Jane Cook and Gabby Sinclair proved hard to stop as the two goalers found the net with ease. Cook finished with 36 goals from 40 attempts at 90 per cent while Sinclair was also accurate under the post converting 22 of her 25 attempts. Melissa Bragg was solid in wing defence applying good hands over pressure while Sharni Lambden showcased her versatility swapping between wing defence and goal defence. Youngster Matilda Garrett was also impressive in the defence end for the Magpies using her quick feet and body work to out position her opponent. Sting shooter Sloan Burton top scored for her side with 25 goals while Georgia Pitt made her presence felt on the scoreboard with 12 from 13 at 93 per cent. Olivia Lewis and Sunday Aryang formed a nice combination in defence, working well together to roll off their opposition and apply pressure over the shot, but it did not stop the Magpies’ attack.

Territory Storm (62) defeated Canberra GIANTS (57)

After a disappointing outing in the previous match-up the Storm had a point to prove and they did so convincingly with a five goal win over the GIANTS. The Storm led from the get-go and held onto it as opposed to the last meeting, sticking strong even when the GIANTS threw everything at them. Only up by goal at three quarter time the Storm piled on 17 goals, led by goal shooter Cara Koenen who slotted 12 straight in the final term. She was impressive under the post with her clever movement, strong holds and accuracy to post, top scoring with 39 from 41 at 91 per cent. She was assisted by goal attack, Hunt who nailed 15 goals. The defensive pressure of Annika Lee Jones was impressive, using her strong lean to get over the shot while Jacqui Russell was solid through the midcourt. GIANTS shooters Frketic and Marshall were prolific once again but it was the defence end that struggled to maintain the Storm shooters with Keely Rodrigo and Toni Anderson unable to stop Koenen.

Tasmanian Magpies (63) defeated Western Sting (50)

The Tasmanian Magpies made it two from two with a dominant start to the game, slotting 14 goals to eight. But the Western Sting fought back in the second term to draw it back to within two goals at half time before the Magpies put the foot down in the final term. A 21 goal quarter sealed the deal with Cook shouldering the load with 15 from 18 in the fourth, finishing with 37 goals for the game. She was ably assisted in the goal circle by Samantha Gooden who showcased her ability to turn and shoot with 20 goals. Brooke Allen worked tirelessly in defence for the Magpies while Lambden went to work out the front in goal defence. The shooting load was evenly shared between Burton and Pitt while Emma Cosh was important in attack, feeding the ball into her goalers. Natalie Bright highlighted her versatility swinging between wing defence and goal defence throughout the match for the Western Sting.

Southern Force (58) defeated Queensland Fusion (55)

It was another nail biter between the Force and Fusion with Queensland unable to muster enough pressure to claim the win, going down by a mere three goals. It was a hot start with the Force holding a one goal lead until the Fusion forged ahead in the second quarter to push out to a five goal lead. They looked composed with ball in hand and had more than one option coming up to the ball, but as the game went on the Force upped the ante. A final quarter blitz from the Force saw them score 15 goals while keeping the Fusion to 11 to run over the top of them. Thurlow was prolific once again while goal attack Lucy Austin showcased her hot hand with a perfect record of 16 from 16. Nyah Allen was also damaging in attack for the Force with 11 from 14. The Fusion will be ruing the missed opportunity but Holland and Stower both impressed again under the post with a combined shooting accuracy of 88 percent. Macy Gardner did a wealth of work through the midcourt for the Fusion while Leah Middleton also impressed in defence with her hands over pressure and intensity.

Victorian Fury (53) defeated NSW Waratahs (50)

The Victorian Fury came out with a fire in the belly after going down to the Waratahs in the previous game. The NSW Waratahs led at every change before the Fury put on a spirited performance in the final term to take the lead and claim a three goal victory. A 14 goal haul from Ryde in the last quarter pushed the Fury over the edge with Elle McDonald finding good space on the circle edge to feed into the goal shooter. The introduction of Ine-Mari Venter throughout the game worked wonders with her ability to turn and shoot finishing with 11 from 14, though an unfortunate ankle injury saw her not take any further part in the match. Defensively Kadie-Ann Dehaney impressed with her aerial ability helping to limit the influence of Letherbarrow under the post. For the Waratahs, Sophie Dwyer was imperative in attack slotting 10 from 10 while goal attack Amorangi Malesala also contributed nine goals. In the defence end, Lauren Moore made her presence felt while through the midcourt Tayla Fraser and Elle Bennetts used their speed to hit the circle edge hard and create scoring opportunities for the Waratahs.

