MATCH PREVIEW: ROUND 6 V QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS
With one game remaining before the bye round, both the Magpies and the Firebirds will be vying for victory when Collingwood hosts the Queenslanders in Launceston on Sunday.
The Firebirds have made a strong start to the season, sitting third on the ladder with 23 premiership points.
The Magpies – who have registered one victory to date – are in seventh position, but with a win over the Firebirds (and each bonus point for the game), could leapfrog some of their competition come the bye round.
Despite starting and finishing the game strong, the Magpies fell to the NSW Swifts by 10 goals in Sydney in round five action.
Ash Brazill and Sharni Layton were strong defensively with 11 interceptions between them, but it wasn’t enough for the Magpies who were outplayed and outclassed over the 60 minutes.
The Firebirds arguably pieced together their best performance of the season, defeating the league-leading and undefeated West Coast Fever by 10 goals.
Romelda Aiken dominated with 45/51 in the circle, while the defensive prowess from duo Tara Hinchliffe (five intercepts) and Laura Geitz (three intercepts) led the charge for the Firebirds.
LAST TIME WE MET
Round 10, 2017 – Magpies Netball (61) defeated Queensland Firebirds (59) at the Silverdome in Launceston, Tasmania.
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- The return of Laura Geitz: One of the game’s premier defenders – Laura Geitz – will take on Collingwood for the first time in Suncorp Super Netball since making her return to the game. The 30-year-old goal keeper will battle Caitlin Thwaites under the post, in a match-up that’s sure to swing the contest and the momentum of the game. The two were teammates not long ago on the Gold Coast for the Diamonds, but on Sunday, there will be no love lost between the two superstars.
- Aiken and Layton: Down the other end of the court, Romelda Aiken and Sharni Layton will revive their ANZ Championship rivalry in Launceston, after going head-to-head in consecutive p grand finals between the Swifts and the Firebirds a couple of years ago. Both garner a lot of attention on the court, and one of the keys to victory could be the winner of this blockbuster match-up.
- Gretel Tippett’s goal assists: Gretel Tippett is enjoying a solid start to the season with the Firebirds, and one of her best attributes so far, has been her tally of goal assists that have led to Firebird goals. She’s currently eighth in the league (84) for most goal assists, but sits behind only Nat Medhurst and Steph Wood for assists from goal attacks in the league. In round five against the Fever, Tippett amassed a team-high 26 assists, all of which proved pivotal to the Firebirds’ victory.
- Rebounding: In most games this year, the key to victory has been doing the little things well. In Super Netball, rebounding is one of those things. The Firebirds are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league, with Aiken (20) and Tippett (7) both amongst the top eight rebounders in the league. For the Magpies, Thwaites (9) has been working tirelessly under the post. Who will win the battle of the rebounding on Sunday? Tune in to find out.
WORDS FROM THE PIES
“This competition is the best in the world and every game is tough,” defensive coach Rob Wright said earlier this week ahead of the round six clash between the Pies and Firebirds.
“It will be a big challenge for us as the Firebirds are playing beautifully.
“They’ve been superb all year. They are well-coached, they have some stars and their shooters are so hard to stop.
“Consistency is the key for us. We have to play well for more than two quarters to get the result.
“We have to be relentless in sticking to what we know we can do, and if we can do that, it will be a great contest.”
Round 5 – Suncorp Super Netball
Magpies Netball v Queensland Firebirds
Date: Sunday, June 3
Time: 3.00pm (AEST)
Venue: Silverdome (Launceston)
Broadcaster: Telstra TV
Game Day Information – Click here.
Tickets – Click here.