SSN R12: Giants Vs T’Birds
The Giants have taken a big step toward qualifying for the semi-finals after scoring a crucial 59-50 win over Adelaide Thunderbirds and climbing to third spot on the ladder with two rounds to play.
Both teams entered Sunday’s contest at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena level with Queensland Firebirds, NSW Swifts, and Collingwood Magpies on 20 competition points, setting up a blockbuster clash with major implications in the race for the top four.
The home side set up the win with a dominant opening-half performance, leading by as many as 16 goals before absorbing a spirited second-half fightback from the Thunderbirds to give their semi-final chances a vital boost.
“I think it’s really important for this game and the next two games for us to keep winning and stay in the top four so we can play finals netball,” Jamie-Lee Price told Fox Sports after the Giants took sole possession of third spot by registering their sixth win of the season.
“We knew we had to come out firing today and I’m proud of the girls,”
Price (36 gains, 19 goal assists) and fellow midcourter Maddie Hay (34 gains, 18 goal assists, two intercepts) played starring roles for the Giants alongside wing defence Amy Parmenter (six gains, five intercepts).
After conceding a league record 86 goals against the West Coast Fever in Perth last round, the Giants restricted an out-of-sync Thunderbirds to just eight goal attempts in the first quarter to grab an 18-7 lead.
The Giants kept rolling in the second period as they surged to a 32-16 advantage before a late super shot from Tippah Dwan saw Adelaide cut the deficit to 14 at halftime.
Backing up from a stunning win over Collingwood Magpies in round 11, Adelaide failed to fire with regular goalers Lenize Potgieter and Georgie Horjus unavailable, along with leaders Hannah Petty and Maisie Nankivell playing limited minutes as they recover from illness.
An encouraging start to the third quarter provided hope for the Thunderbirds, Shamera Sterling and Tayla Williams helping bring the margin down to single digits before three straight goals from Jo Harten kept the Giants ahead 44-33.
The visitors provided a few anxious moments for the Giants in the final term thanks to goal shooter Lucy Austin’s 13-of-14 shooting effort, including two super shots, but Adelaide ultimately paid the price for their lacklustre start.
The battle for third and fourth spot on the ladder continues for both teams with the Giants needing to defeat the Firebirds in Brisbane on Saturday to stay clear of the chasing pack while Adelaide host top-ranked Melbourne Vixens.