Australian Netball League Review: Round 3

THE Victorian Fury are the only side that remain undefeated after Round 3 claiming convincing wins against the Western Sting, while the GIANTS collected both games this round.

Western Sting (46) defeated by Victorian Fury (64)

The Fury were hot from the get go credit to their crisp ball movement and accuracy to post nailing 19 goals to eight in the opening term. With a dominant opening they did not look back continuing their hot form and making the most of their opportunities winning the ball and treasuring possession. Emma Ryde proved to be a key cog in attack for the Fury nailing a whopping 42 goals from 45 attempts. Her clever positioning and ability to hold space made her an easy target for teammates to feed the ball into. Ryde worked well with goal attack Sacha McDonald who made her presence felt on the scoreboard with 13 goals from 18 attempts. The Stings’ defensive unit had their work cut out for them with Sunday Aryang, Jessica Penny and Natalie Bright all rotating through goal keeper and goal defence in hope to try and quell the Fury’s shooting domination. Georgia Pitt was the leading goal scorer for the Sting finishing with 27 from 35 but it was not enough falling to the Fury by 18 goals.

Queensland Fusion (52) defeated by Canberra GIANTS (64)

It was a close contest until the final term when the Canberra GIANTS forged ahead to claim a 12-goal victory over the Queensland Fusion. The GIANTS held three goal lead at three quarter time before the Fusion fought their way back into the contest to go in even at the main break. With both sides vying for a win the GIANTS upped the ante in the second half to hold a four-goal margin and eventually run away with a convincing win. Goal shooter Rylie Holland had a hot hand converting 37 of her 42 attempts finishing at 89 percent accuracy for the match for the Fusion. In the first half alone she only missed two shots posing an imminent threat before. The delivery through the midcourt was impressive with Jada Gafa and Macy Gardner working seamlessly together to feed the ball into the circle. The GIANTS finished the game with an 86 per cent shooting accuracy but no other statistics were recorded for the match.

Tasmanian Magpies (61) defeated Southern Force (50)

The Southern Force came to play early on stretching out to a six-goal lead at quarter time before the Magpies evened things out. The Magpies increased their defensive pressure limiting the Force to 10 goals in the final term as they piled on 18 goals to claim an 11-goal win. The connection between Samantha Gooden and Jane Cook was on display with the two putting on an impressive shooting display. Gooden found good space in the goal circle out in goal attack and drove hard in the attacking third finishing with 22 goals from 25 attempts while Cook was solid under the post nailing 36 from 40. Melissa Bragg showcased her versatility swapping between wing defence and goal defence while the defensive pressure of Sharni Lambden and Emma Johns improved as the game went on to deny easy entry into the goal circle. For the Force, Asha Thurlow led the way in attack with 29 goals from 33 attempts. Jacoba Clough showed her accuracy in the last term sinking four goals straight and finishing the game with nine from 11. Tayla Williams highlighted her versatility alternating between wing attack, wing defence and centre credit to her endurance and netball smarts.

NSW Waratahs (60) defeated by Territory Storm (46)

The NSW Waratahs pushed hard and worked tirelessly through both attack and defence to move the ball quickly and effectively down the court. The Waratahs showed their accuracy under the post and capitalised on their opportunities to run out 14-goal winners. The Storm had moments of great play but were unable to sustain that intensity for the entire game. There were no statistics or players recorded for this game.

Tasmanian Magpies (57) defeated by Southern Force (61)

The Force learnt from their previous encounter against the Magpies to run out four-goal victors. The Force led at every break and kept pushing to ensure that they got the two points. The Magpies were unable to match the intensity of the Force who looked eager to capitalise on all of their chances. Changes galore were made to the Magpies line-up with plenty of players getting time on the court in hope to find a winning combination while the Force only made minimal personnel changes in comparison. Thurlow was prolific under the post with her clever footwork and ability to turn and shoot, scoring 34 goals. Vivian Jordan and Chelsea Blackman were solid in defence confusing the space and wearing their opponents down. Magpies shooters Cook and Gooden, did their job under the post with a combined 90 percent accuracy. Vanessa Augustini and Kelsie Rainbow were effective through the midcourt with their speed and precision while down in defence Zanna Jodlowska worked hard to win the ball back for the Pies.

