SSN R1 : T’ birds Vs Magpies
The Adelaide Thunderbirds 2022 season is off to the perfect start, with an impressive 54-50 win over the Collingwood Magpies at Netball SA Stadium
Reigning club champion Georgie Horjus dominated in two roles to guide the Adelaide Thunderbirds to a season-opening 55-50 win over the Collingwood Magpies.
Horjus set Netball SA Stadium alight in the first half with her exciting playmaking from wing attack, racking up 21 feeds and 11 assists, before putting the Magpies to the sword in the shooting circle after the break.
“I’ve definitely played a lot more goal attack (than wing attack) but I love playing both,” Horjus said.
“We wanted 100 per cent effort and 100 per cent attitude out there.
“We’ve got a lot to work on, so we can push harder next time.”
Collingwood endured an interrupted build-up to the match with coach Nicole Richardson forced to isolate in Melbourne after being a close COVID-19 contact.
Richardson was afforded special dispensation to coach remotely and relay messages via mobile phone to stand-in coach Kate Upton.
The Magpies were also without co-captain Ash Brazil, who was a late scratching after suffering concussion at training, but welcomed veteran England defender Geva Mentor, who was cleared after suffering a rolled ankle.
Thunderbirds spearhead Lenize Potgeiter notched her 1000th career goal and off-season recruit Tippah Dwan made an early impression with a pair of super shots to help turn an early 9-12 Adelaide deficit into a 16-13 quarter-time lead.
Collingwood, piloted by outstanding shooter Shimona Nelson (38 goals), marginally had the better of the middle two terms to limit the Thunderbirds’ advantage to 41-38 at three-quarter time.
That was despite the brilliance of Horjus, whose two late super-shots gave Adelaide the momentum at the last change.
Diamonds shooter Sophie Garbin, making her debut in the black-and-white, was dragged after a forgettable opening, but returned in the fourth, replacing Nelson as the Pies sought long-range two-pointers to reel in Adelaide’s growing advantage.
The home side responded to a late Collingwood rally with a 5-0, four-minute run to put the visitors away for good.
Potgeiter and Mentor waged a tight battle all afternoon, while Thunderbirds skipper Hannah Petty led from the front with a big second half.
Molly Jovic was brilliant for the Magpies, both in the middle and defence, but Collingwood ultimately had no answers for the versatile Horjus.
All games of the SSN season will be shown on Sky Sports here in the UK : Broadcast Schedule here