SSN R2: Magpies Vs Fever
Fever celebrate Bruce’s big day in style.
West Coast Fever captain Courtney Bruce celebrated game number 100 with a Player of the Match performance in her side’s 70-53 win over the Collingwood Magpies in Melbourne.
West Coast Fever have kept their unbeaten Super Netball record intact, riding a blistering start to a convincing 70-53 victory over Collingwood at John Cain Arena.
Jhaniele Fowler (58 points) was again a powerhouse in the shooting circle, Verity Simmons was at her sizzling best in the middle and captain Courtney Bruce shrugged off an ankle concern to dominate in defence.
“That game really tested us,” said Bruce, celebrating her milestone 100th match in style on Sunday.
“We weren’t having a great start in every quarter and in that last quarter we came out firing.
“Little things to work on but happy with that.”
The Fever were sluggish out of the blocks, trailing 7-4 early, before blowing the contest apart with a 12-0 run either side of the quarter-time break amid an overall 16-2 blitz to have the Magpies reeling.
Collingwood became turnover and penalty-riddled, only wing attack Kelsey Browne offering any resistance.
Browne was moved into the centre to stymie Simmons in the second term but the visitors, after another slow start, put their foot down again.
With Geva Mentor getting dragged briefly as she lowered her colours to Fowler, the Fever outscored the Pies 20-13 for the quarter and moved ahead 39-22 at halftime.
Late in the half, Bruce sent a scare through the West Coast camp when she hurt her right ankle after landing awkwardly on Collingwood goal shooter Shamona Nelson’s foot.
But the Fever skipper returned to start the third stanza and appeared unimpeded.
“Shamona and I both have pretty big feet so we got a bit tangled,” Bruce said.
“I probably shouldn’t have contested but I’m alright.
“I might be a bit sore but I’ll be fine.”
Magpies captain Ash Brazill was swung to the centre after the long break and had some influence, while a series of super shots from Sophie Garbin, including one on the three-quarter-time buzzer, reduced the margin to 53-39 at the last change.
Garbin and Nelson caught fire to start the fourth, slicing the Fever’s lead right back to 61-53 and sparking dreams of a comeback.
West Coast coach Dan Ryan duly called time-out, the Fever regained their composure and Fowler notched the last nine goals unanswered to kill off Collingwood’s resistance.