There was a Rav-ishing performance from a potential diamond and a defensive masterclass from Vixen Olivia Lewis against her former team.
In addition, the Pies found their Allen key, the Sunshine Girls brilliant and a very bad Swift victory – the first round of Super Netball midweek had good and bad.
Here are the big talking points from round four.
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A game to Liv in memory forever
Any elite netballer who says he’s not preparing for a big game against his old camp is either lying or not telling the truth.
It’s human nature to want to impress. And impressing was what new Melbourne Vixen defender Olivia Lewis did when she took to the pitch on Tuesday night against her former side West Coast Fever, where she struggled to spend time behind Diamonds goaltender Courtney Bruce, prompting a move east.
Lewis’ injection, replacing goalie Emily Mannix late in the second quarter, changed the game’s trajectory.
With hops and hard work, she stopped the often unstoppable Jhaniele Fowler, the league’s most prolific shooter, to help the Vixens to their fourth straight 75-66 win.
In 35 minutes on the court, the 184cm, 22-year-old – who trained against Fowler for years at Fever – had three interceptions, a rebound and a deflection. And she did it cleanly, contacting only six times and not getting in the way once. This meant that Lewis was rarely out of the fray.
Helped by pressure from fellow defenders Kate Eddy, Jo Weston and then Mannix, who came back into the game defending goals for an injured Weston, Lewis limited Fowler to just 18 goals after half-time, his worst performance in second half this season.
It was game for the scrapbook and a signal to the rest of the competition that the versatile Vixens were serious in 2022.
Co-captain Liz Watson, who had a near-flawless game with 25 assists, 32 center pass receptions and one interception and just beat Lewis for the best, liked the goaltending contribution.
“Olivia was awesome. Obviously she trained against them for so long and she really added the spark,” Watson said.
Ravishing performance of the future Diamond
It’s fitting that Queensland Firebird center Kim Ravaillion has had arguably her best two games of the season against players she would love to dislodge from the national team; Kate Moloney and Jamie-Lee Price.
Ravaillion’s performances against Vixens co-captain Moloney in a first-round loss, and Price on Tuesday night, in his side’s 72-59 victory over ailing and sorry Giants, surely give the coach some Diamonds Stacey Marinkovich something to think about before naming her 22-soon a women’s team for the Commonwealth Games in July.
His effort on Price, who appears to be suffering from the lingering effects of Covid, included 22 assists, 25 streams with an attempt, an interception and two deflections – and a tireless gut run.
He won his best and should put his name to the spotlight for selection in the wider squad, which will be reduced to 12 as the Games approach.
Based on current form, Ash Brazill, Paige Hadley and Liz Watson appear to have locked three of the four middle positions, leaving one spot open.
The last time ‘Rav’ – who won gold at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney – played for his country was in the September 2018 Quad Series, which came after Australia lost the Commonwealth Games final to England by a goal to the death, a game she also played.
She withdrew from selection after that Quad series, left the Firebirds to join Collingwood, suffered a decline in form and was not selected for the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool. She missed the 2020 season to have her daughter, then returned to the Firebirds.
Now she seems to be back to her absolute best, with her combination with Diamonds goal attack Gretel Bueta getting smoother and smoother.
His coach Megan Anderson called his play on Price awesome.
“She was really instrumental in a lot of our defensive turnovers and on offense she was super calm. I was really impressed with how it played out, especially against a quality player in Jamie-Lee Price.
Late call, big Nyah Allen impact
When Collingwood coach Nicole Richardson called his 20-year-old sparring partner Nyah Allen yesterday morning to tell her she wouldn’t just be in the squad for last night’s game against the Sunshine Coast Lightning, but that she would start, she had a simple message.
It was to make the most of the occasion.
And after a stellar four-quarter performance that helped the Pies — without shooters Sophie Garbin and Gabi Sinclair via Covid — earn their first win of the season, Richardson was thrilled.
“She definitely did (took the opportunity). For a young player in her first tenure, she remained calm. She filled a huge hole,” she said.
“I was a little worried if she would be able to run a full game on offense and she did. Super impressive. She had a good connection with Shimona (Nelson). Having the courage to go post about the two-point shot in that first quarter…simply brave.
In the 74-64 victory, the 183cm shot-stopper netted 14 goals, including three super shots in the first quarter, and was the link between the midfielder and Jamaican goalkeeper Nelson who seemed to be missing. Maybe she’s the Pies allen key?
She also had 23 assists, 25 assists with an attempt and a rebound. With Garbin and Sinclair also missing Saturday’s game against the Giants, Allen should have a chance to shine again.
The Sunshine Girls shine down
Despite not being able to slide their Thunderbirds over the line against the NSW Swifts last night, the defensive duo of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson were blindly good, taking a total of five interceptions, 15 deflections and five rebounds.
The pair rejected shots, flipped balls left, right and center, and even pulled off the rare feat of a successful defensive lift.
While coach Tania Obst also used Matilda Garrett to defend the goal against Sterling keeper throughout the game which the Thunderbirds lost 45-44 in the dying moments, it’s clear the Jamaican duo are their most powerful .
It’s the first time Super Netball has had an all-Jamaican defensive circle and its growing power must please Jamaican national coach Connie Francis ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later this year and the World Cup in South Africa l next year, where the side will fight for a medal again.
At one point Romelda Aiken-George, who is not playing for the Queensland Firebirds this season because she is pregnant, was the only Sunny Girl plying her trade Down Under.
But there are now Jamaicans in four other Super Netball clubs; Sterling and Wilson at the Thunderbirds, Shimona Nelson and Jodi-Ann Ward at Collingwood, Kadie-Ann Dehaney at the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Jhaniele Fowler at West Coast Fever.
Every minute on the court in the best netball league in the world builds a formidable team that might surprise a few in these upcoming tournaments.
Swift’s ‘ugly’ win shows they’ll find a way
When Swifts star shooter Sam Wallace ruptured his ACL in the first round, many thought his team’s back-to-back premiership aspirations crumbled with it.
But after dropping the first two games of the season to the Giants and Vixens, Briony Akle’s charges staved off two straight wins – a blowout and by a huge margin against Collingwood at the weekend – and a nasty grind over the failing Thunderbirds in Adelaide last night, 45-44.
Now sitting just outside the top four in percentage, the Swifts suddenly look like Finals contenders. It’s thanks to a reborn Helen Housby, who is back to her best after a Covid fight, an 18-year-old high training partner, Sophie Fawns, who continues to show no fear, a midfield machine that rarely falters and a pragmatic mindset.
Against the Thunderbirds, desperate for a win after losing by one to the Sunshine Coast Lightning over the weekend, the Swifts were far from perfect, making unusual mistakes at every turn, being heavily penalized and even involved in talk. stupid. the ball.
But when the pressure came in the final five minutes thanks to super shots from Georgie Horjus, they hung on to take all four points.
Defender Maddy Turner was happy to win the ugly. “It wasn’t pretty in netball, but our new motto is ‘find a way’, so we somehow found a way. We knew it was going to be a struggle,” he said. she declared.
The architect of this revised approach, Akle, was proud to have achieved victory, whatever the way. “I thought after the first 15 minutes it would be one of those games where you just have to stick with the ugliness… get rid of it,” she said.
The Swifts now face the toughest road trip in Super Netball, to Perth to face a West Coast injury fever, no doubt after a nine-goal loss to the Vixens on Tuesday.