GIANTS Netball have maintained their winning start to Suncorp Super Netball but holding out a relentless Collingwood Magpies Netball outfit to claim their Round 3 contest at Hisense Arena,
Captain Kimberlee Green said while it “wasn’t our usual game style”, the GIANTS would enjoy the result.
“That was a tough game but I couldn’t be happier that we were able to hold out and get the win,” Green said.
“It felt a bit weird at times – our attacking end is known as being quite fast and creative, but credit to the Magpies they really stifled our flow. But we just held our nerve, we didn’t let it overwhelm us, and I’m just so proud of the girls’ efforts tonight – it was gutsy.”
It was a fast and ferocious start to the match, with Jo Harten taking first goal honours thanks to a turnover created by the GIANTS defenders. But it would not all go the way of the GIANTS with the Magpies hot on their tails – anything not pinpoint accurate would be in danger of being turned over.
But thanks to a small purple patch which saw the visitors put up six goals to Magpies’ one helped give GIANTS an early edge. Fan favourite Sharni Layton was up and about for the Magpies, putting pressure on the GIANTS’ attacking line – but the NSW side kept cool under the pressure, using their transverse line to reset and revaluate their game plan.
Despite a dangerous comeback from the Magpies late in the term, the GIANTS extended their three goal advantage from the break in the opening seconds – once again thanks to some incredible defensive pressure from birthday girl Sam Poolman and her defensive partner Bec Bulley.
But it was Goal Shooter Jo Harten who really rose to the occasion – particularly under plenty of attention from Layton – with the English international providing a strong mobile target in the GIANTS’ circle. But Layton’s teammates lifted to assist their Vice Captain down back, leaving the GIANTS with no easy avenue to goal.
A tactical timeout allowed both sides to regroup and the GIANTS took advantage, scoring the six goals to the Magpies’ two to close out the first half with a 27-21 buffer.
With neither team opting to make changes for the start of the second half, fans could be forgiven in thinking it was business as usual. Not so; the Magpies came out with a vengeance as they looked to make their mark on the game.
It brought the home fans into play as they united in full voice to push their players forward. The most obvious example was the GIANTS’ attacking line holding possession for more than two minutes as they tried to find a path into the shooting circle – but everywhere they turned was a dead-end, and the crowd loved it.
Guilty of more held balls than Fitzgerald cared to see, the GIANTS found redemption by dogged determination in winning the ball back. Their hustle helped the visitors maintain their advantage into the final quarter, setting up a scintillating final 15 minutes.
The hype lived up to expectation; fans were treated to netball at its finest as the two new kids on the block went toe-to-toe. The pressure was relentless but in the end the GIANTS’ experience and level heads saw them remain undefeated to begin the season.
The GIANTS will be back on the road for the second consecutive week when they travel to University of Sunshine Coast to take on local team Lightning next Saturday 11 March at 8:45pm AEDT.
The Club’s next home game is in Round 5 when we take a game to Canberra’s AIS Arena. Be there and help cheer on GIANTS Netball against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in what is sure to be a red-hot contest! Tickets are available now via Ticketek – visit ticketek.com.au or call 132 849 to secure your seats today.
MVP: Jo Harten (GIANTS)
GIANTS | Q1: 13 – Q2: 27 (14) – Q3: 40 (13) – Q4: 59 (19)
MAGPIES | Q1: 10 – Q2: 21 (11) – Q3: 34 (13) – Q4: 51 (17)
GIANTS: 59/66 @ 89%
J. Harten: 43/45 @ 96%
S. Pettitt: 16/21 @ 76%
MAGPIES: 51/60 @ 85%
C. Thwaites: 42/26 @ 91%
A. Teague-Neeld: 6/10 @ 60%
C. Lange: 3/4 @ 75%
GIANTS | GS Jo Harten (VC), GA Susan Pettitt, WA Kimberlee Green (C), C Serena Guthrie, WD Jamie-Lee Price, GD Bec Bulley, GK Sam Poolman
MAGPIES | GS Caitlin Thwaites, GA Alice Teague-Neeld, WA Madi Robinson (C), C Kim Ravaillion, WD Ash Brazill, GD April Brandley, GK Sharni Layton (VC)
MAGPIES | Q2 Timeout – GA Cody Lange; Q4 – C Shae Brown.