Last quarter effort not enough for NSW

Despite a terrific fight back from the NSW 21/U Team in the final quarter, South Australia has claimed a 12 goal victory, 53-41, in Round 4 of the 2014 National Netball Championships at Netball SA Stadium.

In front of their home crowd SA made their intentions known early with a ferocious start seeing the hosts jump out to an early six goal lead.  NSW weren’t to be dispelled though and through the shooting combination of Claudia Russell and Captain Amy Sommerville fought hard to get back within three goals.

SA’s hands-over pressure was a feature throughout the match, stopping the free-flowing play NSW are known for to create the turnovers.  Led by their young GS Georgie Virgo – 2013 19U National Netball Championship MVP – SA took a handy six goal lead at the first break, 16-10.

The second quarter started much like the first with SA flying out of the blocks to extend their lead.  Through some hard running from the NSW midcourt the Waratahs were able to close the deficit on the scoreboard once more, but SA put their foot down and with experienced defensive pair GK Sarah Klau and GD Amehlia Schmidt working overtime, extended their lead to 10 goals at the big break, 29-19.

NSW Head Coach Megan Simpson made a raft of changes for the second half to reinvigorate her midcourt with fresh legs, bringing NSW Swift Maddie Hay onto WD while moving Sophie Halpin and Taylah Davies to C and WA, respectively.

The changes didn’t little to stem SA’s momentum as the hosts showed tremendous discipline by continuing to apply pressure to NSW, extending their lead to 16 goals before a timeout was called by NSW GS Russell. The short break provided a change with tall target Kristina Brice coming onto GS for NSW.

Despite standing 8cm taller than her opponent it wasn’t Brice slotting the goals.  With the SA defence decided to double-team the 196cm shooter it opened up captain Sommerville to find more space in the circle.

But despite the captain’s efforts SA had all the momentum, putting up a mammoth 18 goals to 8 to extend their lead to 20 goals at the final break, 47-27.

SA Head Coach Megan Carter made wholesale changes to her side who had remained relatively unchanged since the starting seven, while Simpson brought on Lauren Cantwell and Tiesha Ojeda to GA and WA, respectively, to change-up the attacking line.

A vocal NSW bench willed their teammates through every passage of play, their encouragement providing a welcome spark on court.  A terrific fight back effort from NSW saw them win the final quarter 16 goals to six, however couldn’t chase SA who remain undefeated thus far.

Watch the full NetballNSWTV interview with Head Coach Megan Simpson, plus game highlights below:

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NSW will take the court against Western Australia tomorrow, Friday 14 March, at 2pm AEDST for the final round robin match, before hoping to contest Finals over the weekend.  Stay up-to-date with NSW’s progress at the 2014 21/U National Netball Championships by following us on Social Media:
www.facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW
www.youtube.com/NetballNSWTV
www.twitter.com/Netball_NSW
Instagram @netballnsw – use the hashtags #GoNSW #21Nationals

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW│ Q1: 10 – Q2: 19 (9) – Q3: 27 (8) – Q4: 41 (16)
SA│ Q1: 16 – Q2: 29 (13) – Q3: 47 (18) – Q4: 53 (6)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 41/56 @ 73%
Claudia Russell: 8/18 @ 44%
Amy Sommerville: 16/21 @ 76%
Kristina Brice: 14/14 @ 100%
Lauren Cantwell: 3/3 @ 100%

SA: 53/75 @ 71%
Georgie Virgo: 35/39 @ 90%
Cody Lange: 16/31 @ 52%
Molly Affolter: 2/5 @ 40%

Teams Starting Positions
NSW│ GS Claudia Russell, GA Amy Sommerville (c), WA Donnay Van Taak, C Taylah Davies, WD Sophie Halpin, GD Kristiana Manu’a, GK Phoebe Seamer

SA│ GS Georgie Virgo, GA Cody Lange, WA Maddy Proud (co-c), C Gia Abernethy, WD Maddy Turner, GD Amehlia Schmidt, GK Sarah Klau

Positional Changes
NSW│ Q3 – WA Davies, C Halpin, WD Maddie Hay, GD Karli Ireland; Q3 Timeout – GS Kristina Brice; Q4 – GA Lauren Cantwell, WA Tiesha Ojeda.

SA│Q3 – WA Kelly Altmann; Q4 – GS Lange, GA Molly Affolter, WD Emily Burgess, GD Kate Easther, GK Turner.