The NSW Swifts have had their momentum ground to a halt by the Giants, with an upset loss 59-55 in Round 11 of the Suncorp Super Netball.
After a tight win over the West Coast Fever, and a dominant performance over the Melbourne Vixens last week, the Swifts couldn’t find the combination to make a late challenge and beat the Giants.
NSW Swifts coach Briony Akle was blunt in her assessment of the game.
“I’m very disappointed, for us it was a game we really wanted to win, and the Giants were better on the day,” she said.
Akle noted that the end of the game, where the Giants strung long chains of possession together mirrored what the Swifts had done to close out close games earlier in the year.
“They played a possession game, and kudos to them, they did it well, and we couldn’t get that ball back in the end today,” she explained.
Sam Wallace had an afternoon to forget under the post, mirroring her earlier trip to Adelaide this year. She shot at just over 80 per cent accuracy, after shooting flawlessly in the first Sydney Derby, and last week against the Vixens.
Wallace was not alone in struggling, as her four turnovers were equalled by centre Maddy Proud, and one short of fellow goaler Helen Housby. The Swifts inability to maintain possession cost them the match, particularly in the last quarter where Housby and Wallace combined for five turnovers.
Akle cycled through the changes, as all ten players had a chance on court, but it was to no avail, as they were unable to get on top of the Giants. Sophie Garbin, Lauren Moore and Nat Haythornthwaite all came off the bench, but were unable to have enough impact to turn the tide.
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While the Swifts won the last quarter by one goal, their poor third quarter, where they gave up seven turnovers and let the Giants score the last five goals of the quarter, proved to be the difference.
The loss comes after the Swifts relocated for the third time this season, after COVID-19 border restrictions resulted in a sudden move to Adelaide on Thursday this week.
“I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” Akle said.
“It has been a big week and the Giants were ready to go from that first whistle and we didn’t quite match that all day, that intensity, but I don’t want to blame the loss on that.”
As they continue to roll with the punches, the Swifts will hope to rediscover their form in their next match. The Swifts have a number of players from South Australia originally, and for some it is a homecoming of sorts.
The Swifts will be looking forward to what they hope is a prolonged stay, so that they can find some home comforts in Adelaide after a season of turmoil.
“For us, it’s about settling and just going back to that with training sessions, and normal life, if you can call it that, but looking forward to having a good training week,” Akle finished.
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