• Stephanie Smarrelli

GIANTS abolish the Thunderbirds


Image: Super Netball

THE Adelaide Thunderbirds are still yet to beat the GIANTS in Suncorp Super Netball while the 11-goal win puts the GIANTS in the top four after six rounds. Errors swung the ball backwards and forwards for the first few minutes of the match before the teams settled in. The Thunderbirds were the first to score with both sides off to a slow start before the GIANTS gained their composure with their transitions from defence into attack seamless. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds struggled to work the ball down to their attacking end safely.

Shadine Van de Merwe was tasked with a difficult opponent in her first Suncorp Super Netball game, up against GIANTS veteran Kim Green. It was a physical contest from the first whistle with both players doing their best to get in front of the other and out-muscle one another to win the ball for their respective side.

The GIANTS got ahead of the Thunderbirds by a couple of goals in the first quarter with Jo Harten slotting her 1000th Suncorp Super Netball goal. Harten found good space in the opening term, outscoring her shooting partner with nine straight and showcasing her sheer class to create clever attacking forays. The battle between Roses’ teammates Harten and Thunderbirds goal defence, Layla Guscoth provided plenty of excitement with both players going toe to toe throughout the match. Guscoth picked up four deflections, one intercept and one gain for the game but was outshone by Harten who put on a show in the goal circle. However, in the final minutes of the first term the Thunderbirds were able to convert a much needed goal to only be one goal down heading into the second quarter.

The GIANTS stretched their lead in the second quarter, taking full control of the match. Jamie-Lee Price was exceptional through the mid-court, hitting the circle edge quickly and feeding the ball over the top of the Thunderbirds defenders. Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a were strong in defence with their footwork making it difficult for the Thunderbirds to find a safe place to feed the ball. They both worked well to confuse the space and applied good hands over pressure to limit entry into goal for the Thunderbirds shooters.

Five-goals up at halftime, the GIANTS continued to power on in the third quarter. Struggling to find their way across the court and transition, the Thunderbirds made some big changes to shake up their midcourt and defensive end. Hannah Petty came on for the Thunderbirds with Kelly Altmann moving to the bench to start the quarter. Shamera Sterling was also moved to the bench during the quarter with Caitlin Bassett dominating their battle on the court. Bassett showcased her experience and netball knowledge to outsmart Sterling who struggled to combat the attacking prowess of the Australian captain under the ring. Kate Shimminreplaced Sterling in the third term and immediately got a deflection, but it was not enough to spark the Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbirds upped the ante in the last quarter moving the ball into the circle better but it was not enough as the GIANTS proved too strong for the Thunderbirds, extending their eight goal lead from three quarter time to win by 11. Sasha Glasgow and Maria Folau both shot well for the Thunderbirds, but the defensive pressure from the GIANTS continued to make each feed into the circle difficult.

Down the other end of the court, the GIANTS were smooth as they carefully threaded the ball through the midcourt, with their connections increasing with each and every game. GIANTS young gun Amy Parmenter was named player of the match for her job on Chelsea Pitman, finishing the match with seven gains and four intercepts. In comparison, the entire Thunderbirds side finished the match with only four intercepts between them, a low number for the side. The combination between Harten and Bassett is also continuing to grow for the Giants with the two shooters sharing the workload, with Harten slotting one more goal than Bassett.

The Thunderbirds will take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning next while the GIANTS will go up against the West Coast Fever.

STARTING LINE-UPS:

GIANTS Netball:

GS| Caitlin Bassett GA| Jo Harten WA| Kim Green C | Jamie-Lee Price WD| Amy Parmenter GD| Kristiana Manu’a GK| Sam Poolman

Adelaide Thunderbirds:

GS| Sasha Glasgow GA| Maria Folau WA| Chelsea Pitman C | Kelly Altmann WD| Shadine Van de Merwe GD| Layla Guscoth GK| Shamera Sterling

Originally published for Netball Draft Central

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