Giants hit the ground running, with a strong first quarter, jumping out to a seven goal lead. April Brandley was particularly dominant with four gains in the first quarter, as the Giants had six as a team.
Brandley’s dominance continued, as she had eight gains and two rebounds by the end of the game. Brandley also made sure to be strongly involved in the midcourt play, acting as an outlet for the Giants, and she was named MVP after finishing with 93.5 Net Points and all-around excellent performance.
At the other end, Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer combined for a dominant outing and a welcome return to form. After Shamera Sterling’s dominant performance against the Swifts last week, the Giants showed early intent to keep her from a repeat performance.
The Giants threw plenty of short passes and were prepared to take shots from closer to the edge of the circle, to prevent Sterling from high flying intercepts. Dwyer’s and Harten’s range allowed for that game plan to be executed by the shooting circle.
“It’s a really big asset for us, and we showed that Matisse [Letherbarrow] can shoot from distance as well. We tried to make sure we weren’t reliant on that and could get some shots under the post, and we did that today,” Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said.
Brandley continued her dominance, as she prevented Thunderbirds’ Georgie Horjus from getting into a rhythm, and used her height to great advantage.
Fitzgerald was satisfied with the team’s performance against the Thunderbirds.
“I was very happy with today’s performance. We went back to the drawing board, we had a look at what we do well, and tried to ensure that we did that this match,” Fitzgerald said.
“Our attack was much steadier, we presented much better on our leads, we were much steadier in attack. We were better defensively, we managed to build intensity, and April had a lot of ball, but we built up a lot of pressure down the court with forced the Thunderbirds into errors.”
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Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a were highly effective in keeping Thunderbirds’ shooters, particularly Lenize Potgieter from finding her radar, as the Thunderbirds continued to miss shots and turn over the ball.
“The last couple of weeks have been difficult, we were disappointed with last week… going back to what we do well, and remembering what we got us into this place in the first place got us this win,” Fitzgerald said.
The win puts the Giants on the table halfway through the split Round 8 of Suncorp Super netball, and they will enjoy the bye after putting an end to a three-game losing streak.
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