Vitality Roses in Focus: VNSL Round Ten, ANZ Round Three & SSN Round One 

Netball fans around the globe were treated to wall-to-wall action over the weekend with the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season getting underway, the ANZ Championship completing its third instalment and the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) reaching the halfway mark. 

This weekend’s action was bursting with nail-biting matchups and narrow results; let’s see how the Vitality Roses made their impact on these competitions…

Saturday evening saw the return of SSN, Australia’s top-level netball competition, and Adelaide Thunderbirds opened proceedings against  Collingwood Magpies.

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Geva Mentor’s Magpies battled valiantly in this end-to-end match up but were unable to tip the scoreline in their favour as they ended the game trailing by four (50-54).

2021 SSN Champions New South Wales Swifts faced runners-up Giants Netball in the eagerly anticipated second match of the competition. 

Jo Harten’s side, Giants Netball, started confidently and opened the scoring in under a minute, a clean feed into the circle from Harten found scoring partner Sophie Dwyer who put the shot away well. 

Giants then capitalised on this and stretched the lead to 4-0.

But Helen Housby’s Swifts began to find their momentum and responded well, taking the lead at the end of the first quarter (14-12).

After the first interval, it was an end-to-end display. Housby notched a total of 15 goals and 17 feeds for her side but it was Harten’s 26 goals that made the greatest impact as she led her side to a well-earned victory (55-57).

Eboni Usoro-Brown made her Queensland Firebirds debut on Sunday in their fixture against Melbourne Vixens.

Despite her side leading at the end of the first quarter, Firebirds couldn’t maintain their advantage and by the end of the third quarter, Vixens had established a 13-point lead (44-57).

Firebirds fought to stay in the match and managed to reduce the deficit, however, they couldn’t swing the result in their favour as Melbourne Vixens took the win (65-70). 

The third round of the ANZ Premiership saw George Fisher’s side Southern Steel secure a nine-goal victory over Northern Stars. 

Fisher was a vital part of her team’s win, netting 51 of her 52 attempts which helped her side sail to victory (71-62).

Round 10 of the VNSL saw two matches postponed due to Covid-19: Team Bath Netball versus Saracens Mavericks, and Strathclyde Sirens versus Severn Stars, both of these fixtures are due to be rescheduled.

In Saturday’s matchup, London Pulse travelled to Sheffield to face Leeds Rhinos.

Vitality Roses’ stalwart  Jade Clarke got the action underway for Rhinos with the first centre pass. 

Pulse quickly attained an early lead, moving the ball quickly whilst Funmi Fadoju kept Rhinos at bay.

Olivia Tchine made a great impression on the match. The GS scored 32 goals and was awarded Player of the Match for her contribution in her team’s victory (44-58).

Loughborough Lightning and Manchester Thunder came together in this long-awaited Monday Night Netball fixture with both sides unbeaten going into this matchup and with the top spot all to play for in front of a full-capacity Lightning crowd.

Laura Malcolm’s Thunder side started strongly and quickly established a comfortable lead at the end of the first quarter (13-19).

Lightning began to find their footing in the second quarter, with clever movement in the centre of the court between Nat Panagarry and Hannah Joseph, stretching the Thunder defence which Ella Clark and shooting partner Mary Cholok capitalised on, reducing Thunder’s goal advantage to four going into the break(29-33). 

Lightning successfully closed the gap and established a one-goal lead early on in the third quarter, thanks to an excellent Panagarry feed.

 Following this, both sides began trading goal-for-goal with nothing to split the two sides.

But in the third quarter, Eleanor Cardwell pushed Thunder in front and scored a flurry of goals in quick succession to help establish a five goal lead for the visitors, going into the final 15 minutes (45-50).

Lightning pushed hard in the fourth quarter, with Beth Cobden making some key interceptions, but were just unable to turn the game as they finished the match with their first loss of the season (61-66).

Tickets for the Vitality Netball Superleague Spring Showdown are available here.

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