NSL R3: Rhinos 48 Storm 66
Leeds Rhinos took on Surrey Storm at Leeds Beckett University in round three of the Netball Super league.
This fixture was the second game of the weekend for both sides and was set to be a fast paced game.
Mikki Austin took the first centre of the game for Storm, Proscovia put it straight through the net before Storm turned over a Rhinos centre and they took a three goal lead after converting their own centre pass. Rhinos were patient with the ball to reach Bird who got their first goal of the game. Paige Reed got her first of the game after Leah Middleton went out on the fly leaving the space under the post. Ellie Bird did extremely well to keep the ball on court and after swinging the ball around the circle, Bird added another. Rhinos had a few unforced errors and the ball went flying off the backline on multiple occasions allowing Surrey Storm to extend their lead out to four. Vicki Oyesola worked tirelessly and forced Storm off the backline allowing her home side to reduce the deficit to two with three minutes remaining in quarter one. A couple more interceptions for Storm saw them enter the first break ahead by four goals, 12-16.
Rhinos made no changes for the start of the second quarter. Storm started out strong and turned over Rhinos first centre and also took the first three goals of the second quarter, 12-19. Rhinos were forced to be patient and used Rosie Harris in the centre third to reset before Reed netted Rhinos first goal of the second quarter. Too much was put on the ball into Bird and multiple unforced errors allowed Surrey Storm to extend their lead out to ten goals, 14-24. McDonald and O’Hanlon combined well but a held ball gifted the ball back to Storm. Oyesola turned over another ball and patient hands from O’Hanlon allowed the space in the circle to open up, so McDonald could find Bird under the post. With the gap still at ten, Leota made two changes with Elle Mcdonald moving to Centre and Brie Grierson entering the game at WA. The ball went back and forth between both sides and it was Surrey Storm that edged even further ahead 17-34. Oyesola worked hard and stopped the feed into Proscovia allowing Rhinos to add a couple more goals to their tally. Magee and Harris combined well as a unit and came out with possession, however the ball was lost over the backline, Oyesola denied Surrey storm of getting the ball into the circle seconds before the buzzer for the half time break went. Surrey Storm entered the half time break with an 18 goal lead, 19-37.
Nia Jones entered the game at WD for the start of the second half with Oyesola moving to GD and Millie Sanders taking to court in the GK bib. Again Storm started the second half strongly with a turnover however Rhinos were fighting every passage of play and eventually took their own centre to goal 20-37. Rhinos also converted one of Storms centre pass alongside another of their own 23-38. Both teams were successful on converting their centre passes for the first few minutes of quarter three. It was Rhinos that took the first interception, and after a lot of physical and fast play up and down the court the deficit was back to ten 35-45. Storm ended the third quarter strongly taking a Rhinos centre pass to goal, time denies Rhinos of a goal before the end of the third quarter. Rhinos entered the final period of play twelve goals behind visitors Surrey Storm, 36-48.
Storm took the first centre of the final quarter and instantly converted, Michelle Magee re-entered the game at GD for Rhinos at the start of the final quarter. Storm were clinical in attack and were ahead by thirteen 38-51. Austin picked up a caution, but Rhinos managed to get the ball through the net, 41-55. Surrey Storm continued being clinical in their basics and continued extending there lead which was then out to eighteen, 42-60. Reed moved the ball at speed and was successful on a long shot, 44-60. Cassie Howard entered the game at Centre for her second netball super league appearance within the same weekend. Cassie Howard entered the game with instant impact creating two turnover but ultimately nothing could stop Surrey Storm from finding Proscovia. Surrey Storm took the win 48-66.
Rhinos netball now have a bye week in the next round and won’t return to court until the 4th March in Glasgow at the Emirates arena, where they take on Strathclyde Sirens. A huge thank you to all of the Rhinos netball fans who came to Leeds Beckett university arena and were part of the sold out crowd! If you to want to be a part of our sold out crowds at our future home games tickets purchase your tickets whilst they are still available at tickets.rhinosnetball.co.uk
Match Report Tyler-Sue Chapman, Leeds Rhinos Netball