R7: Thunder Vs Rhinos
Rhinos Netball faced Manchester thunder at the AO arena Manchester in their second game of the weekend.
No changes were made in the matchday 12, but there was one slight difference in Rhinos starting 7. Rebekah Airey started in the GK position after a player of the match performance just a few hours earlier in their previous game against Severn Stars.
Rushton got Rhinos tally going for this game after a quick centre pass. Despite Rhinos applying strong defensive pressure Thunders experienced shooting duo of Mvula and Cardwell still managed to add goals onto the board. Grierson did well to keep hold of a powerful pass from Clarke making it easy to find Clinton who was home alone under the post allowing her to bring Rhinos one goal ahead 3-4. A breaking call was called against Thunder and Rushton reset to the baseline but after a quick tip by Thunders Malcom the ball was soon back in their possession. Clarke was composed on a transition down court after an over a third call against thunder, but their was too much on the feed into the circle which allowed the opposition to keep adding goals onto the board. Rushton remained unfazed and sank a long bomb just inside the circle, to reduce Rhinos defect to 3 (8-5). Rushton stayed confident and after a period of excellent movement added another to Rhinos tally with the deficit now being 5 (12-7). Hollingworth left court injured which saw Lydia Walker join the game at WD. Airey remained tight on her player within the circle but it was Thunders shooter Mvula who came out with the ball and was successful on the shot 18-8. Clarke showed patience on the centre pass but after an attacking contact call against Rhinos Thunder continued to add on goals. The final quarter ended 21-8.
To commence quarter two Keenan moved to the Gk position and Burger entered the court at Gs. Oyesola earned a tip to start but Thunder quickly regained possession, Cardwell continued to add goals extending their lead to 14 25-9. Thunder continued in their clinical ways and the gap continued to widen 27-9. Keenan stayed tight in the circle and came out on top with the ball, Rushton moved well and finished the passage of play with a shot 27-10. Rushton then had to leave court due to blood, this saw Hall come onto court in the WA position and Grierson move to GA. Grierson was not deterred with this sudden change and was successful on her first shot. Hall also made impact and tuned over ball allowing Burger to add to Rhinos tally 27-12. Thunder remained strong and converted their centre passes quickly, Oyesola had to leave the court which saw Airey re-enter the game. This new defensive unit proved strong as Keenan earned herself a turnover and a rebound allowing Rhinos shooters to keep the score board ticking. Rhinos entered the half time break 16 goals behind home team Manchester Thunder with the score being 34-18.
Rhinos started the second half with intent, Thunder had made some attacking changes and immediately they were called for an attacking contact, Burger was strong under the post and added one more to her tally 34-19, Grierson also remained calm and continued to put goals on the board. Thunder had a run of 3 but Hall fed Burger under the post with a pinpoint accurate pass, Grierson took a strong rebound and added another 39-21. Despite that passage of play settling the Rhinos side, Thunder put up another run of 5 to extend their lead even further 44-21. Grierson remained resilient and played a quick ball into Burger which was a crowd pleaser. Clarke and Oyesola combined well and came out with the ball, after a fast transition Hall settled the side by resetting the play with Oyesola on the line, Sienna then went on to net another 47-26. Rhinos defence remained strong against another confident shooting combination and a deserved turnover was earned, Rushton was strong in the circle again 51-28. Rushton scored the last shot of the quarter from a penalty called with seconds remaining to bring the game to 52-30 at three quarter time.
Oyesola moved back into the Goal Defence position to commence the final quarter. Thunder took the first goal but Rushton soon responded, 53-31. Grierson was short on the shot, but Rushton took a great rebound allowing Rhinos to continue adding to their tally 55-32. Tight defensive pressure from Keenan saw her earn possession of the ball but Thunder regained possession further down the court allowing Mvula to add another 56-33. Tight defensive pressure from Rhinos caused Thunder to pass the ball round on the circe edge, 4 balls later Oyesola came out with the ball and Rushton finished that play 56-35. Kindred took to court in the GD position, but soon after Clarke left the court which saw Airey go to GD, Kindred moved into WD and Walker put on the C bib. Grierson drove into the circle well, and put up another shot 63-39. Keenan was given a caution but the hard work rate from Rhinos defence forced Thunders attack off the back line but the ball was gifted back to Thunder at the other end of the court 66-39. Keenan did well to keep control of a Thunder rebound and Rushton took the ball to goal 68-43. 38 seconds remained and the ball was pushed off the Thunder backline, a penalty was given just outside the Rhinos shooting circle as the buzzer went so Rhinos didn’t get a chance to add on a last second goal. The game ended 69-45.
Leeds Rhinos Netball now have a week to reset and recover after a busy double-header, their focus now turns to Saracens Mavericks who they face at Herts Sports Village next Saturday (March 19th).
GS: Joyce Mvula
GA: Eleanor Cardwell
WA: Natalie Metcalf
C: Caroline O Hanlon
WD: Laura Malcolm
GD: Shadine VanDer Merwe
GK: Kerry Almond
GS: Amy Clinton
GA: Sienna Rushton
WA:| Brie Grierson
C: Jade Clarke
WD: Emily Hollingworth
GD: Vicki Oyesola
GK: Rebekah Airey
Match Report By Tyler-Sue Chapman, Leeds Rhinos.
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