04/03/2024

Photo: Twitter/Suncorp Super Netball

The NSW Swifts stuck to their game plan, moved the ball well, and defeated Giants Netball in the Sydney Derby by 12 points.

The Giants and the NSW Swifts met in the Sydney Derby in Round 6 of the Suncorp Super Netball. The Swifts were too strong for the Giants, and led at every break, before running out 12 point victors in Round 6 of the Suncorp Super Netball.

A hard-fought first quarter saw the Swifts move the ball up the court once they had the ball in their hand.

Sam Wallace showed off breathtaking athleticism to pull down a number of tall feeds, and Helen Housby showed her ability to be the conduit in attack, with six feeds in each of the first two quarters resulting in 11 goal assists.

The Swifts opened up the game midway through the second quarter, with a six goal lead late in the second quarter.

The Giants brought plenty of physicality, particularly in the midcourt, and Maddy Proud spoke after the game about how hard the Giants competed.

“I think it’s always a physical battle when you play the Giants, and there’s always that little bit of extra rivalry, extra fierceness, that comes into the game. Jamie [-Lee Price, Giants’ centre], is obviously a very physical player, she’s very strong, but I think I probably gave as good as I got today,” Proud said.

Coach Briony Akle took a similar view.

“I think of all the games, the Derby is always, the one that we all look forward to, and the one’s I have sleepless nights over, but it’s definitely great when you come out with the win.

“We took the focus off the opposition today and put the onus on us to be better. We needed to nail basics a lot more than we had been, and I think the result of nailing those basics results in that scoreline.”

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The Swifts were slowed down by the Giants in the third quarter, but continued to work through the midcourt with patient, methodical play to move the ball into the attacking third.

“We know we play our best brand of netball when we do keep possession. It’s something, that while it is hard for us, it also really frustrates the opposition, but we know that if we’ve got the ball in our hand, they can’t have it in theirs,” Akle said after the game.

Sam Wallace ended up being too tall, and too dominant in the circle as the Swifts pulled away late to win by 12. Sarah Klau had a strong final quarter, with two intercepts and a deflection winning the Swifts three possessions.

The Swifts showed the composure they hadn’t demonstrated all season, and Akle was impressed.

“I think that’s what you do all the hard training for,” Akle said after the game.

“It’s our style of play, and I think we probably haven’t seen that for 12 months, so for us to go back to that brand of netball, keeping possession and just being smart about it.”

The Swifts will turn their attention to the Adelaide Firebirds for Round 7 of the Super Netball.

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