Suncorp Super Netball

Nelson leads Collingwood to drought-breaking victory in Brisbane

The Collingwood Magpies secured a crucial 75-68 win over the NSW Swifts behind closed doors at Nissan Arena, Brisbane, as the Magpies kept their slim finals chances alive.

While the Magpies are riding high, the NSW Swifts crashed to its second in a row.

The Magpies made a statement and will be looking to join the race to the finals.

After the match, coach Nicole Richardson said she could not fault her side as a strong first quarter set up the huge win.

“We’ve done a lot of work to build a culture off the court that would transfer on the court – we’re developing a brand of netball and that is coming through on the court,” she said.

“We went close to winning seven positions on court today. The confidence in our midcourters to let the ball go into [Shooter] Shimmy (Shimona Nelson) and Gab Sinclair – Kelsey Bronwe just turned and threw it in. Shimona was strong against a quality defence end.

“We knew we needed to start strong and I thought they did a terrific job in winning the ball. I think we got 12 gains and against a side like Swifts who treasure and value the ball… it is a credit to the defensive end.”

The Magpies will face Firebirds on Thursday night and Coach Richardson said a short turnaround would present challenges, but the positives were the club had certainty over who they were playing.

Magpies stormed out of the gates early, causing the Swifts to make timely mistakes to win plenty of ball and the connections across the court gelled together.

Shooter Nelson was a highlight with plenty of energy early, leading to her 69 goals from 71 attempts.

Swifts interim coach Bec Bulley, stepping in for Briony Akle, called a critical timeout halfway through the first quarter, looking to find a spark from her team and back into the contest.

The Swifts made a slight comeback with Sarah Klau winning crucial ball defensively, however, Magpies still led by six at the first break.

Swifts shooter Sam Wallace (5/5, 5/10 super shot) was struggling under the post and was changed out for Sophie Garbin in the second quarter (34/35, 0/1 super shot).

Despite the change, it wasn’t enough.

Interim coach Bec Bulley said her side struggled to compete with a formidable Magpies attack.

“It was a really tough loss. I think we got some great turnover in that first quarter and we just didn’t convert off them – our feeds weren’t that great in the first quarter… putting pressure on us and allowing them to build confidence,” she said.

“Credit to the defenders, they kept trying, that’s a positive, but Shimona was unstoppable. Sarah Klau was so close… she said ‘I felt it with my fingertips’ but sometimes you have to acknowledge the opposition played really well.”

The Magpies looked dominant after the halftime break, with Nelson, Browne and goal attack Gabi Sinclair combining well in attack as the side continued to win the ball back.

Swifts now take a week off, while Magpies take on Firebirds.

The Netball Post thanks The Goal Circle podcast for the quotes.

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