Minor Semi Final preview: Pies hunt for finals glory

9 days ago

The Pies have a huge test ahead of them as they take on the GIANTS in the 2022 Minor Semi Final.

Sophie Taylor

The scenario:

It's finals time, and the Magpies have a huge opportunity to shake up the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball season.

Collingwood hasn't played finals since 2019, but that's nothing to worry about for the Pies who have peaked at the perfect time.

The return of Nicole Richardson, Ash Brazill, Jodi-Ann Ward and Maggie Lind will bode well as the Pies head to Sydney, with plenty of determination amongst the playing group to get the job done.

Coming off Round 14:

While the Round 14 loss to the Melbourne Vixens was not the preferred outcome, there were two major talking points to take from it.

One; the Pies missed Richo and their trio of players to health and safety protocols, and two; they managed to take it to the Vixens and go down by two with seven of the contracted 10 players.

If that is anything to go by, the Pies have plenty of intensity to bring in the post-season.

Shimona Nelson was an enormous target once more, finishing with 46 goals at 98 percent, while Sophie Garbin topped the assists category with 19 to go with her seven goals.

Kelsey Browne and Molly Jovic were out hunting for the loose ball, with three pickups apiece, while Browne and Geva Mentor both pulled out an intercept to keep the Vixens within touching distance.

An eye on the opposition:

The GIANTS were challenged until the very last minute by wooden-spooners, Sunshine Coast Lightning, during their Round 14 clash.

The three-goal GIANTS win was down to a huge first half, with Tilly McDonell and Amy Parmenter on fire early, while Jo Harten was unflappable at the post.

With Maddie Hay's influence nullified after a huge first quarter, it was Sophie Dwyer and Jamie-Lee Price who kept the ball moving and the score ticking to retain the lead.

Harten and Dwyer shot at a combined 87 percent, with that shared load really helping the GIANTS over the line.

Last time we met:

The Pies have taken the GIANTS on three times in 2022, with a Team Girls Cup victory the only Magpies win over the GIANTS in Super Netball history.

Round 5 of the home and away season saw an undermanned Pies side - missing four of the contracted 10 - fall to the GIANTS by 15 goals, while Round 10 had the Pies in front at half time, before going down by nine goals.

With arguably much more in their arsenal than Rounds 5 and 10 suggest, the Pies are more than capable of pulling off an upset here.

Against the GIANTS this season, Nelson has shot 98 goals at 92 percent accuracy, while Kelsey Browne combined for 36 goal assists across the two matches.

Can they do it?

Absolutely, they can.

Add the Pies' current form to the impact of big-name players in big moments, and they are more than capable of going deep in this finals series.

With a good mix of finals debutants and experienced campaigners, expect the Pies to give this match a red hot crack to prove their finals berth is not just a fluke.

One thing has been clear this season; you can never count out the Collingwood Magpies.

More news