SEMI-FINAL MATCH PREVIEW
Tiarne Swersky - June 3, 2017
It’s do or die for the Magpies on Saturday night as they take on the Giants in an elimination semi-final at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
The third-placed Giants will host the fourth-placed Magpies, with the winner set to advance to the Preliminary Final next week against either the Vixens or the Lightning. For the loser, it’s season over for 2017.
The Giants and Magpies have played in two regular season games, with both teams picking up a victory while competing on their opponent’s home court.
Collingwood will head into Saturday night’s clash on a three-game winning streak.
Having beaten the Swifts and the Fever in recent weeks, the Magpies withheld a spirited Adelaide Thunderbirds comeback to claim a 49-47 victory in the final game of the Suncorp Super Netball regular season.
The result had no impact on the already established final four. The Magpies were led by star shooter Caitlin Thwaites (39 goals at 89 per cent accuracy), captain Madi Robinson (16 goal assists, 32 circle feeds, one deflection, 12 centre-pass receives) and defensive specialist Sharni Layton (11 deflections, two interceptions, six rebounds) in the hard-fought victory.
With a chance to secure a double chance in the SSN finals series, the Giants were unable to outlast a fast-finishing Sunshine Coast Lightning, who off the back of Laura Langman and Caitlin Bassett, rallied back to claim a one-goal victory and move into second place on the ladder.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Round 9, 2017 – Magpies Netball (59) defeated Giants Netball (56) at Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney.
With their backs against the wall, the Magpies exhibited their best netball of the season and left Qudos Bank Arena with a thrilling three-goal victory over the Giants to keep their finals hopes alive.
Caitlin Thwaites was prolific with 48 goals from 51 attempts, while shooting partner Cody Lange put one of her best performances out on the court with eight goals at 73 per cent efficiency, one interception and three goal assists.
KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Shae Brown: The mid courter has become one of Kristy Keppich-Birrell’s most damaging weapons off the bench. Brown earned a start against the Thunderbirds last week, and made quite the impression as she joined Thwaites in the shooting circle. With the ability to play multiple positions, keep an eye on the dynamic Shae Brown on Saturday night.
- Finals intensity: For these two teams, it’s a win or go home equation. The first ten minutes will be electric, as both team’s look to settle in and get off to the stronger start. With players like Sharni Layton, Ash Brazill, Susan Pettitt and Jo Harten going head-to-head, don’t take your eyes off this contest. Blink, and you may miss something special.
- 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. Keep an eye on this match-up throughout the night.
- The captain's milestone: Congratulations to Magpies captain Madi Robinson who tonight will play her 150th national league game.
MINOR SEMI-FINAL DETAILS
GIANTS Netball v MAGPIES Netball
Date: Saturday 3 June
Venue: Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Sydney
Broadcast: Live on 9Gem, Netball Live App
On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App