Round 13 preview: Fired-up Pies to take on Lightning

23 days ago

The Suncorp Super Netball season is heating up with just two rounds left, and half of the ladder still in the running for finals - including the Magpies.

Sophie Taylor

The scenario:

Collingwood is one of four teams still in the race for a 2022 finals berth after a stellar Round 12 win over the weekend.

Realistically, the Pies need two wins to finish off the season, as well as a big percentage boost to confirm a post-season berth.

Neither of those things is unattainable, especially with past wins over the remaining two teams they're set to play, making this penultimate round highly intriguing.

Most important this week will be bringing the intensity and form the Pies had in the second half over the weekend, and retaining that for the full 60 minutes.

Coming off Round 12:

A win was exactly what the doctor ordered on the weekend, with the Pies pulling off an impressive come-from-behind 66-58 victory over the NSW Swifts.

It was a third quarter blitz that well and truly turned the tides, with an 11-goal turnaround off the back of excellent defensive pressure and Gabby Sinclair's hot hand from range.

Geva Mentor and Jodi-Ann Ward were in stellar form with 16 gains between them, while it was the accuracy of Shimona Nelson and Sinclair (both shooting at 100 percent accuracy) that paid off under the post and rewarded the defensive unit.

That confidence to come back from a five-goal half-time deficit will bode well coming into Round 13, with high energy and determination needed to ensure a finals berth is on the horizon.

An eye on the opposition:

The Pies will take on the eighth-placed Lightning in Round 13, with the second First Nations Round expected to provide plenty of action.

The Lightning overcame a shaky start to compete hard against the Vixens on Sunday, going down by four goals in a topsy-turvy contest.

Tara Hinchliffe and Mahalia Cassidy picked up three intercepts apiece, with Hinchliffe's six gains and Kadie-Ann Dehaney's seven paving the way in the tight result.

Cara Koenen shot at 100 percent while Steph Wood and Reilley Batcheldor rotated through and combined for 23 goals, even with Wood nursing a minor injury, and Annie Miller impressed with 19 goal assists over her 39 minutes.

Last time we met:

The Pies' first win of the 2022 season came against the Lightning way back in Round 4, claiming a 10-goal victory off the back of a huge second quarter.

Most notably, the Pies were missing both Sophie Garbin and Sinclair during that match, with training partner Nyah Allen stepping up to the task with 14 goals from 19 attempts (three super shots).

Nelson impressed with 57 goals at 93 percent as Kelsey Browne piled on 29 goal assists to win player of the match, and Jacqui Newton made a stand with five gains.

Koenen was again the major scorer for the Lightning last time around, as Wood and Batcheldor came away with four super shots apiece as they worked to reduce the margin.

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