THE COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES HAVE CLAIMED AN EMPHATIC FIRST WIN OF THE 2018 SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL SEASON WITH A 70-50 VICTORY OVER THE IMPROVING ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS AT HISENSE ARENA.
The most encouraging element of the win for the Magpies was the performance of goal keeper Sharni Layton, who had her best game for the season to date.
After being challenged for the best part of two-and-a-half quarters, the Magpies started to find their connections – largely built on the impact Layton was having at the defensive end. That allowed Thwaites to dominate at the other, with 55 goals from 57 attempts.
The loss means the Thunderbirds remain winless this season, but with a dramatically revamped roster built on talent from all corners of the globe, there were encouraging signs in Round 3.
Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan again tinkered with his roster to find a winning formula, this time putting a new defensive trio in place with Leana de Bruin, Fiona Fowler and Kaitlyn Bryce named to start.
Meanwhile the Magpies were without centre Kim Ravaillion, who injured her knee at training on Thursday, with training partner Kelsie Rainbow coming into the squad of 10 as a replacement.
Adelaide started well, with a 3-1 advantage including a fantastic goal scored after Shimona Nelson soared over the top of Magpies goalkeeper Sharni Layton to claim the ball.
Despite being beaten soundly in their opening matches of the season, the Thunderbirds weren’t afraid to play direct and chance their arm against the Magpies.
But Collingwood soon moved out to a three-goal buffer, which they held for most of the first quarter, however the dogged Thunderbirds refused to let them skip away – shooting at over 90% to stay in touch, 17-13 at quarter-time.
Caitlin Thwaites threatened to take the game away from Adelaide, shooting a perfect 15/15 to open up a six-goal lead early in the second quarter.
With zero intercepts midway through the second quarter, Ryan called for his charges to be more courageous.
But in pressing at the attack end, Adelaide played into Collingwood’s hands, with Layton taking three intercepts in as many minutes. But Adelaide scored the final two goals of the quarter to stay in touch at 32-27 at halftime.
Frustration began to creep into the Adelaide attack as Collingwood turned the screws and pushed the lead out to 10 goals late in the third quarter. The scoreline blew out from there, giving the Magpies a vital win while consigning the Thunderbirds to a 0-3 start to the season.
Q1: Magpies 17 v 13 Thunderbirds
Q2: Magpies 15 v 14 Thunderbirds
Q3: Magpies 18 v 8 Thunderbirds
Q4: Magpies 20 v 15 Thunderbirds
Suncorp Super Netball points
Magpies shooting statistics
Caitlin Thwaites 55/57
Erin Bell 15/21
Thunderbirds shooting statistics
Shimona Nelson 37/42
Charlee Hodges 9/14
Abigail Latu-Meafou 4/6
Magpies starting seven – GS: Caitlin Thwaites, GA: Erin Bell, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Shae Brown, WD: Ash Brazill, GD: April Brandley, GK: Sharni Layton.
Thunderbirds starting seven – GS: Shimona Nelson, GA: Charlee Hodges, WA: Chelsea Pittman, C: Bongi Msomi, WD: Kaitlyn Bruce, GD: Fiona Fowler, GK: Leanna de Bruin
Nissan Match MVP: Caitlin Thwaites
A Gutsy performance from both sides