As the Super Netball enters the bye round, it’s time for the Queensland Firebirds mid-season review
With high expectations coming into 2021, the Queensland Firebirds have had a disappointing start to the season. There have been glimpses of what the Firebirds are capable of after the side’s win against the Lightning, but they are yet to be able to back up their performances.
The return of Firebird championship player Kim Ravaillion has worked a treat for the Firebirds this season. Out of all ten Firebirds players, Ravaillion has played the most minutes in the squad, proving how high quality and important she is to that Firebirds line up.
Ravaillion is a key cog in the Firebirds engine room, being ranked fourth in the league for goal assists with 137 so far this season. Having on-court connections with Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta made for a seamless reintroduction to the Firebirds line-up.
What hasn’t worked?
Consistency across four quarters has been something that the Firebirds have struggled with in season 2021. The team in purple have yet to win all four quarters in a match.
With the games that the Firebirds lose it normally comes down to little errors that cause turnovers, whether it be a wayward pass or an offensive contact, it’s the little things that are damaging the Firebirds.
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The Firebirds’ win over crosstown rivals in the Sunshine Coast Lightning was a season highlight. With their season on the line, the Birdies were able to come out and put on one of their best performances for the season.
For the first time throughout the season, fans saw a settled line up from the Firebirds, with the side only making one change from the starting seven. That change came in the third quarter, where coach Megan Anderson brought on Lara Dunkley for Jemma Mi Mi in that wing attack position.
Although it was a highlight for most amongst the netball community, the round five game against the Vixens wasn’t something the Firebirds will look back on to fondly.
The Firebirds jumped out of the blocks in the first quarter, holding a nice eight goal lead against the reigning premiers. That would be the only quarter of the game that the Firebirds won.
With the Vixens taking advantage of the Super Shot Period and an excellent after the siren penalty shot from debutant Rahni Samason, the Firebirds were left hurting after yet another close loss.
Getting the four points against the Lightning proves that when the Firebirds are at their best, they can take it to just about anyone, but they need to work on playing the whole 60 minutes.
When in possession the Firebirds have to treasure the ball, and when they are able to cause the turnover, make the most of their opportunities. These small things are what is killing the Firebirds at the moment.
Sixth – It’s going to be another season where the Firebirds just miss out on the finals series after slow starts to the season.
The Firebirds will come up against the bottom half of the ladder again, but only one will be on Firebirds turf (Nissan Arena). Just like last season, the Birdies will be looking at taking a few upsets against top teams, coming up against both the Giants and the Lightning at home with the purple army behind them.
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