ROUND 9 PREVIEW
Tiarne Swersky - April 21, 2017
After tasting victory just before the Easter break, Magpies Netball is gearing up for its trip to Sydney where they’ll meet the GWS Giants on Sunday afternoon.
Sitting on top of the Super Suncorp Netball (SSN) ladder, the Giants are the team to beat, and the Magpies are looking to claim a major scalp while securing its place in the top four.
With only six matches remaining before finals, head coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell is looking for consistency.
“We need to jump off that rollercoaster of the win-loss scenario. There are no easy games in this competition,” she said just before the bye.
After a week of Easter egg hunts, camping, training and catching up with family and friends, the Magpies squad will be raring to go as they return to the court for the first time after the bye round.
The last time they lined up, the team were victorious - defeating the West Coast Fever 56-43.
After eight rounds, the win pushed the Magpies back inside the top four, leapfrogging the Queensland Firebirds.
With consistency the Magpies’ main focus, a win against the Giants would notch the team’s first consecutive wins of the season.
However, the Giantss are on the in-form team of the competition, sitting three wins ahead of the Magpies on top of the ladder.
The Giants are coming off a hard-fought victory in round eight, defeating the Queensland Firebirds 55-51.
LAST TIME THEY MET
The Magpies will be eager to even the series score after the Giants picked up the victory in round three of the SSN when these teams first met.
Played at Hisense Arena, GWS continued their impressive start to the season with a 59-51 win over Collingwood.
Star shooter Caitlin Thwaites was superb, shooting 42/46, while captain Madi Robinson worked tirelessly in the middle, delivering 34 feeds and 25 goal assists.
The game also marked the return of goal-attack Cody Lange, who played her first game in a year after rupturing her ACL.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
- This round, the league is launching its ‘Give for a Goal’ campaign for the Confident Girls Foundation – an organisation that funds programs for vulnerable girls around Australia through netball. For every goal scored during the round, Suncorp will donate $25 to the foundation. The players are also getting behind the cause, so keep an eye out for them donning purple shoelaces – the colour of the foundation. For the Magpies, let’s hope Caitlin Thwaites can back up her 50 goal-haul she scored against the Fever, and raise some money for this great campaign!
- Collingwood will be tasked with having to nullify one of the league’s best attacking duos in Jo Harten and Susan Pettitt. Keep your eye on this match up, as Magpies defenders April Brandley and Sharni Layton will go up against the Giants’ forward weapons. You won't want to miss these match-ups.
- Two of country Victoria’s greatest netballers will grace the court together, albeit for different teams, when Caitlin Thwaites faces Rebecca Bulley on Sunday. The pair hail from Bendigo and have enjoyed many memories (both on and off the court) together, including winning the gold medal for Australia at the 2015 Netball World Cup. Read more from Thwaites on Bendigo, Bulley & the Giants on magpiesnetball.com.au
(Caitlin Thwaites & Rebecca Bulley will battle it out on Sunday. Photo - Patrick Thwaites)
Super Suncorp Netball Round 9 – Magpies v Giants
When: Sunday April 23, 1pm
Where: Qudos Bank Arena
Broadcast: Telstra TV + live on the Netball Live app
Follow @magpies_netball on Twitter, on Instagram and Facebook and head to magpiesnetball.com.au for live updates throughout the match.