Round Three of the Suncorp Super Netball League took place in Australia this weekend, and it was the inaugural Heritage Round, celebrating the history of the top-flight netball league in Australia, since the Commonwealth Bank Trophy launched in 1997. Teams with links to the founder clubs changed their kit to pay homage to the colours worn in their early years and past players were celebrated at matches across the country.
This round saw the opportunity for teams to claim their first win of the season and top of the table clashes, with many international stars providing pivotal roles.
In case you missed any of the action on NetballAustralia.TV, here is this week’s Suncorp Super Netball League International Player Watch…
Vixens 64 – 52 Giants
The first match of Round Three saw the Melbourne Vixens extend their unbeaten start to the season.
Australian Diamond Jo Weston gave Melbourne the early momentum as they stormed into a 10-6 lead, with Weston now 2nd in the Intercepts Chart. However, Giants fought back well with England Rose Jo Harten scoring a super shot to reduce the Vixens’ quarter-time advantage to 17-16.
In the second quarter it was Australian Diamond Kiera Austin who shone, scoring all of her seven shots, including two super shots, meaning Vixens went into half-time with a six-goal advantage. The Vixens eventually pulled away in the final quarter, leading by 16 goals at one stage, before Harten again found her range with a flurry of two-point goals, meaning she is now 3rd in the Super Shots Chart.
NSW Swifts 75 – 64 Magpies
The second match of Round Three saw defending champions NSW Swifts claim their first win of the season with a victory over the Magpies, as England Rose Helen Housby celebrated her 100th national league appearance in style scoring 43 goals for the NSW Swifts, including 4 super shots, taking her up to 2nd in the Super Shots Chart.
Despite a strong early defensive display by World Netball Ambassador and England Rose, Geva Mentor, it was the middle section of the game where NSW Swifts pulled away winning the second and third quarters by margins of nine and six goals respectively. Australian Diamond, Maddy Proud, was named Most Valuable Player, providing 54 feeds during the match, Proud now sits 2nd in the Goal Assists Chart.
Australian Diamond Kelsey Browne (27 goal assists from 43 feeds) battled hard to keep Collingwood in the hunt, however it was too little too late. Browne now sits in 5th in the Goal Assists Chart.
Firebirds 69 – 77 Fever
West Coast Fever remain undefeated after the opening three rounds of the season after claiming a strong 77-69 victory over a determined Queensland Firebirds team at Nissan Arena in Brisbane.
This match was an attacking masterclass with Donell Wallam and Gretel Bueta proving a challenge to halt. Donnell Wallam is now 2nd in the Goals Chart. The only player to have scored more goals than Wallam is Fever and Jamaican Sunshine Girl, Jhaniele Fowler, and it was Fowler who helped shift the momentum of the match scoring 51/52, including one super shot.
England Rose, Chelsea Pitman, was elevated to the squad of 10 for this match due to Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols. She entered the game in the second half and played an important role for Fever, recording 12 assists from 18 feeds. The third quarter was the pivotal quarter for Fever as they won the quarter 23-14 and consequently took the game away from the Firebirds.
Thunderbirds 51 – 52 Lightning
The final match of Round Three did not disappoint, with a two-point super shot in the dying minutes securing Lightning their first win of the season.
Lightning welcomed back their captain and Australian Diamond, Steph Wood, after missing last week with COVID-19, and she netted three super shots on her return.
Jamaican Sunshine Girls, Latanya Wilson and Shamera Sterling pocketed a combined 12 gains but could not do enough in the closing seconds to haul the Thunderbirds home. Sterling now sits in 2nd place on the Nissan Net Points Chart, which is the Suncorp Super Netball’s overarching player metric.
Round Four of the Suncorp Super Netball League will begin on the 12th April, with all eight teams taking to court..
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