Author: Magpies Netball
The Tasmanian Magpies have secured top position on the Australian Netball League (ANL) ladder after two successful wins against the Territory Storm in Melbourne over the weekend.
The first game at Waverly was played on the Magpies’ terms from start to finish, with the team proving too strong for the Storm, claiming a 31-point triumph.
Tasmanian Magpies Head Coach Kate Upton said she was more than pleased with her team’s outstanding performance.
“It was one of the best games we’ve played so far,” Upton told Magpies Netball.
“Our key focus was to make good choices in attack and to consistently put the pressure on in defence, which we did to a tee.”
Collingwood training partner Jane Cook continued to dominate in the ring, missing only two goals out of her total 48 attempts for the match.
“Jane was a strong target under the post throughout the entire game. She provided great consistency.”
The efforts of Mel Bragg also proved pivotal to the Magpies’ victory, as she inflicted her defensive pressure throughout the Storm’s mid-court to swing the momentum back in favour of the Magpies.
“Mel capitalised on the opposition’s turnovers and followed it up by making great choices in attack, which was great to see.”
However, it was a different story at Margaret Court Arena (MCA) on Sunday as the Magpies and Storm took the court for game two following the Collingwood-Sunshine Coast Lightning SSN clash.
“The girls were a little flat and that was present on the court,” Upton said of her team’s performance at MCA.
Whilst the Magpies opened the match with a perfect 15/15 in goals, the Storm were able to nudge ahead and take a two-point lead at quarter time.
But the inclusion of Collingwood Magpies trio Matilda Garrett, Shae Brown and Alice Teague-Neeld lifted the Tasmanian Magpies’ spirit and intensity.
The Storm made some line-up changes of their own, bringing in Jacqui Russell, Erene Mikaere and Cara Koenen.
The Magpies took a hold of the match in the second quarter and reaffirmed their home court advantage, taking in a strong lead at half time.
Jane Cook proved to be the spark the team needed in the third quarter, shooting at 94 per cent accuracy alongside a rejuvenated Shae Brown in goal-attack.
When the final buzzer rang, the Magpies were six goals ahead, and claimed the round three sweep over the Storm and top spot on the ANL ladder.
Upton said her team will now reflect on its performance and make slight tweaks ahead of the round four battle with the NSW Waratahs.
“Next week will be a really tough match both mentally and physically, but we’re looking forward to it.”
“We’ll continue to focus on our decision making to ensure we make the right choices under pressure throughout the game. We need utilise each other and continue to work to the strengths of the team.”
ROUND TWO WRAP
GAME 1 – Tasmanian Magpies (74) defeated Territory Storm (43)
GAME 2 – Tasmanian Magpies (61) defeated Territory Storm (55)
ROUND THREE FIXTURE VS. NSW Waratahs
GAME 1 – Saturday 26 May, 4pm, Genea Netball Centre (Sydney)
GAME 2 – Sunday 27 May, 3:30pm, Genea Netball Centre (Sydney)