West Coast Fever have capped a big week for coach Stacey Marinkovich with a record-setting 80-56 victory over Sunshine Coast Lightning.
A stunning first-half effort set the Fever on the path to reaching their highest score while also equalling the league record of 80 goals shared by the Lightning and NSW Swifts.
Jamaican goal-scoring machine Jhaniele Fowler continued her outstanding season with 57 goals as the Fever took complete control of the contest with a 24-8 second-quarter blitz as they regained fourth spot on the ladder.
“I think we had a lot to prove today … also for our coach who has just been made Diamonds coach,” Fever ace Verity Charles to Nine Network. We just wanted to back her and show her that everything she’s doing is paying off.”
An emotional Charles also paid tribute to husband Nathan Charles back in Perth after the former Wallabies hooker’s grandfather died.
Marinkovich was announced as the new Australian netball coach on Saturday and will juggle national team duties with her role at the Fever until the end of the 2021 season.
The new Diamonds boss will be buoyed by the Fever’s progress after the 2018 grand finalists defeated the Magpies and Lightning by a combined total of 38 goals in the space of six days.
The Lightning fell to the biggest defeat in their history after West Coast built a massive 44-25 halftime lead then put the result beyond doubt with a 19-11 third quarter.
The Fever went straight to their 198cm target under the post and Fowler delivered with 19-of-20 goals, Steph Wood nailing 3-of-4 super shots to restrict the damage at quarter time to 20-17
Sunshine Coast appeared powerless to stop West Coast’s fast and direct brand of netball in the second term, Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis collecting 11 gains between them and Alice Teague-Neeld adding a pair of super shots as the halftime lead blew out to 24 goals.
Following back-to-back losses to the Swifts and Fever, the Lightning hope to bounce back against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Nissan Arena on Wednesday, followed by the Fever playing the in-form Queensland Firebirds.
Q1: Fever 20 v Lightning 17
Q2: Fever 24 v Lightning 8
Q3: Fever 19 v Lightning 11
Q4: Fever 17 v Lightning 20
Nissan Player of The Match – Verity Charles (West Coast Fever)
Fever shooting statistics
Jhaniele Fowler: Total points – 57 G1 57/58 (98%) G2 0/1 (0%)
Alice Teague-Neeld: Total points – 13 G1 7/10 (70%) G2 3/4 (75%)
Kaylia Stanton: Total points – 10 G1 6/8 (75%) G2 2/2 (100%)
Lightning shooting statistics
Cara Koenen: Total points – 18 G1 18/21 (86%) G2 0/2 (0%)
Steph Wood: Total points – 28 G1 14/18 (78%) G2 7/9 (78%)
Peace Proscovia: Total points – 9 G1 9/9 (100%) G2 0/1 (0%)
Annabelle Lawrie: Total points – 1 G1 1/1 (100%) G2 0/2 (0%)
Fever starting seven: GS – Jhaniele Fowler GA – Alice Teague-Neeld WA – Ingrid Colyer C – Verity Charles WD – Jess Anstiss GD – Stacey Francis GK – Courtney Bruce
Lightning starting seven: GS – Cara Koenen GA – Steph Wood WA – Laura Scherian C – Laura Langman WD – Maddy McAuliffe GD – Karla Pretorius GK – Phumza Maweni