Round 8 preview: Pies ready for second Fever battle

12 days ago

The reverse fixtures have arrived, with the Magpies' first second chance for the season up this week as they take on the ladder leaders, West Coast Fever.

Sophie Taylor

The scenario:

While the season started in a less than ideal manner for Collingwood, there is no doubt they have found their stride over the past few weeks with three wins from four rounds - and two against top four sides.

They have another tough task against the West Coast Fever this week, but the Pies are brimming with confidence after two straight victories and will come out fighting against their ladder-leading opposition.

This will be the Pies' first trip to Perth since August, 2019, making this an intriguing clash with plenty on the line for both the Magpies - who have a point to prove after a big few weeks - and the Fever, who will have a home crowd behind them every step of the way.

Coming off Round 7:

The Magpies caused the upset of the round last week, claiming a comprehensive 10-goal win over the Melbourne Vixens in the Melbourne Derby.

The Pies piled on the pressure from the opening whistle and put the foot down from there, and while the Vixens were somewhat undermanned due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Pies were relentless at every turn.

It was an all-round impressive win from the Pies, with a consistent team effort paving the way as Kelsey Browne carved up the Vixens' depleted midcourt.

Shimona Nelson put up another classy showing with 48 goals at 94 percent, while Jodi-Ann Ward and Geva Mentor were a force to be reckoned with in defence.

An eye on the opposition:

The Fever sit top of the table at the midway point of the season, with a 5-2 win ratio to their name.

The ever formidable Jhaniele Fowler leads the competition on the scoring front with 394 goals to her name at an impressive 96 percent accuracy, while Fever captain Courtney Bruce leads the league for deflections (42), and is second for intercepts with 16.

Bruce and Fowler also both lead the rebounding categories with 23 apiece.

The Fever were challenged in patches by the Adelaide Thunderbirds during Round 7, but overcame Shamera Sterling's five intercept effort to claim a nine-goal win.

Fowler shot 50 goals at 98 percent, while Alice Teague-Neeld impressed with 24 goal assists.

Last time we met:

Round 2 was a while ago now, and it is safe to say that the Magpies have improved drastically since their 17-goal loss to the Fever in early April.

Despite trailing for the majority of the match, the Pies flew out of the blocks in the final term to reduce the margin from 14 goals to just eight with five minutes on the clock.

A Fowler blitz in the last five minutes really hurt, nailing nine goals straight to really put the game to rest.

Fowler put up 58 goals at 90 percent, while Courtney Bruce registered seven gains (12 deflections).

Despite a valuable effort from Kelsey Browne (20 goal assists) and a combined four intercepts from Ash Brazill and Jodi-Ann Ward, the Pies tallied a whopping 79 penalties to the Fever's 49 to mark the frustrating result.

More news