REPORT: PIES RALLY, BUT FALL TO GIANTS
Despite a late rally by the Magpies, a patient Giants outfit withstood enormous early pressure to put the Collingwood side away in the second half of their Suncorp Super Netball clash, finishing the game ahead 63-60 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.
The Magpies had breathed fresh life into their season with a vital win against the Queensland Firebirds prior to the bye round and was looking for another big scalp to continue their climb up the SSN ladder.
It was a ferocious midcourt battle in the first half with both teams locked in a dogfight, but the Giants kept their calm, stuck to their game plan and ultimately came away with the win.
Despite the three-goal difference at the final buzzer, the Magpies were held at arm's length for the majority of the second half.
Match MVP and Giants veteran Bec Bulley was an enormous factor in the win, smothering Erin Bell in the Magpies' goal circle.
Midway through the first quarter nothing could split both teams in a battle that was living up to its hype.
Serena Guthrie was getting through a mountain of work in the centre position, popping up everywhere on court to secure possession for the Giants, but their forward line struggled to translate that to scoreboard pressure.
Turnovers ultimately proved the difference in the first quarter, as the Magpies claimed a slender 16-14 advantage at the break.
The Giants hit back hard in the second quarter though, forcing turnovers of their own and putting plenty of pressure on the Magpies.
It was a grinding quarter, with both sides getting plenty of turnovers and waiting for their opposition to blink.
Late in the quarter the Giants managed to steal the lead through hard work in the centre court - taking a bonus point and a 30-28 halftime lead.
Kim Ravaillion started on the bench but was injected into the action in the second half, to bring fresh legs to the away team’s centre court.
The Giants made a change as well, with Sam Poolman brought in for Kristiana Manu'a.
The home team had been pouring on pressure all match and that started to reap big rewards in the third quarter, with them skipping out to a six-goal lead.
That prompted the Magpies to put Matilda Garrett in for April Brandley at goal defence in a bid to stem the flow of goals.
It worked in the short term and they cut the margin to just two at one point, but the Giants exercised patience to take a 48-42 lead into the final break.
The Magpies fought gamely in the last quarter to secure a bonus point but were consigned to their fifth loss of the season.
Q1: GIANTS 14 v Magpies 16
Q2: GIANTS 16 v Magpies 12
Q3: GIANTS 18 v Magpies 14
Q4: GIANTS 15 v Magpies 18
Suncorp Super Netball premiership points
GIANTS shooting statistics
Susan Pettitt 29/31
Jo Harten 25/28
Kristina Brice 9/11
Magpies shooting statistics
Caitlin Thwaites 38/40
Erin Bell 22/26
GIANTS starting seven
GS: Susan Pettitt, GA: Jo Harten, WA: Kim Green, C: Serena Guthrie, WD: Jamie-Lee Price, GD: Bec Bulley, GK: Kristiana Manu'a
Magpies starting seven
GS: Caitlin Thwaites, GA: Erin Bell, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Shae Brown, WD: Ash Brazill, GD: April Brandley, GK: Sharni Layton
Match MVP: Bec Bulley