26/05/2024

Sam Wallace in full flight. Photo: NSW Swifts - Twitter

It was a dominant display by NSW Swifts goal shooter Sam Wallace that was a massive factor in the Swifts coming away with the Championship.

The New South Wales Swifts are the champions of the Suncorp Super Netball after defeating the Giants in the grand final by four points. (63-59)

The Swifts got out to a fast start scoring six goals in a row but coach Briony Akle was disappointed in the way that the Swifts let the Giants straight back into the match.

“To be honest I thought it was amazing but I was a little bit annoyed at that we obviously let them straight back into the game,” Akle said.

“We had a great start but we didn’t capitalise on that. We should have never let them in as close as it was.”

The Swifts put the foot on the gas in the third quarter and Co-Captain Maddy Proud said that that was something that was discussed during the week.

“I think we talked about the third quarter being the premiership quarter and there was no better time than having a good premiership quarter in the premiership game so we figured if we’re ever going to try and turn on a third quarter it would be that time,” Proud said.

“I think we went back to really grinding it out and I remember looking up sort of halfway through that third quarter and seeing we were up by, I was sort of doing the maths in my head and was like how did we get that sort of gap.

“I think it just went back to sticking to the process and Briony sort of said that quarter was going to define what the rest of the game looked like and we stuck to the game plan and did all those little things well which really set us up well for the last quarter.”

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Sam Wallace dominated from the start of the game all the way to the final whistle. Proud said how versatile she is as a goal shooter.

“I think Sammy has got all the tricks and anyone playing against her even when I’m playing with her I don’t know what she’s going to do.

“She’s on the move, she’s coming out of the circle, she’s holding under the post she’s doing the tricks between her legs, swing the ball outside the circle but I think she’s so versatile in the way she plays that I don’t think anyone analysing how to play against her will know what to do because I don’t think she knows what she’s doing half the time.

“Her composure under pressure, the way she’s really developed the way she uses the ball outside of the circle naturally has been her biggest growth outside the year or so. Her strength in the air you know when she’s on, I call it the venus flytrap and she comes up with one hand and she sucks the ball right in.

“Again her composure under pressure to shoot those goals, her decision making when to take the twos.”

Akle agreed with Proud and mentioned the way that she plays on instinct and brings players around her into the game.

“I think she’s got a presence out there and we probably can’t predict what she’s going to do because she reads the game and stays in the moment so instead of sticking to a game plan and not knowing what happens really rigid.

“She plays what she sees and I think when you see her come out of the circle that’s all on instinct when you see a double play with Maddy.

“That’s what I love about Australian Netball that’s probably our best asset in terms of that and I think Sammy has bought right into that and having these guys out the front of her she certainty steps up to the big game.

“I think for Sammy she needs gentle reminders to be dominant though, I think she plays everyone else into it, we said going into this game you can turn and throw it to her halfway that’s how much faith I have in her, in terms of dominating the opposition I think she certainly did that.

“I don’t think the Giants had an answer for her.”

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