Super Netball round 4 review
Goal-scoring machine Jhaniele Fowler helped undefeated West Coast Fever beat the Adelaide Thunderbirds 70-62 at Netball SA Stadium on Saturday.
Fowler was a powerful presence in the circle once again, slotting 54 goals from 57 attempts, as Fever overhauled an eight-point quarter-time deficit on Saturday.
West Coast's fourth successive victory to start the season, finally earns them points, after they began the season docked 12 premiership points for salary cap breaches.
"Shamera (Sterling) came out really strong and played really well which meant I had to push my game and step up a bit.
"We're playing well at the moment and I just want to keep improving each week."
Fowler has been in outstanding form to begin the 2021 season, scoring 224 goals in the first four rounds, the next best is Collingwood Magpies’ Shimona Nelson on 169.
Despite suffering defeat again this season and remaining winless, Adelaide coach Tania Obst was upbeat after the game:
"I think that was the best first quarter in my history at the Thunderbirds.
"We knew we had to score goals quickly because of their scoring power.
"They changed up their defence line and, as we know in this competition, especially with Jhaniele at the back, every error is so costly.
"We made a couple of errors and that's where our next big learning can come."
The Thunderbirds face off against the Sunshine Coast Lightning this week, who had an excellent 58-54 victory against the NSW Swifts.
South African duo Karla Pretorius' and Phumza Maweni's stellar defensive displays made the difference. The duo snared crucial intercepts in the dying seconds of the game.
Pretorius and her circle partner Maweni recorded a combined 14 gains propelling them to second place on the ladder.
Lightning skipper Pretorius said:
"I could go on and on about Phumza.
"She was magnificent and, I always want to give (the attention) to someone else, but she deserved it today.
"I feel like the defensive effort was much better than last week."
The Swifts' England international Helen Housby was contained to 12 goals, while her partner Sam Wallace contributed most of the scoring load with 37 goals at 92 per cent efficiency but it was not enough as their side went down in a thriller.
The Western Sydney Giants have tightened their grip on top of the ladder, with a convincing 68-54 win over the Melbourne Vixens.
Sophie Dwyer's stunning rise continued as the 19-year-old scored 23 goals.
The Giants are unbeaten after four Super Netball rounds, despite the setback of losing Australian goal attack Keira Austin to a season-ending knee injury.
In Austin's absence, Dwyer has excited with the goaler averaging 22 goals at 76 per cent accuracy, saying after the game:
"We knew it was going to be a tight tussle with the Vixens, as it always is.
"We strayed from the game plan in the middle part but really happy with how we finished off."
The brave Vixens remain winless in their title defence. The Vixens' Malawian shooter Mwai Kumwenda scored 34 goals from 41 attempts.
For the Giants, wing attack Maddie Hay made smart decisions and executed brilliantly under pressure, while veteran defender April Brandley finished with seven gains.
Captain Kate Moloney's leadership and touch around the circle edge kept the Vixens in the hunt, but it wasn’t enough.
The Magpies beat the Queensland Firebirds by three goals in a classic thanks to sharp shooting by Shimona Nelson, who scored 54 goals from 55 goal attempts.
Down the other end of court, Firebirds’ Romelda Aiken sank 33 goals.
Much of the focus was on Firebirds centre Kim Ravaillion, who faced her old side for the first time since returning to the Firebirds after serving as a foundation player for the Magpies. Ravaillion did not play for the Magpies last season after having a child with her partner, AFL player and former Magpie - now Bulldog - Adam Treloar.
Despite her best efforts with 21 goal assists, Ravaillion was unable to nullify the impact of her opposing midcourt players on the Magpies.
With wing attack, Kelsey Browne particularly putting in a strong showing, highlighted by recording 24 goal assists.
With their second win in a row, the Magpies are now firmly in the finals race despite losing their first two games.