The Suncorp Super Netball League returned this weekend with all 8 teams taking to court across 4 matches.
It was a weekend to remember for the Jamaican’s in the Suncorp Super Netball League, with all the Most Valuable Player awards from the four matches going to Sunshine Girls.
The clean sweep comes after Jamaica made history at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games winning silver for the first time in their history, only missing out on gold to the Suncorp Super Netball Leagues hosts Australia.
We kept an eye on them all for you, to highlight just some of the international players that we think you should watch in the league ahead of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Magpies 71 – 63 NSW Swifts
The first match of the 2023 season saw Collingwood Magpies secure an impressive win in front of their home crowd, with their Jamaican Sunshine Girls Shimona Nelson and Jodi-Ann Ward stealing the show.
In the first half alone, Ward made four interceptions and three deflections as well as claiming three rebounds dominating the defensive circle at goal defence and keeping England Rose Helen Housby under control.
At the other end of the court fellow Sunshine Girl, Shimona Nelson, also shone shooting at 100% for her Magpies side as she converted all 53 of her shots in a picture-perfect start to the season.
With 15-minutes to go Magpies lead by 9 thanks to a stand-out first half performance from their team.
As the final quarter got underway Swifts, led by Housby, start to make a come-back and eventually won the quarter by one goal but it wasn’t enough for catch the soaring Magpies who won the match 71-63 with Ward awarded Most Valuable Player for her contributions.
Fever 62 – 61 Vixens
As predicted the 2022 grand final re-match was the closest contest of the weekend, with only 1 goal separating the two sides after an hour.
Sticking with the theme of shining Sunshine Girls, Jhaniele Fowler was a key part of West Coast Fever’s eventual win over Melbourne Vixens in Round 1.
Fowler shot at 100%, with her 55th and final shot of the game coming on the whistle to secure her side a marginal victory and her the Most Valuable Player award.
The score line see-sawed continuously throughout the match, but it was Fever’s first quarter 17-12 victory which managed to keep Vixens on their tales throughout, despite the visitors winning the remaining three quarters.
Although on the eventual losing side an international player that looked dangerous for Vixens was Malawi Queen Mwai Kumwenda who converted 37 of her 38 shots on goal, needing no warming up for the 2023 season.
Lightning 66 – 50 Giants
Lightning struck Giants down at the first time of asking in their opening match of the Suncorp Super Netball League 2023 season, with international players impressing at both ends of the court.
Once again it was a Jamaican Sunshine Girl that was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award for her performance on court, and this time it was Kadie-Ann Dehaney.
At goal keeper, Dehaney made eight gains, 10 deflections and four interceptions allowing her side to constantly extend their lead each quarter.
Whilst at the other end of the court capitalising of Dehaney’s turnovers, it was the Diamonds duo of Cara Koenen and Steph Wood that the fans couldn’t take their eyes off.
Wood worked tirelessly in and around the shooting circle, converting 13 of her 16 shots but most importantly putting 34 feeds into the circle – 29 of which turned into goal assits.
Firebirds 44 – 50 Thunderbirds
The final match of the round saw the battle of the birds with the visitors, Thunderbirds, eventually coming out on top.
Despite a strong start from the Thunderbirds, it was the Firebirds that took a two goal lead into the first break and they used this to fire them on in the second quarter, which they started by scoring a flurry of five goals.
Thunderbirds re-grouped at half-time, with co-captains England Rose Eleanor Cardwell and Jamaican Sunshine Girl Shamera Sterling firing their team up ready for the last 30-minutes.
It was Cardwell’s Suncorp debut, and as soon as she was moved from goal attack back to goal shooter she settled right into the match and made her first mark on the league, scoring 28 goals.
Whilst at the other end of the court there was no stopping Sterling in defence as she made 11 gains, five interceptions and 12 deflections in a performance that saw her awarded Most Valuable Player.
The Suncorp Super Netball League season will be made of 14 rounds, with the Grand Final scheduled to take place on the 8th July 2023, just in time for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 which will begin on the 28th July in Cape Town, South Africa.
To find out more about the Suncorp Super Netball League, click here.
To view the full fixture list, click here.
To find out more about the start date of the other domestic leagues around the world, visit our Domestic League page here.