NSW Swifts win SSN Team Girls Cup

NSW Swifts head coach Briony Akle said she was very satisfied with her team’s showing at the Suncorp Team Girls Cup tournament at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney Olympic Park this weekend.

Almost 8,000 fans attended the Super Netball pre-season competition over Friday, Saturday and Sunday with all eight teams taking part.

The Swifts finished the Pool Play on top of their respective group after a narrow loss to the West Coast Fever (50-52) on Friday before back-to-back wins over the Queensland Firebirds (51-41) and the Melbourne Mavericks (44-41) on Saturday.

Those results meant the Swifts faced old rivals the Melbourne Vixens in the 1 v 2 Playoff on Sunday after the Victorians topped their group which consisted of the Sunshine Coast Lighting, Adelaide Thunderbirds and the Giants.

Sunday’s tournament decider was a typically free-flowing affair with both teams using it as an opportunity to test out a number of different combinations ahead of the Super Netball season start next month.

The lead exchanged hands numerous times with the sides even at the end of Q1 before the Swifts took control at halftime only for the Victorians to lead by one at the final break.

However, the home side, who welcomed back star shooter Sam Wallace-Jospeh after two years of injury-enforced absence, rallied at the death to claim the title for the first time since the pre-season competition started in 2019.

Akle said it was nice to win in front of a Sydney crowd but was more pleased to test her combinations, rather than win silverware in pre-season.

“This competition was really close and if we’d lost against the Mavericks, we’d have been in the 7 v 8 playoff so there’s very little to separate the teams,” she said.

“It’s always nice for us to win at Ken Rosewall Arena but the real work starts next month when we travel to the Sunshine Coast for Round 1 before facing the Mavericks back in Sydney in Round 2.

“The most pleasing aspect was how the players stepped up when playing out of position and our wider squad of training partners also looked comfortable with the pace of this level.

“We’ve got one more pre-season game to come against the Giants so we’ll prepare well for that and then it will be go-time.

“But as far as preparation goes for the season ahead the last three days have been great and I couldn’t have asked more of my team.”

Report: Swifts
IMG: Getty Images

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