Western Sting (39) defeated by Victorian Fury (66)

The Fury put on a shooting display in the opening term to score a whopping 23 goals to 10 which ultimately set them up for the rest of the match. Victoria applied good defensive pressure and used their attacking flair to poke holes in the Sting’s defence credit to their clever game play and tactics. The shooting load was evenly shared for the Sting with Pitt, Emma Cosh and Sloan Burton all putting up a similar amount of goals. Ryde continued her dominance under the post registering an impressive 53 goals while McDonald also chipped in. Fury wing attack, Kate Kelly-Oman found good space in the attacking third to feed the ball into the shooters while defensively Rudi Ellis applied good hands over pressure to help block her oppositions vision. Jacqueline Newton also worked well in tandem with Ellis, Gabrielle Coffey and wing defence Allie Smith.

NSW Waratahs (51) defeated Territory Storm (47)

It was a close contest between the two sides with the Waratahs just edging the Storm out. Territory had a point to prove upping their intensity and hunt for the ball while the Waratahs worked hard to try and claim their second win for the round.

Queensland Fusion (51) defeated by Canberra GIANTS (55)

The Fusion made some adjustments after their first meeting against the GIANTS only going down to them by four goals. It was a see-sawing affair with Queensland establishing an early four-goal lead only for it to be chipped away as the game continued. Neither side could be separated at half time and three quarter time going into the final break at 41 goals apiece. The shooting combination between Georgia Marshall and Angelina Frketic was impressive with both finding good space in the circle. Marshall slotted 30 from 33 while Frketic only missed one shot from her 26 attempts for a combined shooting percentage of 94 percent. Madeline Hay was slick through the midcourt and used her speed to open up space across the court for the GIANTS. Fusion goaler Mia Stower injected herself into the game with 16 goals from 22 attempts at 73 per cent.

VNL Season Preview

WITH the Victorian Netball League (VNL) set to kick off tomorrow, the City West Falcons will be keen to defend their premiership after coming from behind to beat favourites Melbourne University Lightning and the Geelong Cougars in the grand final. Given the depth of the three clubs they will be hoping to be at the top of the table once again credit to their hard work, clever use of the ball and ability to apply full court defence.

Ariels:

The Ariels struggled last season only managing to register the four wins for the season and will be wanting to improve on that this season. The likes of Samantha Gooden will play a huge role in the attacking end for the Ariels, credit to her attacking prowess, scoring ability and general netball know how. Kourtnee Baird proved to be an important player through the midcourt with her clever feeds working well with the likes of Beth Wilson in goals.

The Ariels are set to play Geelong in Round 1.

Boroondara:

After an up and down season Boroondara will want to make a name for themselves. With the likes of Lara Dunkley getting a call up to the Vixens the talented midcourter offers great precision with ball in hand across the court. Isabella Brown was a key player down in defence with her hands over pressure while Naomi Henry proved to be a handy inclusion in the goal circle contributing to the scoreboard week in week out.

Boroondara are playing Peninsula to start their 2019 assault.

Casey Demons:

The newly formed Casey Demons will spark plenty of attention with the side made up with a mix of experienced and young players. After retiring from Suncorp Super Netball Erin Bell is set to make her debut for the Demons while Emma Ryde is also set to pull on the dress for the first time with Casey. Both players are renowned for their ability to hit the scoreboard with Bell starring with her high release of the ball and clever baseline drives.

The Demons kick start their campaign against Melbourne University Lightning.

City West Falcons:

With the likes of Jane Cook and Jacqueline Newton set to return to the side the Falcons will be hoping to continue their dominance. Cook is renowned for her dominance under the post, high volume of shots and smooth movement in the circle making her an integral member on the netball court for the Falcons. While Newton has shown her defensive abilities representing the Vixens throughout her career.

The Falcons are set to play the Hawks this round.

