Unfortunately for the Magpies, the GIANTS spoiled the party on Sunday but there was still plenty to learn from the special occasion.
1. Like a fine wine
It would be remiss not to reflect on the incredible achievement added to our captain’s resumé on Sunday afternoon.
While the fact that Geva Mentor is ageing like a fine wine isn't a new realisation, the match gone by was certainly clear evidence to prove it.
For Head Coach Nicole Richardson, Mentor’s 200th national league appearance was her best performance of the season to date.
“She was in the contest, she was moving her feet to the ball and she was getting to balls,” Richardson said.
“She was helping create some turnovers and she is the sort of player that even if she isn’t making the turnover herself, she allows for others to be in a position to do that.”
Richardson’s sentiment was reflected in the impressive stat-line of Mentor’s defensive partner Jodi-Ann Ward, who recorded ten gains, six intercepts and four deflections.
Mentor’s on-court brilliance, leadership and humility was on full display on Sunday and was a pertinent reminder of just how influential she has been to the netball landscape.
2. Finding energy for the tail-end of the season
The 2021 Super Netball season has been full of twists and turns, with players and staff across all clubs kept on their toes via a range of COVID disruptions.
While there’s no doubt that even a regular season will start taking its toll approaching the back-end, finding energy for the last four weeks of the home and away fixture is now more vital than ever.
“Across the board there just didn’t seem to be a lot of energy in the game today,” Richardson said of the Round 10 clash.
“I thought we did a good job defensively to really shut them down and made them work hard but we were just a bit off the mark with our energy and enthusiasm."
“The game was there to be won in the final term and I don’t think either side stepped up.”
With the race for the top four well and truly on, this will be a key focus for the Magpies moving forward.
3. Expect the unexpected
Before the Magpies took to the court on Sunday, their next opponent was the Firebirds.
Now? They're matching up against the Vixens.
While the league will endeavour to align the remaining games as closely as possible to the original fixture, teams must be ready for whatever challenge presents itself next.