Round 9 preview: Tassie matches loom with Firebirds up first

5 days ago

The Magpies have their first opportunity to go two from two in Round 9, with a second clash against the Queensland Firebirds looming on Sunday afternoon.

Sophie Taylor

The scenario:

The Pies come into this match off the back of three stellar performances meaning they are well and truly on a roll as the second half of the season really starts to heat up.

Another three matches over the course of seven days will be tough, but nothing that the Pies can't handle - especially if they can escape some of the injury and illness issues suffered over the past month.

Factor in that the Pies will also be at their home(s) away from home this week in Tasmania, and both Round 9 (Hobart) and Round 10 (Launceston) should provide plenty of spark to the side.

Add in the excitement of the 2022 Pride Match on the line, and there's plenty to gain from this occasion.

Coming off Round 9:

The Pies had a tough loss to stomach on the weekend, with a 64-79 result over in Perth.

The Magpies led for much of the second half in a daring battle with the Fever, however a last ditch effort from Sasha Glasgow sealed the deal in front of the Green Army.

Geva Mentor worked in overdrive to keep the lid on Jhaniele Fowler, while Jodi-Ann Ward racked up six deflections (two gains).

Shimona Nelson (54 from 61) had sticky fingers once more, while Sophie Garbin put up 11 goals (two super shots) across 56 minutes in goal attack.

The Pies will be undeniably hurting after that one, with this week's matches set to feel the brunt of that pain.

An eye on the opposition:

The Firebirds have had an up and down few weeks, claiming a 13-goal win over the NSW Swifts in Round 7 before falling by two goals to the Melbourne Vixens last round.

Lara Dunkley led the way for the Firebirds in the loss, tallying 26 goal assists while Donnell Wallam added another 48 goals to her tally in goal shooter.

Ruby Bakewell-Doran has continued her rise in defence with three intercepts and Gabi Simpson was hard to stop in wing defence, working hard to stop Vixens star Liz Watson in transition.

Last time we met:

Round 6 was not that long ago, with a huge second win going the way of the Magpies up in Brisbane.

The Pies claimed an eight-goal victory (67-59) over the Firebirds on home soil, firing up and leading from the get-go throughout an entertaining contest.

Molly Jovic was named player of the match in her first game back from COVID health and safety protocols, while Ash Brazill was masterful in wing defence with her deflections in the back pockets.

Despite a combined 77 percent shooting accuracy, the Pies flourished in attack as Kelsey Browne racked up 28 goal assists.

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