The West Coast Fever are now on top of the ladder after defeating the Collingwood Magpies 75-55 at Nissan Arena on Tuesday night, ending Collingwood's season.
Jhaniele Fowler earned a rare early mark to freshen up for a tilt at the Suncorp Super Netball minor premiership in West Coast Fever's 75-55 demolition of the Collingwood Magpies at Brisbane's Nissan Arena.
It was netball's equivalent of the mercy rule as the world's premier goal shooter cruised to the bench halfway through the final quarter with 62 goals from 66 shots.
Fowler was on target to break her own single game league record of 70 goals but a spell will do her no harm after the Fever joined the Giants and the Lightning at the top of the table on 32 premiership points.
Their superior percentage means first place is the Fever's to lose and they can seal the deal on Saturday against the Giants at the Sunshine Coast.
Outstanding defender Sunday Aryang was one of just two Fever players to contribute a full 60 minutes, adding seven gains in a dynamic performance.
"The minor premiership's really important and it's knowing that we've worked really hard to get ourselves in this position," Aryang said.
With the contest over before halftime, Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich had the luxury of resting her frontliners and tinkering with combinations in the second half.
Big guns Verity Charles, Courtney Bruce, Jess Anstiss and Alice Teague-Neeld all found their way to the bench after playing leading hands in setting up the win.
Goalkeeper Olivia Lewis earned a deflection with her first touch in an encouraging audition ahead of the finals.
A back injury to star mid-courter Ash Brazill meant Collingwood was always going to be up against it.
Without even a mathematical chance of reaching the finals, there was little in the emotional furnace to power what could have been a spoiling victory against the finals-bound Fever.
Captain Geva Mentor said the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions placed on players had taken an exhausting toll as her outfit faces a quarantine period before returning to Melbourne.
"To put out a performance like that is not good enough," she said.
"Even if we're missing Braz on court … it's taken a toll. This season's been probably worse than last year.
"It's been exhausting, it's been draining."
Coach Nicole Richardson implored her players to find some energy but they were done after a 19-goal first quarter from West Coast's Fowler.
Richardson rotated her mid-court and handed some rare minutes to goaler Kalifa McCollin and defender Jacqui Newton without any impact against the Fever machine.
Q1: Fever 20 v Magpies 10
Q2: Fever 40 v Magpies 21
Q3: Fever 60 v Magpies 40
Q4: Fever 75 v Magpies 55
Player of the Match: Sunday Aryang (Fever)
Fever Shooting Statistics:
Jhaniele Fowler: 62/66 - 94%, G1: 62/65, G2: 0/1, Total Points: 62
Alice Teague-Neeld: 3/7 - 43%, G1: 3/4, G2: 0/3, Total Points: 3
Sasha Glasgow: 8/13 - 61.5%, G1: 6/7, G2: 2/6, Total Points: 10
Magpies Shooting Statistics:
Shimona Nelson: 37/37 - 100%, G1: 37/37, G2: 0/0, Total Points: 37
Gabby Sinclair: 4/8 - 50%, G1: 3/6, G2: 1/2, Total Points: 5
Kalifa McCollin: 9/14 - 64.3%, G1: 7/10, G2: 2/4, Total Points: 11
Nyah Allen: 1/4 - 25%, G1: 0/0, G2: 1/4, Total Points: 2
Fever Starting Seven: GS: Jhaniele Fowler, GA: Alice Teague-Neeld, WA: Verity Charles, C: Jess Anstiss, WD: Stacey Francis-Bayman, GD: Sunday Aryang, GK: Courtney Bruce (C)
Magpies Starting Seven: GS: Shimona Nelson, GA: Gabby Sinclair, WA: Kelsey Browne, C: Molly Jovic, WD: Jodi-Ann Ward, GD: Jacqui Newton, GK: Geva Mentor (C)