ROUND 8 PREVIEW
Tiarne Swersky - April 6, 2017
Magpies Netball will be vying for a return to the winners list when they meet the West Coast Fever on Friday evening on their home court at Hisense Arena.
It’s fifth versus sixth on the ladder, with both teams desperate to cement their spot in the top four.
With the round eight clash kicking off the second half of the Magpies’ campaign, consistency will be on the agenda as the team is yet to mark consecutive victories in their inaugural Super Suncorp Netball season to date.
Collingwood will be hungry to return to the court after succumbing to defeat at the hands of their cross-town rivals – the Melbourne Vixens – in the second instalment of #thebattle last Sunday afternoon.
Going down 56-60 at the final buzzer, the Magpies now sit fifth on the ladder with a 3-4 record, but remain in the finals conversation with the third highest percentage among the competition.
Their season form to date has resulted in a LWLWLWL pattern, but a victory against the Fever could catapult them into a strong finish as the finals loom.
Their opponents - the Fever - are fresh off a dominant victory against the Adelaide Thunderbirds, leaping above the NSW Swifts into sixth place on the ladder.
The Fever powered past the Thunderbirds, recording their second win of the season with a favourable 57-40 score line.
Captain Madi Robinson was influential in the midcourt for the Magpies against the Vixens. The wing attack asserted herself in the contest with 21 centre-pass receives and 13 goal assists.
With her highly regarded leadership qualities on and off the court, the captain didn’t disappoint in the heat of the battle.
Robinson will be crucial to the Magpies’ ball movement again on Sunday, and if her teammates can follow her lead, the Magpies could very well return to the winners list.
Keep an eye on…
- You may have noticed head coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell’s decision to swing the dynamic Shae Brown into goal attack the past two weeks against the Swifts and Vixens. Brown was able to form an effective partnership with goal shooter Caitlin Thwaites, as the Magpies mounted a second-half comeback. Keep an eye out for Brown in the goal circle on Sunday.
- There’s nothing better than watching Sharni Layton work her magic on a netball court. With her tireless efforts in defence, Layton leads the league in most intercepts with 30. But keep an eye out for her opponent at the other end of the court - Courtney Bruce from the West Coast Fever - who is coming for Layton’s interception crown with seven fewer for the season. Both gun defenders will anchor their side’s defensive third.
- While they may bleed Black + White in 2017, four of the current Magpies Netball players have previously represented the West Coast Fever in the previous competition. April Brandley, Ash Brazill, Brown and Robinson are all former Fever players, and will hold nothing back on their former club when they clash on Friday night.
Super Suncorp Netball Round 8 – Magpies v Fever
When: Friday April 7, 7:30pm
Where: Hisense Arena, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne
Broadcast: Telstra TV or Netball Live App
Follow @magpies_netball on Twitter, on Instagram and Facebook and head to magpiesnetball.com.au for live updates throughout the match.