Talking points: Round 3 v Swifts

1 month ago

We run through the talking points from our 64-75 loss to the NSW Swifts in Round 3.

Sophie Taylor

The accuracy is there, now we need to build the volume

It is safe to say the work rate is well and truly there from our trio of goalers, with Shimona Nelson (26/26), Sophie Garbin (20/21) and Gabby Sinclair (10/13) all putting on accurate showings at the post.

Sinclair also posed a threat from range, piling on seven super shots, including six in the second half.

While there was still some hesitance passing into the goal circle, all three proved capable to post when they found possession, so the real challenge will be doubling opportunities at the post to pose a dominant scoring threat.

Round 3 also saw our highest tally for the season so far, as well as our first score over 60, so the only way is up from here.

Winning two of four quarters is a positive sign

While it is always frustrating to lose a match after holding an early lead, the major positive to take from the end result is that we managed to win the first and final quarters.

Those quarters will be a major drawcard as the Pies continue to build momentum, with majority of the side's intercepts also coming in those two confidence-building terms.

A 19-17 opener and 17-15 closer put the Pies in good stead to build that confidence further ahead of the remainder of this week, with two more matches in the next five days.

The penalty count is still high, but the obstruction count remains low

Despite racking up another 68 penalties this week, just six were obstructions in a relatively clean hands-over game for the Pies.

14 deflections were made off the back of the hands-over and perceived pressure, and while only four resulted in gains, it proved that the cleanliness is there to get the job done if we can reduce the amount of contact calls across the court.

With many of those contacts coming in the last quarter off the back of desperate grabs for momentum, there is no doubt the penalty count will continue to drop as the season builds.

Versatile defence did a world of good

Versatility seems to be the difference down back for the Pies, with all three of Geva Mentor, Jodi-Ann Ward and Jacqui Newton showcasing moments of brilliance.

Where Mentor offers plenty of strength and leadership down back, Ward is a real hunter and Newton offers a mix of ball-winning and long arms to the circle.

All three managed multiple intercepts - Mentor with three and both Ward and Newton with two - and combined well with Ash Brazill to pile on the defensive pressure and really test the Swifts' attack.

The Pies will play two more games this week in a rollercoaster 10 days of netball, with a clash with Sunshine Coast Lightning looming at home at John Cain Arena on Wednesday.

We follow up with another Sydney trip later in the week, with a test against GIANTS Netball looming on Saturday evening.

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