Recap the Tasmanian Magpies' first round of ANL action as they faced the Western Sting in Perth.
It was a weekend of mixed results for the Tasmanian Magpies, as they faced the Western Sting in Perth over the weekend to kick off the 2018 Australian Netball League.
Saturday’s match was a tight contest, with the Sting proving too good for the Magpies, claiming a 45-43 victory.
Tasmanian Magpies Head Coach Kate Upton said her team lacked focus at crucial stages of the game.
“The girls put a lot of unnecessary pressure on themselves which was evident in their decision making,” Upton told Magpies Netball this week.
“They were hesitant at times and we couldn’t convert against the Sting’s defensive pressure.”
Collingwood training partner and Tasmanian netballer Kelsie Rainbow and Victorian-based Madeline Carter both took to the court for the first time in the Magpies dress, and made an impression in the mid-court.
“There was great defensive pressure from Maddie and it was great to see Kelsie in control when attacking the ball particularly throughout the centre-third”, Upton said.
Tasmanian Magpies captain Cody Lange made a successful return from injury, taking to the court for her first full weekend of netball since rupturing her second ACL late last year.
201cm shooter Jane Cook also made her debut for the Magpies, only days after being named as a replacement-training partner for Samantha Gooden.
“It was amazing effort put forward by Jane only having joined us for one session leading up to the match.”
Gabrielle Sinclair was substituted into goal-shooter for the third quarter, providing important speed and movement through the goal circle.
Sinclair’s involvement was pivotal in the Magpies levelling the scores at the final change, before ultimately falling to the Sting by two goals.
On Sunday, in the second hit-out between the two sides, the Magpies made slight tweaks and were able to secure a strong 58-40 victory over the Sting.
“When we regrouped Saturday night, the team really listened to feedback from the coaches and we discussed everyone’s expectations. They then ticked all the boxes in that second game."
“We executed across the court, particularly on the defensive front, and it was a consistent team effort, which I’m really proud of.
“We were also able to bring in new players who were fearless and their sole focus was to deliver.”
Collingwood’s SSN youngsters – Matilda Garrett and Alice Teague-Neeld – were injected into the contest, after the Pies’ 11-goal defeat to the West Coast Fever on Saturday night.
The combination of Garrett’s great line to the ball in goal-defence, alongside ANL debutante Zanna Jodlowska in wing-defence, stunned the Sting’s momentum.
Launceston local Shelby Miller was strong throughout the mid-court and was able to feed the ball into the attacking end.
Miller shared her mid-court duties with Collingwood training partner Vanessa Augustini, who was a key asset to the Magpies in controlling the pace of the game.
Jane Cook was again a standout, delivering an impressive 37/40 goals for the match alongside Teague-Neeld, who Upton said provided a steadying role in attack.
“Alice wasn’t hesitant at all in the circle, which was great to see and it really added our game.”
The Magpies will now prepare for Round 2, taking on the Southern Force with the home court advantage at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.
GAME 1 – Western Sting (45) defeat Tasmanian Magpies (43)
GAME 2 – Tasmanian Magpies (58) defeat Western Sting (40)
GAME 1 - Saturday 12 May, 5pm, State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC)
GAME 2 - Sunday 13 May, 11am, SNHC.