Super Netball 2022 news: Collingwood Magpies beat Queensland Firebirds, NSW Swifts beat Adelaide Thunderbirds, scores, results

SUNDAY REVIEW: Collingwood jumped into contention for the Suncorp Super Netball finals after a three-year absence, while the Swift’s dour defense proved too good for Adelaide.

The Collingwood Magpies will potentially jump into the Suncorp Super Netball final contention after a three-year absence, extinguishing the Queensland Firebirds for the second time in the 2022 season, this time by four goals in the teams’ annual Pride match.

While the Firebirds remain third on the ladder, their midseason slump in form could ultimately prove costly unless they can turn around future performances.

Collingwood’s opening stanza prevented the Firebirds attack from gaining any kind of rhythm with a defensive performance that stretched from the crossline to the circle. Giving 6 inches to her opposing hitters, Jodi-Ann Ward’s sharp reflexes interrupted them in four quarters with four interceptions and two pick-ups.

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The Magpies defense dominated with a wonderful mix of wins and turnovers while keeping a low penalty count. Geva Mentor’s experience in the confusing circle space resulted in the Firebirds’ bench and newly drafted Diamonds roster Donnell Wallam not seeing the court for the entire fourth quarter.

Collingwood broke out in a sweat after giving up a 14-goal lead in the third quarter, with the Firebirds chasing their lead. In the tense final minutes, the Magpies controlled their nerves and achieved the most important victory.

Offensively, Sophie Garbin and Shimona Nelson were a dynamic duo who managed to turn the Magpies’ gains, keeping the ball moving and shooting accuracy high. Nelson hit 65/66 with 98% accuracy, reducing their goal attacks to mere spectators in the shooting circle as they combined for just six goals between them.

The game’s MVP, Kelsey Browne, proved to be an electrifying and exhilarating presence for the Collingwood attacking winger. The speedster was phenomenal at guiding the ball from half court to the goal circle with a stat bag of 23 assists, 34 passes and just one turnover.

On the other hand, Queensland’s high penalty count cost them valuable moments of catch-up, catching up against fast-moving Collingwood. Firebirds veterans Kim Ravaillion and Gretel Bueta struggled to keep turnovers down, though Bueta was busy in the circle with 23 goals.

Despite a cork and heavily bandaged thigh, the exciting young Ruby Bakewell-Doran showed a great read of the Magpies’ attacking flow, but the Firebirds couldn’t produce enough turnovers to stop their opponent’s scoring prowess.

Collingwood Magpies 71 def Queensland Firebirds 67

PRIDE ROUND

The inaugural 2021 Pride Round was so successful that it was reintroduced in 2022. The overwhelming message of the Pride Round is inclusion. All four participating clubs shared strong messages of acceptance and wanted to show the netball community that the sport is a welcoming place for people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Each team wore rainbow bibs and many athletes also wore rainbow laces.

THREE FIREBIRDS BELOW, THREE FIREBIRDS ABOVE

Jemma Mi Mi, Mia Stower and Kim Jenner were on the bench last week for the Firebirds, but this week coach Megan Anderson turned things around, which was effective in disrupting the Magpies’ game plan in the second half. All three took the field and played their part in almost pulling off a victory.

BLACK AND WHITE STRIPES

Collingwood’s white-hot attack and accuracy were instrumental in the team’s success with the Magpies going on a streak of 32 consecutive goals without a miss towards the end of the second quarter.

SWIFTS DOUR DEFENSE SHINES BRIGHT

If the defense wins the premiership then the NSW Swifts and Adelaide Thunderbirds will have hope.

In a must-win clash that produced one of the lowest scores of the season, it was the NSW Swifts who kept their Super Netball final hopes alive with a 14-goal win.

The Thunderbirds entered the game trailing with two of their seven starting players under Covid protocols. One of the players was their center Maisie Nankivell, who forced a midfield shuffle watching the goal attack, Georgie Horjus starting on the flank and Elle McDonald pushing into the middle.

