Sophie Dwyer, playing in her first hometown Derby, was one of the bright spots for the Giants Netball as they fell to the Swifts by 12 points in Round 6 of the Suncorp Super Netball
A hard-fought first quarter allowed for Jo Harten to dominate early, with 11 of 12 shots falling. Despite Jamie-Lee Price’s best efforts, the Giants trailed at the first break.
Giants Coach Julie Fitzgerald was less impressed with the execution of the game plan.
“I don’t think our defence or our attack was as good as what we’ve shown in the last five rounds,” Fitzgerald said after the game.
In the second quarter, the Swifts pulled away initially, before Sophie Dwyer made a shot while falling out of bounds, and followed up with back to back to back Super Shots to close the gap to four points at halftime.
Fitzgerald commented that the increase in Super Shots was as much a reflection on how the Giants played in the match.
“We played ourselves into a position where we had to take Super shots, and like everything else today, it didn’t go as well as it normally does.”
The Giants worked on slowing the Swifts midcourt and attacking play. Fitzgerald commented that it was a strategy that evolved throughout the day.
“I think we got better at it, but initially we started way too far off the body.
“We were content to let them go up and just have arms up and over. We weren’t really in the contest. We got better at it, but certainly, an area to work on.”
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Inaccuracy plagued the Giants in the third quarter, making just seven of their 13 shots. Jamie-Lee Price came up with two intercepts, and the Giants’ midcourt slowed the Swifts ball movement.
Despite their best efforts in the last quarter, the Giants couldn’t get enough shots to fall or produce enough turnovers. Despite Maddie Hay and Jamie-Lee Price each hitting the floor multiple times, it wasn’t enough.
Sophie Dwyer shined for the Giants. The young shooter finished the game with 18 goals and 4 Super Shots. In her first Derby at home, the young Giant had family (and over 8,000 others) in the stands cheering her on.
“It was pretty exciting, obviously this was my first hometown Derby, and it was amazing… the cheers, and how much they were excited by the game” Dwyer said.
After Keira Austin’s injury, Dwyer has been thrust into a starring role for the Giants.
“I feel I was going to be more of an impact player, but now the opportunity has arisen, I know I can play the full 60 minutes so I’m just trying to take the opportunity with both hands” Dwyer explained.
Despite the challenges, Fitzgerald wasn’t making excuses for the team, or for Jo Harten specifically, who was subject to vile online abuse after the game last week.
“I think we’ve all had a huge week. We didn’t get home until Tuesday, training was delayed on Friday and I think there’s a lot of things that contribute to it, but if you’re going to be professional, you’ve got to get over that” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald was circumspect after the trying week the Giants have had.
“You can’t afford for that sort of thing to affect you. You’ve got to be able to get over it. We’re in a pandemic, and anything can happen to us, and you’ve got to be prepared for it”.
Dwyer was similarly thoughtful about the back to back losses.
“I think we know we’ve now had a bit of a dip, and we’ve lost two, but I think it will just put more fire in our belly to come out strong against the Lightning next week.
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