SSN R5: Fever Vs Swifts
Fever take top spot with Easter Sunday blowout.
Despite a record equalling 10 Super Shots from Helen Housby, the West Coast Fever have blown out the NSW Swifts 76-58 to finish Round 5 on top of the ladder. Courtney Bruce has responded to a challenge from national selectors with a five-star performance in the West Coast Fever’s 76-58 triumph against the NSW Swifts at Perth’s RAC Arena.
It was an important victory for the Fever, who reclaimed the competition lead on percentage after the Melbourne Vixens’ surprise loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning on Saturday.
While under no pressure to retain her place in the national team, Bruce had been challenged to be cleaner by national selector Anne Sargeant.
The Fever skipper nailed her brief. She gave away a handful of penalties in the second half but her footwork and anticipation in the first half helped set up the win.
Bruce pocketed rebounds, stray passes and a handfulof ambitious aerial passes on her way to 13 possession gains and the player of the match award.
“We definitely needed to respond from Tuesday night’s (loss),” Bruce said.
“It felt really good out there but to be honest I don’t know if I’m deserving of (player of the match).
“Sunday Aryang had a phenomenal game and she makes me look really good at times.”
Swifts goaler Helen Housby had a stunning game for the Swifts, sinking a record-equalling 10 two-point super shots in her haul of 39 points.
While not as ambitious from long range, the Fever’s Jhaniele Fowler enjoyed two rare successes from two-point range in her tally of 62.
Facing one of the competition’s most ruthless defensive outfits, the Swifts had to maximise the effect of every hard-won possession.
While they trailed at quarter-time, they were efficient with the smattering of balls prized out of the Fever’s hands.
Sarah Klau and Teigan O’Shanassy pressured their hosts and enjoyed a handful of wins against the Fever attackers.
Sargeant said during commentary before the game she wanted to see Diamonds and Fever goal keeper Courtney Bruce “disciplined” and “off the body”.
That was precisely what Bruce delivered. In a tense first half, it was Bruce’s six gains, including four intercepts, that gave the Fever a four-point edge.
And just seven penalties conceded in the opening 30 minutes was a success for the Fever captain.
In direct opposition to Bruce for most of the game was Swifts and England goaler Housby.
It was a contest worthy of a tournament final and Housby’s seven-from-seven two-point super shots kept her side in the contest in the first half.