The Adelaide Thunderbirds threw their first centre pass straight out of bounds, in what was an omen of the rest of their match against the Queensland Firebirds.
The Thunderbirds never really got going as they went down by 16 goals at home in Round 10 of the Suncorp Super Netball.
Hannah Petty had a slow start to the game in her 50th game, with that first errant pass. From there, her afternoon improved, as she tallied 20 goal assists and two intercepts.
Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds, they weren’t able to celebrate Petty’s milestone. Coach Tania Obst reminisced about Petty’s achievement, but that was the extent of the celebration.
“I can remember her coming out to 17 and under trials, almost 10 years ago., thinking she was a 17 year old very mature, physically, very strong kid, and then I found out she was 14,” Obst explained.
“She’s struggled with some significant injuries, she’s had to come back from concussion for almost a season, she had a foot injury that kept her out of the game for a while, but she has the resilience and the hard work to get her to where she is today, and that’s a credit to her and her family. “
The Thunderbirds started fairly well, they were behind by two goals at the first quarter and tied the second quarter to be down by the same margin at half time.
That was where it fell apart for the Thunderbirds. Obst was most disappointed with the passage of play at the start of the third quarter.
“I thought we’d worked our way back into the game, I felt we were very much in control of what we were trying to do,” she explained.
“We weren’t going to be perfect, we are going to make mistakes, but we completely went away from memory for about five or six minutes at the start of the third quarter, and then they blow it out and that’s all it takes.”
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Shamera Sterling had less impact early than she has had in recent weeks, as she, and the other Thunderbirds defenders struggled with penalties. Sterling had 12, and Matilda Garrett had ten contact penalties each.
“Defensively, we were out of play too much too early, and against a team like the firebirds, you cannot let them have free ball, easy ball, looking at Romelda [Aiken], so we weren’t able to build that pressure,” Obst said.
“When we were in play, we were able to do that, and in the second quarter, we were actually then did start to get some turnover ball, but again, we’re just not making the most of that.”
Obst found a number of positives as the Thunderbirds didn’t lack for effort at any time, and just struggled with execution.
“In the first quarter we were a couple down, but I thought the first half we had good things to take into the second half,” she explained.
“We just completely went away from what we should be doing, and we’d lose the ball, and they’d score, and away they go, and that really blew the game out for the Firebirds.”
The Adelaide Thunderbirds are now a game behind the top four, and face the West Coast Fever next week.
“We will go back, and just review it and have moments in the match where we can be better, and we will look at the start of the third quarter, and we need to look at the start of the game again,” Obst said.
They will hope to resurrect their season against a team that has lost back to back games as they travel to Perth next week.
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