Unfortunately, for the Thunderbirds, the changes didn’t work out, so they brought in a young Tayla Williams at center. Williams proved to be a better match for the Swift midcourt and by the end of the first half, she had collected four interceptions in her 20 minutes.

Turnovers, ball-handling errors and questionable decisions proliferated on both sides throughout the game. Neither side settled down until late in the third quarter when the Swifts finally built an eight-goal lead, thanks to some great defensive work and a super shot in the dying seconds.

Swifts goalkeeper and match MVP Sarah Klau outplayed Thunderbirds shooter Lenize Potgieter. Klau was mobile, showing superior footwork to get around Potgieter and get her hands to the balls. Potgieter didn’t appreciate Klau’s extra attention to her body and eventually conceded some offensive contacts.

Speaking after the game, Klau acknowledged it was a tough game, with 57 turnovers between the teams, but said it was a defender’s dream.

“However, from a defender’s perspective, picking up those turnovers is my job, some of those tips could have been interceptions. But hopefully, we can produce a cleaner style of netball in the next few weeks because a cleaner style of netball will push us over the edge,” he said.

Klau’s defensive partner, Maddy Turner, credited his triumphant effort in holding the Thunderbirds to 17 goals in the second half.

“I think it was a team effort. I think there were a couple of plays where I sent Sarah in to bunt and then took her back to get another one,” she said.

“It was so much fun bossing each other around. Because the decay was so slow, we had time to play our best together. We had time to talk.

The last time these two teams met, the young Swifts shooter, Sophie Fawns, was outclassed by the more experienced Shamera Sterling. However, when she entered the game off the bench late in the first quarter, she had an air of confidence about her. She continued like this for the rest of the match and scored an impressive 15/21 on 72.7%.

It was an unusually quiet game for Shamera Sterling, who seemed to struggle with the attacking changes between Fawns and Helen Housby. The same can’t be said for Sterling’s teammate, Latanya Wilson, who relished the opportunity to play a full 60 minutes.

Wilson was brimming with confidence and was bugging on offense, forcing the Swifts to switch shots.

But, despite all the ball the Thunderbirds won, they couldn’t turn it into goals at the other end of the floor. By halftime they had won the ball back 14 times, but only 50% converted. By the end of the match, that percentage had dropped to 46%.

New South Wales Swifts 54 vs. Adelaide Thunderbirds 40

ROAD TO THE FINALS

The Adelaide Thunderbirds have a tough road to the final. In the next five games, they have three away games and will take on each of the top four teams, including West Coast Fever, during Round 14 at Perth’s RAC Arena.

The Swifts have a slightly easier road with three straight road games and then two home games to finish the season. Only one away game is against a top-tier team, though both of their home games will be against the Fever (currently second) and the Firebirds (currently third).

Knowing what lies ahead, league insiders have predicted that the Thunderbirds will finish sixth and the Swifts will finish seventh in the 2022 season. However, after this performance from the Swifts, they may change that prediction.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

On paper, the NSW Swifts and Adelaide Thunderbirds are reasonably evenly matched. Both entered Round 9 with a 38% win rate in 2022, with their last meeting decided by a single goal.

The Thunderbirds have the most potent defensive end with their goalkeeper, Shamera Sterling, catching 32 interceptions in 8 rounds, the most by any athlete in the league. She also ranks third in deflections (35), first in defensive rebounds (26) and first in blocked shots (10).

The Swifts have one of the most effective midfielders in the league in co-captain Maddy Proud. The speedy attacker leads the league in goal assists (207) and circle passes (353).

DO IT FOR THE KIDS

Each year, several Suncorp Super Netball teams adopt a charity to support, and many dedicate a round to the cause. For this match, the Swifts held a crazy hair and socks day for the Kids Cancer Project. Each of the athletes from both teams showed their support by wearing temporary tattoos, but unfortunately, without messy hair or socks, unlike in years past.

Originally Posted As the Magpies fly into the final mix, the Swifts’ dour defense shines – Super Netball wrap

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