The penultimate round of the Suncorp Super Netball League did not disappoint in Australia, with NSW Swifts latest victory leading to them being crowned minor premiership winners, and Lightning dealing Thunderbirds with another upset.
Find out more in this week’s International Player Watch…
Thunderbirds 54 – 56 Lightning
We thought we saw the upset of the season last weekend, when Thunderbirds lost to bottom of the league Magpies, but the Adelaide team were dealt yet another upset in Round 13 as they fell to the hands of Lightning.
Lightning won the first three quarters, with some standout defensive work from South Africa SPAR Protea, Karla Pretorius, and her teammates preventing Thunderbirds from ever quite getting into their full flow.
In the shooting circle for Lightning, Australian Diamonds Cara Koenen and Steph Wood’s partnership flourished as they worked together seamlessly, whilst shooting clinically helping their side go into the final break 12 goals to the good.
Thunderbirds tried to dampen Lightning’s parade in the final quarter with a series of Super Shots getting them back within six goals and eventually two goals, but Lightning struck once again to remain on top and take the win, 54-56.
Fever 72 – 61 Giants
Fever welcomed a record-breaking home crowd of 11,0013 to their game against Giants in Round 13, and they sure were the 8th player as they fired up Fever to take a 72-61 win pushing them into the top two.
Things were tight in the first half between these two teams, with Giants Lauren Moore doing everything in her power to try and get into the head of Fever’s Jamaican Sunshine Girl shooter Jhaniele Fowler.
However, despite Moore’s best efforts Fowler’s teammates, with patience and accuracy, still managed to find their shooter who once again continued to produce under post scoring 61 out of 62 of her shots.
Going into the second-half, the score sat at 37 – 33 to Fever, leaving it all still to play for, but in Fever’s time of need their Australian Diamond Courtney Bruce really stepped up in goal keeper making nine gains as she disrupted the flow of play, and helped her team pull away in the third quarter taking a 10 goal lead into the last break, which they then only increased in the final quarter.
Firebirds 65 – 78 Swifts
Swifts victory over Firebirds in Round 13 saw them crowned Minor Champions of the Suncorp Super Netball League, with one more round still to go.
Swifts have remained unbeaten since Round 5 of the league and one international player that has been instrumental in their success is England Rose, Helen Housby.
So far this season, Housby has been unstoppable in the circle, topping the table for the player with the most super shots scored, at 72.
This game was no different for the England Rose, as she shot at 81% overall, scoring 17 out of 18 of her shots, and eight of out 15 of her Super Shots.
However, they say that shooters win you matches whilst defenders win you Championships and that has certainly proved true for Swifts as, Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner, have been equally as impressive in defence, making 23 gains between them in this match, and working tirelessly to keep Firebirds Australian Diamonds shooter Donnell Wallam under wraps.
Vixens 64 – 55 Magpies
Magpies fell short against Vixen’s in what was their last home game this weekend.
For the first two quarters the fearlessness of this Magpies side was evident, as they challenged every ball throughout the court.
Magpies’ defender Jodi-Ann Ward made two interceptions and two deflections in the first quarter alone, as she teamed up with England Rose goal keeper Geva Mentor in the circle for Magpies before moving out to wing defence later in the game.
The battle between Mentor and Vixen’s Australian Diamond Kiera Austin was one that the netball family really enjoyed in this match with the two stars leaving everything out on the court.
Magpies were rewarded for their strong first half as they went into the second half with a 26 – 32 lead, however in the penultimate quarter Vixen’s came back to life and powered past Magpies to win the quarter 20 – 13, taking a marginal one goal lead into the final 15-minutes thanks to their Malawi Queen Mwai Kumwenda.
After the last break in play it was all still to play for, but it was Vixen’s that dug deep to take the win as Magpies failed to respond.
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.