MATCH PREVIEW: ROUND 5 V NSW SWIFTS

It’s fifth versus sixth. It’s Melbourne versus Sydney. It’s the Magpies versus the Swifts.

Both teams are coming off a defeat in round four and will be looking to bounce back and claim victory in round five when they come face-to-face at the Quaycentre in Sydney.

Both the Magpies and Swifts have shown glimpses of brilliance in the first few weeks of the season, but the team who can put together a four-quarter performance across the court will be the team that walks away with the premiership points come Sunday afternoon.

With the Firebirds (currently in fourth position) sitting on 14 points, this winner of this clash could be instrumental in shaping the top four before the bye round hits in two weeks.

RECENT FORM

Down by eight goals with 10 minutes to play, the Magpies rallied late against the Sunshine Coast Lightning and almost pulled off the comeback at Margaret Court Arena.

However, when it mattered most, the Lightning were more accurate across the court, taking a two-goal victory back home to Queensland.

24-year-old Kim Ravaillion returned from injury and made an immediate impact in the second half with 13 goal assists, while Caitlin Thwaites converted 36/41 goals against Lightning captain Geva Mentor in a physical match-up.

Meanwhile, the Swifts came up against the league-leading West Coast Fever, but were outplayed by 54-63, despite taking home a bonus point in the final term.

LAST TIME WE MET

Round 12, 2017 - Collingwood Magpies (60) defeated by NSW Swifts (50) at Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

  • The mid-court: This contest will be fierce, fast and frantic, and it will centre around the battle in the mid-court at Quaycentre. In the Black and White, you have the experience of Madi Robinson, Kim Ravaillion, Shae Brown and Ash Brazill leading the charge. But in the Red, White and Blue, there’s a mix of youth and there’s a key veteran presence, with Maddy Proud, Abbey McCulloch and Claire O’Brien all stepping up for the new-look Swifts.
  • Helen Housby: The last time some of our Magpies met Helen Housby on a netball court, she had nailed a last-second shot in the gold-medal match to lift England to a memorable victory over Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. On Sunday, she’ll likely go head-to-head with Australian Diamond and Collingwood defender April Brandley in a blockbuster match-up. Will Housby have the last laugh again? Or will the Magpies be able to quell her impact inside and outside of the goaling circle?
  • The homecoming of some former Swifts: Magpies Caitlin Thwaites, Sharni Layton and Rob Wright will all return to Sydney to face their former squad on Sunday at the Quaycentre. All three were key parts of the Swifts' squad between 2014-2016. The trio of Brandley, Brazill and Erin Bell also all spent time with the Swifts at different parts of their career.

WORDS FROM THE PIES

“Moving into the game this week against the Swifts, they are playing very well as a team,” Collingwood assistant coach Cath Fellows said.

“They are very competitive. They’ve had a lot of close games like everyone else in the competition, so it’ll be a tough match-up.

“They’ve got some great strengths. Their goaler Helen Housby is on fire at the moment. Defensively, they also work well as a unit across the court.

“Our focus will be to take our opportunities when they come.”

MATCH DETAILS

Round 5 – Suncorp Super Netball
NSW Swifts v Magpies Netball
Date: Sunday, May 27
Time: 1.00pm (AEST)
Venue: Quaycentre (Sydney)
Broadcaster: Live on Channel 9
Game Day Information – Click here.