Round 11 preview: Crucial match with Thunderbirds looms

1 month ago

Round 11 looms as a crucial round in the Suncorp Super Netball fixture, with a do-or-die clash between the Collingwood Magpies and Adelaide Thunderbirds sure to set tongues wagging.

Sophie Taylor

The scenario:

Finals are still on the cards, meaning this week's match is crucial to keep the Magpies' season alive.

Only goal percentage separates the Pies and Thunderbirds on the ladder this week, with the Pies fourth in the league for goal scored.

While the Thunderbirds defence has been exceptional over the past few rounds, there is no doubt that the Magpies attack is in blistering form and will work in overdrive to overturn the Round 1 four-goal loss.

Coming off Round 10:

There is no doubt the Pies will come into this match with a point to prove after succumbing to the GIANTS' second half comeback on Wednesday evening.

The Magpies' greatest lead was 11 goals against the GIANTS before the super shot turned the momentum, with the likes of Molly Jovic and Ash Brazill putting on an absolute masterclass through the midcourt.

Shimona Nelson was stellar at the post with a 50-goal haul to her name, and proved crucial under the post with five rebounds falling into her waiting hands.

Most importantly, the Pies retained ball fairly well with just 16 general play turnovers, so the next step is winning additional ball back.

An eye on the opposition:

The Thunderbirds executed a huge upset win over the Queensland Firebirds on Wednesday night, marking their second win in three games.

The combination of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson has really sparked up in recent weeks, combining for nine gains in Round 10 while Lenize Potgieter fired at 100 percent.

The Thunderbirds tallied just 38 penalties last round, with that cleanliness making for a huge test for the Pies to combat.

Last time we met:

The Thunderbirds own the last two wins over the Pies - three including Team Girls Cup - meaning this match is a key one for the Pies to win back and keep their season on track.

While both the Pies and T'Birds are in similarly good form at the moment, there is no doubt the Pies are flying head and shoulders above their Round 1 form when they fell 50-54 in Adelaide.

The Pies had an interrupted lead-up to that match with Ash Brazill ruled out with concussion, while head coach Nichole Richardson was in isolation and unable to travel.

The shaken up starting seven fired up but were unable to overcome the Thunderbirds at full strength, with combinations really tested under pressure and without Brazill's composure through the midcourt.

For the Thunderbirds, Hannah Petty led from the front while Tippah Dwan and Georgie Horjus shared the goal attack role effortlessly, and Sterling was tough as ever to get past in the circle.

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