Giants continued their inspiring turnaround in form to take a third win at the trot, with both teams coming together to unite a star who was bullied online.
Giants continued their inspiring turnaround in form and took a third win at the trot, beating Sunshine Coast Lightning by 28 goals.
The home team defense was split between Sophie Dwyer and England star Jo Harten. The pair scored the highest total for 15 minutes in 2022 with 26 in the third quarter, equaling the record total of 82 for Super Netball.
No input from the parochial crowd made up for the absence of key Lightning goalkeeper Cara Koenen due to Covid protocols as Giants took outright fourth to finish the first half of the season.
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There was also the undercurrent of Netball Australia’s statement about bullying throughout the week, in support of Lightning goal defense defense Kate Walsh, who had been trolled online for her round six game. All players were warned to play clean and tight, and it was seen that the umpires had early talks with midcourts to clear up their defensive moves.
With a sharp 75% conversion of wins and turnovers, the Giants dictated space at every turn, and the Lightning’s foot speed became its own worst enemy. MVP April Brandley personally destroyed Steph Wood and overshadowed the total for the entire other team with seven rebounds. On the other hand, Dwyer scored 8/8 super shots as the Giants put in a massive team effort.
The Lightning had a frustrating night in defence, as they were consistently reactive and awarded 70 penalties to 46. At halftime, coach Kylee Byrne expressed frustration at the huge difference in whistle they had to fight.
Tara Hinchliffe was the shining light for her team, with ten wins against her 14 penalty kicks. Both Walsh and Kadie-Ann Dehaney had shots blocked, but it was peripheral vision and game reading that let their side down. To make matters worse, midcourt Mahalia Cassidy was pretty upset on the bench after a late blow to the head.
Meanwhile, Lightning was organized as always on their center passes, but the Giants crushed the second stage, forcing goalkeeper Batcheldor to take the most for her team with twelve. Wood struggled to rank her troops and got no quarter from Brandley, throwing the ball five times.
MIDDLE LAW MAESTRO
Jamie-Lee Price continues to dish out her best, with her casually elusive game keeping her at the top of the circle all afternoon. Through clever coaching advice, Maddie Hay also made Maddie Hay more than double her assists from the first quarter by holding in farther and longer so Giants could conserve energy and watch the game. Their short decisive pass left the Lightning caught with spinning heads and unable to fly out to intercept.
PRIME REAL ESTATE
Giants controlled exactly where they wanted their shots, with the revitalized combination of Hearts and Dwyer beautifully balanced. Harten reduced her moves and fed frugally with one hand, while Dwyer enjoyed her new role controlling the baseline. Then in the power five they were exceptional, with 12/16 super shots.
With a huge margin of victory, Giants have completed their second half of the season. Since the top three teams have a goal difference of more than 105%, big wins are required for each team to keep in touch and hope for a place in the final. In round seven, Giants had 94.8%, but came out with 102% today.
Originally published as the series of Giants as rivals unite over bullying: Super Netball Rd 7 Sunday wrap