Super Netball news, scores, results 2022: West Coast Fever def Giants, Collingwood Magpies vs Adelaide Thunderbirds

In a white knuckle ride, West Coast Fever took home the points in their most courageous victory of the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season, and wrote themselves into the record books in the process.

Missing four players through illness and injury, and with no defenders available on the bench, the bruising nine point win against the Giants was the league’s highest ever score.

Fever’s depth was tested, with four players unavailable. In contrast, Giants were at full strength, but running perilously close to empty after a trip from Sydney to Launceston to Perth.

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Both sides were running goal for goal in the first term, as early penalty trouble and a caution to centre Jamie-Lee Price put her on notice to tone down the physicality.

With Fever’s defensive connections under pressure, Giants’ shooters were given far too much room to move, and rarely looked like missing. Jo Harten’s movement troubled Courtney Bruce for most of the game, but the defender was still able to come up with two intercepts, three deflections and three rebounds.

With MVP Jhaniele Fowler unstoppable under the post, shooting 67/69, midway through the second term Giants shifted April Brandley back against the Jamaican. It made little difference, as Fever lifted to a nine point margin at the main break.

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Fever centre Verity Simmons made up for a quiet few weeks, as the pocket rocket created a number of turnovers and burnt Price for speed. She, Alice Teague-Neeld and Sasha Glasgow provided immaculate service into Fever’s shooting circle throughout the match.

As the game went on, the impact of playing three matches in a week became obvious. Bodies, too tired to pull out of at times clumsy challenges, hit the deck at regular intervals. Turnovers, which had been kept impressively low in the first half, blew out as both clubs scrapped for the win.

At the start of the third Amy Sligar moved into wing attack for the Giants, but with Stacey Francis-Bayman leading the hustle, Fever extended their lead to 13 despite a mutual long range shootout.

With Giants desperate to reduce the margin in the final term, they shuffled the deck and returned to their original line. Amy Parmenter’s closing speed continued to trouble her opponents, but the sting had gone out of the game and Fever ran away with their record-breaking win.

After the match Giants’ coach Julie Fitzgerald said the Fever were on fire: “It didn’t matter how hard we tried stopping that ball getting down to Jhaniele was virtually impossible.

“I’m proud of the effort, but disappointed in some of the opportunities that we missed.”

West Coast Fever 86 def Giants Netball 77

TESTING TIMES

More than any other teams, Fever and Giants have been tested this season through injury and illness. Covid ravaged the Giants at the start of the season, when they tried, but failed, to obtain a match postponement.

While Fever have had Covid woes, their squad has also been ravaged by injury at the wrong end of the season, including vice-captain Jess Anstiss (missing for four rounds with a foot issue), Ruth Aryang (season ending knee injury) and Zoe Cransberg (ankle).

RENEWED RIVALRY

Scientists may have figured out how to split the atom, but separating West Coast Fever and Giants Netball would challenge them. Two-thirds of all their matches have been decided by three or less goals, resulting in one of Suncorp Super Netball’s biggest rivalries. Sunday’s result was the biggest margin between them since 2019.

SUNDAY ON MY MIND

When Sunday Aryang burst onto the Suncorp Super Netball scene in 2020, fans thrilled to the youngster’s come-from-nowhere intercepts and clean play. She was quickly elevated to the Diamonds’ squad, and formed a strong connection with fellow defender Courtney Bruce.

This season has been a little more challenging however. Aryang is well down the list for intercepts, and her penalty count has risen dramatically – she is now the sixth most penalised player in the league.

– Jenny Sinclair

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