SSN R1 Wrap
The official wrap from SSN and a bit of Tamsin analysis for good measure!
Adelaide impressed, the GIANTS rule NSW, the Vixens survived the fast finishing Firebirds and the Fever set a new scoring record in a wild Round 1.
Watch what the Sky Netball team of Tamsin and Pamela made of the first round of this years SSN on the Sky Pad!
Who did you enjoy watching? Let us know in the comments! 👇 pic.twitter.com/46fF3hvEey
— Sky Sports Netball (@SkyNetball) March 28, 2022
Dan Ryan returned to Suncorp Super Netball in style, the Melbourne Vixens outpointed a championship contender and the Adelaide Thunderbirds revealed a mighty upside on the opening round of fixtures.
Dry eyes were difficult to find, however, as NSW Swifts favourite Sam Wallace’s season-ending knee injury tipped the balance of power away from the defending champions.
Netty in a nutshell
The only upside of Sam Wallace’s torn anterior cruciate ligament injury is that the NSW Swifts have experience taking care of their own.
They wrapped themselves around Maddy Proud in 2019 when the captain had her own knee injury and the club will do the same for Wallace, the big game specialist who shone in both the 2019 and 2021 grand finals.
“It’s going to haunt a lot of us for a long time,” Proud told Fox Netball.
“The kind of screams that came from Sam, and obviously the way it happened I think anyone in that stadium would put two and two together and know the devastation and the pain in her face… it makes me emotional just thinking about it.”
Coach Briony Akle’s talented outfit has time to reset. Still, the loss of such a pivotal figure will send a shockwave through the competition.
Most had the Swifts positioned as top two contenders, a prospect now under siege in such a hotly contested league.
The Vixens’ and Giants Netball’s impressive starts to the season almost guarantees a re-shaped top four.
Mwai Kumwenda of the Vixens in action during the Round 1 Super Netball match between the Queensland Firebirds and Melbourne Vixens at Nissan Arena, Brisbane, Sunday, March 27, 2022.
Jhaniele Fowler’s 64 points for West Coast and the Vixens’ Mwai Kumwenda’s 44 points were hard to miss.
Courtney Bruce’s nine gains were pretty special, too, against such a strong opponent in Cara Koenen.
The subtlety and guile of Fowler’s and Kumwenda’s circle partners could be what elevates their teams above the rest.
Sasha Glasgow could have strung out the hammock and watched Fowler go to work but instead her contribution was significant.
Her 29 assists kept her shooting partner busy and she also shot enough – four from super shot range – to test the Sunshine Coast Lightning defenders.
Rahni Samason filled a similar role for the Vixens.
She was perfect from her 15 shots, adding a lethal element to a three-pronged attack which also features Diamond Kiera Austin.
Answer this truthfully. What would your reaction be if told the Giants’ visit to Adelaide would be the match of Round 2?
It’s not far-fetched to suggest this could be the most entertaining clash of the weekend after both sides secured impressive on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds’ narrow win against the Ash Brazill-les Collingwood Magpies was a grafting one and there were hints of a pleasing upside for coach Tania Obst.
They were tough when they needed to be, calm under pressure and conceded just 43 penalties, the least of any team in Round 1.
Latanya Wilson was a major ball-winner, Maisie Nankivell so precise, and the addition of Tippah Dwan has created attacking options and freed Georgie Horjus to have an impact in a multitude of ways.
“We’ve been banging away at our game plan now for a couple of years and we’re filling the spots with people that can execute,” Obst said.
The Giants 2021 strengths have spilled over into 2022.
Sophie Dwyer, Jamie-Lee Price and Maddie Hay picked up where they left off in 2021 and Matilda McDonnell played like it was her 80th game, not her first start.
More subtle was the influence of Amy Parmenter. Statistics fail to reveal what she does so well. Her ability to steal space denied stars Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley the freedom to create for the Swifts’ attack line.
Cracking stat – 98
The Queensland Firebirds did themselves no favours, with a whopping penalty count handicapping their efforts against the Vixens.
“It’s a fine line between contesting and giving away silly penalties,” Firebirds coach Megan Anderson said.
“As long as we can get the line of our contesting right then I think we’re good.”