Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball League: Round 11 International Player Watch

This weekend in the Suncorp Super Netball League was the first of the ‘First Nations Round’.

The top four continued to pull away, with international shooters Donnell Wallam and Eleanor Cardwell stealing the show for their respective teams.

Here is this week’ International Player Watch…

Lightning 66 – 62 Magpies

In the opening match of the First Nations Round, Lightning ended their losing streak with a win over Magpies.

It was a game of two halves with the visitors, Magpies, winning the first two quarters before Lightning shot into the second half winning both remaining quarters and the match.

Magpies first half lead was down to the dominant performances of their international defenders; England Rose, Geva Mentor, Jamaican Sunshine Girl, Jodi-Ann Ward and Australian Diamond, Ash Brazill.

In the circle, Mentor and Ward gave the Lightning shooters no room to move, as they stayed on the body marking one-on-one the entire time, whilst further down the court at wing defence Brazill made some flying interceptions to give her team an early lead.

In the second half, the tables soon turned as Lightning utilised their bench to change the game.

Australian Diamond Laura Scherian moved into wing attack, whilst up-and-coming Suncorp Super Netball league star Ava Black came on at wing defence.

The changes made an instant impact, and Magpies were unable to respond as Lightning went onto win the third quarter 20-10 and the match, 66-62.

Thunderbirds 54 – 53 Fever 

Following a strong start, winning the first quarter 12-20, Fever eventually fell short against the Thunderbirds in the second match of Round 11.

The Fever defence was on fire in the opening stages, with Australian Diamonds’ Sunday Aryang and Courtney Bruce overwhelming the Thunderbirds attack.

However, in the second half it was Latanya Wilson’s time to shine for Thunderbirds, as she started the third quarter with an incredible interception that got her team back within two of Fever.

Keeping with the theme of on form Thunderbird Jamaican Sunshine Girls, Shamera Sterling then went on to claim an all important re-bound which her team mate, England Rose, Eleanor Cardwell was able to capitalise off at the other end of the court to eventually bring the score back to 38-39.

From there, the score line remained close for the duration of the game with individual marginal wins on court proving very important.

One player whose individual performance helped with the fine margins was Cardwell who controlled the fourth quarter, moving out to goal attack, converting her shots at any given opportunity, before then making an interception in the power five.

It was none other than Cardwell than then scored the last second shot to win the match 54-53 for Thunderbirds. 

Vixens 62 – 70 Swifts

Following a closely contested match, Swifts ended Vixen’s home-record thanks to a big third quarter.

From the very first centre-pass in this match it was clear both teams were up for the fight; an early turnover through Australian Diamond Liz Watson put Vixen’s ahead at first, but it was not long before Swifts responded to take a 15-18 lead into the first break.

The three-goal deficit didn’t faze Vixen’s as they took to court for the second quarter, with their Malawi Queen Mwai Kumwenda and Australian Diamond Kiera Watson balancing and working the shooting circle very well as they pulled in and out of the space.

It seemed to be working well for the home-side, until just before half-time when Swifts really started to step up their play, forcing errors from Vixens which they were able to capitalise off.

The gap continued to grow in the penultimate quarter, with the pressure from Swifts stars Sarah Klau and Maddie Turner really seeming to get into Vixen’s heads, allowing Swifts to take a 16-goal lead into the final 15-minutes.

It then became a case of too little too late for Vixen’s in the last quarter, as they managed to win the period 19-11, with Kate Moloney leading the way,  but it just wasn’t enough to catch Swifts this time.

Giants 50 – 68 Firebirds

Firebirds fired themselves off the bottom of the league table after beating Giants 50-68 in the final match of Round 11.

The match started off going goal-for-goal, until recently retired England Rose Jo Harten began to do what she does best for Giants; finding space under the post and slotting the ball home helping her team take a 17-14 lead into the first break.

Neither team put out their best performance in the second quarter, with errors creeping in throughout the court as the score returned to a draw going into the second half leaving it all still to play for.

After a wobbly start to the third quarter, Firebirds made some key changes including bringing on Australian Diamond Donnell Wallam to goal shooter who seemed to make an instant impact as her team fired forwards to take the lead 33-44 going into the final 15.

From then the Firebirds second-half surge continued as they won the fourth quarter 12-24 making amends for their slow start to the match.

More information…

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.


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