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R5 : Storm Vs Rhinos

Storm beat Rhinos at Surrey Sports Park in Round five.

Jade Clarke Rhinos got the game underway with the first centre pass and Rhinos transitioned smoothly. Sigi Burger netted her first goal of the game, but Storm responded and converted their first centre pass of the game. Rhinos showed patience and the ball was held well by Clarke on the edge of the circle. Burger got the rebound and Dixon sunk her first of the quarter. Burger remained calm under the post and Rhinos led by one 2-3.

Rhinos built by working the ball round remaining calm and composed allowing Burger to get another onto her tally. Tuaine Keenan created a turnover and Burger held strong under the post to allow the feed into the circle. An offside call for Rhinos saw storm transition well, Rhinos however regained the ball in defence with Keenan and Vicki Oyesola working hard.Rhea Dixon fed the ball into Burger who got another goal on the scoreboard 5-7.

The combination between Burger and Dixon proved strong with them connecting well in Rhinos attacking circle, the mid-court remained calm and patient and after a quick drive in by Dixon Rhinos held a three-goal lead 6-9. Keenan picked up another ball in defence and despite Storm asking for a call Rhinos transitioned well and Burger sunk another. Storm created turnovers but the Rhinos strong defensive unit kept regaining possession for them allowing them to maintain their three-goal lead 10-13. After an attacking contact by a Rhinos shooter, a composed Storm mid-court saw the score level at 13 apiece. All units from both sides remained calm in the final minutes of the first quarter and a final shot from Proscovia Peace saw the first quarter end 16 all.

Quarter 2
Sienna Rushton entered the game as goal shooter to start the second quarter, Rhinos defence continued strongly and instantly forced Storm off the side line, Rushton took the ball to goal for her first of the game. Dixon and Rushton remained strong in the circle allowing them both to add another to their tally. Storm continued to be clinical and took the easy route down court into Peace, a turnover from Storm and Peace brought the game to 21 a piece. Rushton held strong under the post and took the ball to goal, Peace continued to be solid for Storm which saw them pull a 2 goal lead.

Cooper picked up a ball from a Rhinos centre pass and despite Keenan calling for time play continued and Storm added another 26-22. Rebekah Airey then entered the court in the defensive end. Rushton remained strong under the post and managed to keep Rhinos ticking on the score board 27-24. Rhinos new defensive unit remained strong and caused a held ball against Storm however Surrey regained possession and Peace slotted another 28-24.

An offside call against Rhinos in the circle getting the rebound, storm transitioned quickly and despite the defensive efforts from Oyesola, Storm extended their lead. After a miss from Rhinos, Storm transitioned quickly but with Parsons foot on the line Rhinos got the last goal and the second half ended with Rhinos facing a 5 goal deficit 31-26.

Quarter 3
For the second half Amelia Hall took to court in the WA position and Tuaine Keenan came back into goal keeper as well as Burger moving into the goal shooter position. Peace took the first goal of the half and Burger stood strong under the post adding goals to Rhinos tally. Storm were forced into making errors which saw Rhinos earn possession. After a smart transition through court with the help of Emily Hollingworth and perfect placement from Hall into Burger the game was back to a 2 goal game 32-30. Dixon popped off the baseline and got another goal, 32-31.

Smart play from Clarke saw the ball go into Dixon, she offloaded and Burger got another 35-32. Keenan earned another but Cooper regained possession for Storm, another simple play from Storm saw the deficit widen to 6 goals with the score being 39-33. Rhinos were forced into a change with Oyesola leaving the court due to blood, Airey moved into the goal defence position. Rhinos returned to patient ways and ended the quarter with a run of five goals, Peace again ended the quarter with the final shot brining the game to a 7 goal fixture 45-38.

Quarter 4
Moving into the final quarter Brie Grierson re-entered the game at goal attack and Rushton moved to the goal shooter position. Keenan started the quarter with a tip but was unfortunately deemed to be offside. Patience and confidence from Rhinos got them two more goals on the scoreboard, 48-40. Both sides were creating turnovers and play became end to end without any goals being scored for a couple of minutes. Peace ended this and got the scoring back on the go 49-40. Play was then paused to allow the net on one of the posts to be fixed. The game was shortly back underway with 10 minutes remaining. Keenan held off Peace forcing the ball off the backline however Peace tipped the ball back into the circle preventing Rhinos mid-court to collect the ball, Peace then took the shot and the game was to 10, 51-41.

Despite a strong team effort from Rhinos transitioning well and winning ball the deficit remained at 10 with Peace being unstoppable under the post 53-43. Towards the latter half of the game Storm made further changes to their defence but this didn’t stop Burger from scoring another couple of goals. After another back and forth passage of play, Burger recomposed both sides and the game was back to 8, 55-47. Rhinos took the last centre of the game with seconds remaining and Burger had the last shot to bring the final score to 58-49.

Gilbert Player of the Match went to Surrey Storm WD Niamh Cooper.

Match report provided by Leeds Rhinos
Image: Surrey Storm Twitter

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