Suncorp Super Netball

Suncorp Super Netball Round 10 in Review

Melbourne Vixens v Swifts

After a tight finish against West Coast Fever last weekend, the NSW Swifts went all out against the Melbourne Vixens to claim a 62-48 win and some Sargeant-McKinnis Cup silverware for their locked-down home state.

The reigning premiers were left reeling after NSW took a Swift 18-6 lead in the opening quarter. They never really recovered; down 31-15 at halftime, well behind in possession and at one stage being outscored by Sam Wallace on her own.

Briony Akle looked to show everyone that her Swifts’ roster has enough talent to drown in, bringing on Tayla Fraser for a rare start in WD and cycling comfortably through the entire bench as the game progressed. And when that bench has names like Nat Haythornthwaite and Sophie Garbin just casually sitting around, that’s always going to mean headaches for the opposition.

Sam Wallace scored on all 33 shots as she made the most out of her team’s first-quarter efforts. While Fraser injected some dynamic energy into a polished Swifts midcourt, it was the circle defenders who really stole the show. Against the formidable combination of Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau (who went on to win MVP), the Vixens found themselves closed down repeatedly. The dynamic duo had over a dozen deflections and consistently cut off the home team’s attempts to get something started although Ruby Barkmeyer certainly tried her best to find space where possible.

While Mwai Kumwenda led a fierce Vixens fightback in the final quarter, her six Super Shots in a matter of minutes came too little too late. Even Kate Moloney couldn’t be everywhere at once, and the lack of a clear, consistent gameplan (as well as a multitude of errors) dug the Vixens in.

Giants v Collingwood Magpies

Geva Mentor’s 200th game saw a Giant win… for the opposition. Without Kelsey Browne in their midcourt, the Collingwood Magpies struggled to break through the Giants’ defence in what would be a 58-49 win for the visiting team.

Coming into the side for Browne, Maggie Lind had big shoes to fill. While she didn’t quite measure up to Browne, a big part came down to being matched up against Amy Parmenter- who was reading her feeds like a book.

Across the court, the Giants played with confidence, while the Magpies faltered. Sophie Dwyer and Jo Harten created a formidable attack and April Brandley continued to shut down space for a returning Gabby Sinclair.

Despite a magnificent performance across the board, it was Maddie Hay who would prove to be the standout of the day. As a younger member of this Giants team, Hay went up against Ash Braz without missing a beat, getting MVP to finish the day.

Queensland Firebirds v Adelaide Thunderbirds

The battle of the birds opened as a good, tight contest between the Queensland Firebirds and Adelaide Thunderbirds. With the teams separated by a margin of just two at halftime, some timely changes from Megan Anderson proved of use to the Firebirds, who shifted momentum to break away from the Thunderbirds for a 63-47 win.

Lenize Potgieter did well for the Thunderbirds, putting in a couple of quality intercepts, while Sam Gooden attempted to close the scoreline somewhat during the Super Shot period, but it wasn’t enough thanks to the work of Jemma Mi Mi and Tippah Dwan.

Sunshine Coast Lightning v West Coast Fever

After a tough couple of weeks, the Sunshine Coast Lightning came back in a big way with an impressive 65-61 victory over West Coast Fever in Perth. This is now Fever’s second loss to a top two team and puts them in jeopardy of making finals.

Meanwhile, the Lightning have put themselves in prime position for a top-two finish, all on the back of three two-point Super Shots made in the third quarter. In a next-level performance, Steph Wood finished with 16 goals from 18 attempts and 17 goal assists.

Jhaniele Fowler shot 43 from 43 for Fever but had a fascinating battle with Phumza Maweni who contested every ball. By comparison, Fever’s own defence looked slow with Courtney Bruce being matched up pretty well by Cara Koenen; who celebrated her 50th game with 43 goals from 47 attempts.

The Fever remain a game clear in fourth place on seven wins from nine games, but given three of those victories don’t count, this loss could ultimately cost them a top-two finish.

Photo by Scott Barbour

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