Bueta and Dunkley for Firebirds

Gretel Bueta and Lara Dunkley after an 11 goal upset against the Giants. Photo: Suncorp Super Netball Twitter

Led through the centre by Kim Ravaillion, the Queensland Firebirds have torched the Giants by 11 goals at John Cain Arena on Sunday.

Led through the centre by Kim Ravaillion, the Queensland Firebirds torched the Giants by 11 goals at John Cain Arena on Sunday.

In the final instalment of a triple-header Super Netball Sunday, the Firebirds dominated from the opening whistle in a convincing quarantine victory.

At an empty John Cain Arena, Queensland got out to an early five-goal lead and never looked back.

From the defensive end, right through the midcourt and into attack, the Firebirds followed up every loose ball and created great opportunities.

The Firebirds led by as much as 20 goals in the fourth quarter. However, the Giants finished with a late flurry of supershots to draw the margin back to 11.

It was the Firebirds’ day and the whole team executed the game plan exactly as coach Megan Anderson had asked.

“We talked about quite a few things in our pre-match chat, and they executed exactly what we talked about which is really pleasing,” she said.

“We’ve had patchy performances up until now, but that was a really good 60-minute performance.

“We knew we were disappointed in what we’ve put out so far this season, and we’ve had a good hard look at ourselves over the last two weeks.

“Everyone has put in some really hard work and really good reflection about what they can bring to the team, and it’s been a really good two weeks practising.

“The extra effort showed tonight.”

Collectively, the team finished with six intercepts and 16 deflections and made plenty of them count.

The clash was fiery, with players from both teams contesting every ball.

Ravaillion’s contest with Jamie-Lee Price in the centre was heated from the opening centre pass. However, this time it was the Firebird who won the battle in the middle.

“She was very solid. Last time we played the Giants she went a little bit missing and pulled out of the contest a little bit, but she really stepped up today, and really controlled the attack and the defence,” Anderson said.

“I was pleased with everyone’s game – everybody did their job exactly as planned.”

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Tara Hinchliffe was the player of the match, leading a strong defensive team effort with Kim Jenner and Gabi Simpson.

“Defensively, I thought we were much better than we have been all season,” Anderson said.

“We kept the Giants, who have such potent shooters, to 52 goals is a real testament to the full court defence.

“Tara certainly reaped the benefits of the sustained pressure out the front of her.”

Ruby Bakewell-Coran made her debut for the Firebirds, moving into wing defence for the final three minutes of the opening quarter.

Bakewell-Coran was a late change to the squad for Rudi Ellis, who was unwell and had to isolate herself from the team. 

The Firebirds confirmed post-match that Ellis had not had enough time to prepare with the group. She is feeling much better and will play the next game.

Finals is not out of the question for the Firebirds, but they are taking it ‘one week at a time.’

“We know we need to win as many games as possible. So it’s really just about preparing the best we can and focussing on the next game the next time it comes around,”

“You’re only as good as your last game, so we will put in this week and make sure we keep it up next week.”

The Firebirds expect to play the Thunderbirds in Adelaide in Round 10, though are waiting on the league to confirm.

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