ROUND 11 MATCH PREVIEW
Tiarne Swersky - May 5, 2017
Chasing a four-game winning streak, the Magpies will host the Sunshine Coast Lightning in a massive night of netball at Hisense Arena.
Playing in the second fixture of the round 11 double-header, the Magpies can strengthen its top four credentials with a victory over the Queenslanders.
Hisense Arena will be jam-packed with three games of netball on the Saturday night schedule.
The night will kick off with the All Stars Celebrity Rock Up Netball Match at 6.00pm, followed by the Melbourne Vixens against the Queensland Firebirds at 7.00pm and then the Magpies v Firebirds at 8:45pm.
After struggling to produce consistent results early in their season, the Magpies have responded with three consecutive victories following the Easter break.
With wins over the West Coast Fever and GWS Giants, the Magpies completed a successful four-day trip of Tasmania with a two-goal victory over the Firebirds on Sunday afternoon.
Defenders Sharni Layton and Ash Brazill were standouts, while Caitlin Thwaites continued her scintillating season form shooting 43/45. Goal attack Cody Lange had her best game of the season, shooting 16/18 with four goal assists and six feeds.
"It was a fantastic feeling to win that game – especially because it gives us a little bit of breathing room in that fourth spot," Keppich-Birrell said post-game.
“You saw an improved defensive and attacking performance from the team.
“I know Cody really loved her time out on the court. As we’ve said to all of our GAs, whatever time you’re out there for – you put in 100% effort and then you'll see the reward.”
However, it was a different story for the Sunshine Coast Lightning on the weekend after they suffered an 11-goal defeat at the hands of the Vixens.
Despite an excellent shooting display from Caitlin Bassett (41/42 – 98%), the Vixens proved too strong for the Lightning after storming ahead to a six-goal lead at the first break.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Round 5, 2017, Lightning (51) defeated Magpies (50) at Brisbane Entertainment Centre
The Magpies will be seeking revenge on the Lightning this week after the Queenslanders claimed a one-goal victory over Collingwood in round five.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Magpies as the Lightning stormed home with the final three goals of the contest, including the match winner with just three seconds remaining.
“It definitely felt like a game that was winnable and we let it get away in the last few minutes,” Keppich-Birrell said after the round five loss.
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Thwaites v Bassett – two of the competition’s finest shooters will assemble on the biggest stage at Hisense Arena. After shooting the Magpies to victory on Sunday, Thwaites now leads the league for most goals scored, with 429 goals from 462 attempts. Her Lightning counterpart is ranked second with 428 goals from 455 attempts, and holds the league’s highest shooting accuracy at 94.1%. Who doesn’t love a shootout.
- Family today, foes tomorrow - Magpies captain Madi Robinson will face her younger sister Kelsey Browne for the second time this season after the Lightning wing-attack picked up the points in round five. Keep an eye on these two mid-courters as they battle it out on Saturday night.
- Two of the league’s best defenders – Lightning’s Geva Mentor and the Magpies’ Sharni Layton - will line up on opposing sides of the court. Mentor leads the league in deflections (62), while Layton is ranked second with 53. However, when it comes to interceptions, Layton (42) leads the league and has the edge over Mentor (29).
- The SSN ladder - if Saturday night's result falls the way of the black and white, the Lightning (currently 3rd) and the Magpies (4th placed) will be tied for seven wins each on the ladder. The Lightning have a three-point buffer on the Magpies, but a win for a fourth-straight Magpies victory could shake up the ladder with only three rounds remaining.
Super Suncorp Netball Round 11 – Magpies v Lightning
When: Saturday 6 May, 8:45pm
Where: Hisense Arena, Melbourne
Broadcast: Live on 9Gem, Netball Live App
On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App
For details on ticketing, general admission members + reserved seating, read up on our Round 11 Match Day Information.
Photos - Getty Images