GIANTS Netball claim fourth spot on the Suncorp Super Netball ladder after seven-goal defeat of the Magpies.
The Magpies have imploded spectacularly against a ruthless Giants Netball outfit in Round 10 of Suncorp Super Netball, going down 63-56 in a disastrous afternoon on their home court.
In a brutal loss for the Magpies, they gave up a seven-goal result and fourth place on the ladder after the Giants claimed three bonus points to move above them in the premiership race.
A 22-11 final quarter restored some pride for the Magpies, but it was too little, too late as they earlier trailed by 18 goals at three-quarter time.
The action was just as heated on the sideline as it was on the court, with coach Rob Wright and wing attack Kelsey Browne exchanging some tense words during a timeout late in the second quarter.
In what made for gripping TV, Wright gave Browne some tough feedback, and when Browne – who had only recently arrived back in Melbourne after the World Cup - asked for some positives, Wright said he couldn’t find any for her. The exchange continued until a frustrated Wright eventually pulled Browne from the court in favour of Kiwi recruit Kimiora Poi.
The Giants, who had three players also in Liverpool last week – the same number as the Magpies – appeared to have handled the trip back to Australia far better than the home side, and put them on the back foot after quarter-time.
The Magpies had the better of the early exchanges, opening up a 10-6 lead, but the Giants responded with a quick burst of goals that drew them level at 10-10 and put them in front 16-14 at quarter’s end.
The Giants turned to Kiera Austin at wing attack at quarter-time in place of Kim Green, while the Magpies introduced their own young gun Matilda Garrett at goal defence five minutes into the second term.
The changes worked in the Giants’ favour as they piled on 10 of 12 goals through the middle of the quarter, in a brutal stretch that saw them open up an 11-goal advantage that they carried into half-time.
Late in the quarter TV cameras captured the discussion between Wright and Browne, with their conversation continuing on the bench. What happened in the change rooms at half-time may remain a mystery, but Browne returned to the court to start the third quarter, with Gabrielle Sinclair (11/15) alongside her as Nat Medhurst took a turn on the bench as the Magpies searched for answers.
The changes did little to change the momentum, with the Giants’ lead quickly becoming 15 as the turnovers continued to pile up for the home side.
While Geva Mentor battled gamely with five gains and Ash Brazill and Kim Ravaillion had four each, it was in attack where the Magpies broke down, with Shimona Nelson (40/46) coughing up nine turnovers, while Browne had four. The Giants' defence was ruthless and also uncharacteristically disciplined, with the often heavily penalised Sam Poolman only out of play nine times, while claiming four gains. Goal defence Kristiana Manu'a added three gains, while wing defence Amy Parmenter collected four.
By three-quarter time the Giants led 52-34 and the game was all but over.
The Magpies improved markedly in the final term as Sinclair found her feet and the Giants rested Nissan MVP Jo Harten (23/27) - who was all but unstoppable from long range early in the game - with the Magpies winning it 22-11 and dragging the deficit back to single digits.
Score breakdown Q1: Magpies 14 v Giants 16 Q2: Magpies 9 v Giants 18 Q3: Magpies 11 v Giants 18 Q4: Magpies 22 v Giants 11