Talking points: Round 4 v Lightning

1 month ago

Check out the top talking points from our 10-goal victory over the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Round 4.

Sophie Taylor

Strength in the face of challenges

The Magpies were hit with a cruel blow this week, with the confirmation that Sophie Garbin and Gabby Sinclair – two critical links in the attack – would miss rounds 4 and 5 through COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

But where the side could have given up before they even begun, instead they rallied to push through the pain and come out the other side with a maiden 2022 win under their belts.

The proof was in the pudding as the Pies raced away to an early lead before the Lightning brought them down to earth, but a monumental second quarter was exactly what the doctor ordered as the momentum and black and white army carried the Pies all the way to the end.

Unexpected heroes strutted their stuff

Training partner Nyah Allen stood tall in her first start for the club and first 2022 appearance, proving that she is capable of playing out a full game in the goal circle.

Allen looked unfazed across the court, connecting effortlessly with Shimona Nelson and Kelsey Browne in attack and putting up 11 goals (three super shots) to go with her 23 goal assists.

Meanwhile, with the likes of Geva Mentor and Jodi-Ann Ward standing tall in past seasons, it would be easy to overlook Jacqui Newton.

But Newton continues to prove that she is no slouch, as Nicole Richardson’s clever rotation in defence showcased the defender's ball-winning ways and willingness to contest again and again.

Newton finished with five gains (two intercepts) throughout her 36 minutes on court.

Leaders stood up

Fans will be impressed with the way the Pies’ leaders stood up, with Browne and Nelson showcasing their formidable connection and bringing Allen into the game seamlessly.

Ash Brazill’s pressure in wing defence allowed Molly Jovic to do what she does best – run riot through the midcourt – while Geva Mentor’s cool, calm and collected demeanour allowed Newton to wreak havoc.

All in all, it was star performances across the court that led the Pies to this win, not just one player standing tall, and that is a huge confidence booster for the side as they get ready for another match this week.

The only way is up

While the 10-goal win was impressive, there is still more to build on – in the most exciting way possible.

It was a dominant second quarter that led the Pies to the win, however the next step will be to build on that form and keep it up for the full 60 minutes.

With two won quarters and the third drawn, the Pies will want to work on creating a four-quarter effort that will challenge the best of the best, and ensure that nothing will get in their way as the final siren rolls around.

A win here means a leap up the ladder

While a Round 4 win doesn’t shake the fact that the Pies have started the season 1-3, there is no denying that this result will put a fire in the belly.

The Pies rise two spots on the ladder to sit sixth heading into Round 5, and while Garbin and Sinclair will not return for another week, the squad has had a taste of that winning feeling now and will fight hard to keep rising up the ladder.

Realistically, just one win separates the Pies from the top four at this early stage of the season, so the priority now is to keep up that momentum to have a chance at a post-season berth.

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