This week, SSN saw some super mums getting a win on their special day, a grand finalist continues its comeback, and an early bolter bouncing back from a major blow.
Super mums in fine form – Queensland Firebirds knock off Adelaide Thunderbirds
Mother’s Day was a unique occasion for the Queensland Firebirds, with Kim Ravaillion and Gretel Bueta taking to the court Sunday afternoon on Mother’s Day as new mums.
Against the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the last game of round 2, the super mum duo helped lead the way to the Firebirds’ first win of the season, and first win under new coach Megan Anderson.
Anderson spoke about their return to the side, which was especially impressive given Bueta had only given birth four months ago.
“It’s been really good having them in the group,” she said.
“I think both of them have realized there’s life outside netball now, and they’re a little more relaxed and appreciate their time here.
“Being a mum, I know that when we come we want to work hard and then be gone.
“We’re really thoughtful of making sure we make the most of our time while we’re there and being mindful of giving people time away from the court as well.”
Bueta scored 15/16 goals, 3/5 supershots to go alongside her 13 goal assists and 20 feeds, while Ravaillion put in a massive performance in the centre with 17 goal assists and a whopping 33 feeds to come away as the match MVP.
As a new mum, Ravaillion is learning some lessons for her craft as well as getting greater clarity on court.
“I used to care so much about making a mistake or an error and really put that on me,” she said.
“Being a mum, you kind of need to get on with it really quickly, as a mum you can’t dwell on the baby doing a poo.
“It’s a good mindset to have, just get on with your job.”
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The importance of having Bueta on the team, and Anderson and Clare Ferguson as coaches as well as fellow Mums is critical and Ravaillion spoke about the strong support she has at the Firebirds.
“Having Grets, and Clare and Megan, I think everyone kind of understands it on another level,” she said.
“We bounce off each other and if we’re feeling sleep deprived, we help get each other through it.
“The girls have been amazing, like Tara loves holding Georgie, and it helps give us a bit of a break.
“That’s why I think the Firebirds have something so special, just that bond is building, and hopefully by the end, no one can get in and break us.
“We’re building that unbreakable bond.”
New court, New star, New GIANT opportunity.
All eyes were on Ken Rosewall Arena on Saturday afternoon for the Giants first Suncorp Super Netball match at the brand-new arena against the Collingwood Magpies.
Sophie Dwyer started at Goal Attack for the first time this year, stepping up to the plate in the place of the injured Kiera Austin.
Dwyer scored 23 goals at 74%, suggesting there is potential to form a strong shooting combo with captain Jo Harten.
But the biggest performance of the match would have to be Jamie Lee-Price’s centre game, which saw her have a game high 34 feeds, 19 goal assists, and a defensive role on Ash Braz that saw the Magpies, desperate to get some control back, switch Kelsey Browne into centre.
It didn’t stop the Giants however, who are 1 from 1 in their new home and sit atop the SSN table, undefeated after two matches.
Winners and Losers
Two of the match ups for round 3 see the winless duo of the Thunderbirds and Magpies, and the undefeated duo of the Sunshine Coast Lightning and West Coast Fever face off.
This round saw the Thunderbirds and Magpies fall behind early and never really recover in their respective clashes, despite strong second halves and some individual brilliance from Sam Gooden of the Thunderbirds, who scored 21/22 goals off the bench, including six super shots.
For the Magpies, Shimona Nelson, relatively quiet in the first half, scored 25/26 goals in the second, a strong indication of her potential.
Meanwhile the Lightning weathered a Vixens storm to remain undefeated.
Cara Koenen and Steph Wood have been in electric form as a duo to start the year, but it was Maddy McAuliffe that was a deserving MVP for her strong defensive work during the match.
Such strong away form is critical for the Lightning ahead of their return to USC stadium for their first home game of the year against the Fever.
And speaking of…
Fever edge closer to moving off last
With The West Coast Fever undefeated after two games, their comeback to positive is unimpeded so far.
The Fever may not have had it their own way against the Swifts, but got the points, nonetheless.
It was a crucial moment in the arm-wrestle of a contest when the Swifts goal-keeper, Sarah Klau, was forced off the court in the third quarter after copping a heavy knock.
Fever immediately took full advantage, and were able to take the lead, and then ruthlessly punish the Swifts super shot misses with 9 of the last 10 goals to end up winning relatively easily.
The points deduction for salary cap breaches left the Fever behind the curve, and with no room to drop games basically all year, every match remains crucial, which is why carving out wins like this against the Swifts is so important for the rest of the year.
As marred by controversy over salary cap breaches the pre-season was, the Fever just continue on their way, and will not fear the Lightning, having defeated them in every game last season.
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