Geelong Cougars:

After a disappointing grand final performance, the Cougars will be wanting to once again stamp their authority on the competition. Goal attack/goal shooter Zanna Woods proved to be a gun under the post with accuracy and volume no issue, combining well with her teammates Julia Woolley and Ruby Horton in the goal circle. Geelong also have the experience of Melissa Bragg and Vanessa Augustini who offer great drive through the court and are solid decision makers with ball in hand.

Geelong are playing the Ariels on Wednesday.

Hawks Netball:

With the loss of star shooter Kim Commane the Hawks will have to find someone who can fill her void this season such as Natalie Billings who proved her worth throughout the 2018 season. Commane was a shooting machine putting up her fair share of shots and opened up the circle to allow her shooting counterpart to impact the scoreboard. Clare Pettyfor and Kelsey Buxton worked well in defence and will be wanting to bring the same form into season 2019.

The Hawks are set to play City West Falcons.

Melbourne University Lightning:

Melbourne Uni had a successful 2018 season but fell just short losing in the preliminary final to eventual premiers the City West Falcons. After their dominant season they will be hoping to replicate their form and go one better with the likes of former Thunderbirds defender Fiona Fowler set to take the court for the Lightning. Collingwood training partner Kelsie Rainbow will also play a huge role in their attacking end credit to her flair and clever use of the ball. Football, cross coder Maggie Caris will also provide a great spark to the side with her ability to read the play and absorb the physicality of the sport.

The Lightning are set to play Casey Demons.

North East Blaze:

Blaze finished fifth last season after a relatively inconsistent season but will be wanting to build on their form and become a threat in season 2019. Elizabeth Nicol proved to be a dominant force in the goal circle for Blaze credit to her beautiful shot, accuracy to post, smooth movement and ability to use the angles to create space. Blaze will be without Cody Lange after the talented shooter moved to the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Defensively Kaitlyn Black is set to pull on the dress while Serena Gibbs is swapping the football for the netball.

The Blaze are facing the Southern Saints.

Peninsula Waves:

The Waves struggled at times last season finishing sixth on the ladder. They will be looking to the likes of Sharni Lamben to steer the ship this season and hopefully spark a climb up the ladder. The Collingwood training partner is solid across the court, applies good defensive pressure and will be a key asset for the Waves. Kate Kelly-Oman proved her worth in the attacking end, hitting the circle edge hard and using the ball well.

The Waves will take on Boroondara in their first match of the season.

Southern Saints:

Though the Southern Saints finished towards the bottom of the ladder they proved that they had the ability to be competitive and push some of the harder teams to their limits. In season 2019 they will be wanting to go one better and move up the ladder. Shooter, Taylor Dykstra displayed her handy work in the goal circle and will want to replicate that form again this season. Through the midcourt Ashleigh Newham and Caitlyn Alifraco combined well with their clever drives and good vision.

The Saints are set to play North East Blaze.

ANL fixture announced

THE Australian Netball League (ANL) is set to kick off on Saturday, May 4 with Netball NSW Waratahs facing off with Southern Force in the opening round of the season. The competition is set to run for seven rounds with the last game of the home and away season taking place on Sunday, June 16. Finals start two weeks later on Saturday, June 29 with the semi-finals, preliminary final and grand final all set to be played within a few days of each other making it a tight turn around for all teams involved.

In each round, the eight teams will play two games against the same opposition but on different days over the weekend, allowing players and coaches to look back and analyse the game in hope to register a win. The grand final rematch between the Tasmanian Magpies and Canberra GIANTS will take place in Round 2.

The Victorian Fury will be out for redemption after bailing out in straight sets in the finals while the Territory Storm will be hoping to build a better campaign in 2019 after only managing one win last year.

Reigning premiers, the Tasmanian Magpies will be looking to return to the top of the table and stake their dominance once again with the likes of Vanessa Augustini, Melissa Bragg, Sharni Lambden, Kelsie Rainbow and Jane Cook all returning in season 2019.

Star shooter Sam Gooden has made her way back onto the Tasmanian Magpies list after a stint with the Melbourne Vixens while the likes of former NWS Swifts captain, Abbey McCulloch will pull on the dress for their ANL counterpart the NSW Waratahs. Another big name signed for the ANL is retired defender Rebecca Bulley who is set to take on a new coaching role with the Canberra Giants. The experience defender will offer plenty of knowledge and class making her a key asset for the GIANTS.