West Coast Fever head coach Stacey Marinkovich believes a short turnaround between games suits her team, and the proof was in the pudding as they put on another hot display of netball to defeat the Melbourne Vixens by 14 goals.
With only two goals separating the teams at quarter time, it looked like there was a battle to be won at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena, but a scorching second quarter from the Fever saw them score 21 goals to nine.
The second quarter dominance ultimately led to the final result, as both teams scored 26 goals in the second half.
Marinkovich was proud of the way her team stepped up both in attack and defensively.
“I thought we really attacked the game in the way in which we moved forward,” she said.
“We showed great composure when we needed to, and defensively I thought it was a real team effort across the entire court.
“I thought we were covering first, second and third options.”
More Netball News
There were some signs of fatigue from both sides in the second half – understandable considering both had just a five-day break between games – but Marinkovich said the shorter spell worked to the Fever’s advantage.
“To be honest I think it actually works for us, I’m really pleased that we got to play tonight,” she said.
“Whilst last time we had a big break between games, I don’t think it necessarily suited us.
“I think with a condensed season we’ve shown we’ve got the physical capacity to be able to do it and certainly know that our players have grown even from last year, so we’ve got to get the balance right.”
She felt the team had improved its defensive efforts over the season as a whole, instead of relying on “position-specific defenders”, and it showed against the Vixens.
“I think that’s the part we’ve grown as a collective, is being able to move with each other and be able to try and create the direction in which we want the ball to go to give us the best opportunity to use the strength of the unit,” she said.
“We’ve got a good balance out there and I think it’s just the commitment of the girls, is when they want to play the different strategies we can execute.
“But there’s a long part of the season to go. We’ve been challenged in its execution at different points and we’ve had to really grow the last couple of weeks to get that back on point.”
Jhaniele Fowler was on fire under the ring; by half time she had already shot 36 goals and was on track to beat her own record of the most goals shot in a game.
By full time, she had missed just one of the 59 shots she put up.
It seemed the Fever took its foot off the pedal in the second half, but Marinkovich said it was more to do with the rotations they tried.
“Vixens had nothing to lose and took a couple of two pointers, and we got some supply, we just needed to finish off on the scoreboard,” she said.
“I was really happy with the girls that entered in; I thought they brought an energy to the court. Sometimes going out there on a rolling sub you’ve just got to be able to make the adjustment to the combination.
Usually playing wing attack, Emma Cosh had the chance to showcase her skills at goal attack in the fourth quarter, taking over from best on court Alice Teague-Neeld after Sasha Glasgow was not named due to a “foot niggle”.
Marinkovich was glad to get Cosh more time in the goal circle.
“She’s got great speed, she has real touch on the pass, and she can also be a threat to the post,” she said.
“We haven’t put her out there too much this season, but the way in which she’s been doing that in training, she provides versatility to what we can do with our attack.
“It was great to get her out there and being able to see (her) against the quality defence from Vixens.”
She said sitting Glasgow out of this game was out of precaution and not pushing her, keeping the condensed season in mind.
Marinkovich expected Glasgow to be back in action for the next game, which is yet to be confirmed.
“We just know that we’re not playing on the weekend and hopefully will get a draw sometime tomorrow (Friday) – or we’ll at least know when the next round starts, so that we can plan training,” she said.
“But every team is in the same boat at the moment. Our number one thing is getting the girls rested and recovered, and we’ll review this game so we’ll know what we’re targeting in terms of improvement for the next game.”
The West Coast Fever’s next game has not yet been announced.
Subscribe to our newsletter!