Talking points: Round 2 v Fever

1 month ago

We run through the biggest talking points from our 53-70 loss to the West Coast Fever in Round 2.

Sophie Taylor

Drawing the second half shows there is more to come

A drawn second half may not seem like much, but it was a big win for the Magpies who performed exceptionally well in the beginning of quarters before small slips in focus.

There is no denying the calibre of talent on display, with the Pies getting off to a strong start in the opening term before the Fever kicked up a gear. The second and third quarters told similar stories with the risk from range not paying off, despite the strong effort early.

An outstanding opening 10 minutes of the final quarter saw the Magpies whittle down the margin to an achievable eight-goal margin as the super shot period rolled around, before the Fever got away from them again with nine unanswered goals to win the match.

That intent and hunt proves there are good things to come for the hungry Pies, who will be hurting after letting that one slip.

Leaders stood up

The return of Ash Brazill was always going to bode well for the Magpies, and the co-captain made her presence known early with her sheer determination and willingness to contest.

Brazill played across both wing defence and centre and produced an excellent pressure game, registering two intercepts and three deflections to go with her seven goal assists.

Brazill was not the only player who stood up, with Kelsey Browne proving pivotal with 20 goal assists from 38 feeds.

Playing through centre alongside her preferred wing attack, Browne's quick footwork and explosiveness also saw her pick up an intercept and 21 centre pass receives.

The defensive game is there

It is safe to say that the defensive intent is there, with all seven starters producing at least one gain apiece.

Moreover, the back end itself is doing all the right things, with the likes of co-captain Geva Mentor and goal defence Jodi-Ann Ward holding down the fort.

The two combined for three gains (two intercepts, eight deflections) and provided plenty of hype up the court, while Molly Jovic was her usual dogged self, combining effortlessly with Brazill.

If the side can consistently turn their deflections into gains and make the most of their turnovers - and turnover opportunities - the story could be very different.

Penalty count came back to burn

A high penalty count is often the catalyst for a loss, with a difference of 33 (79-38) between the Magpies and Fever.

While the Pies started strong, a 24-penalty opening term did not bode well as the Fever well and truly took advantage of the heavy whistle.

While the middle two quarters had slightly lower penalty counts, another 22 penalties to the Pies in the final term was the nail in the coffin, as the Fever kicked up a gear to run out with the win.

With 61 contacts and 18 obstructions on the Pies' stats chart, it was just too much to overcome.

The Magpies head to Sydney this Saturday for an away clash with the NSW Swifts, with a fire in the belly and plenty to prove in Round 3.

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