NSW grow in confidence with QLD win

The NSW 21/U Team have stretch their winning record to four games, continuing their unbeaten run at the 2015 National Netball Championships with a 64-45 win over hosts Queensland at Caloundra Indoor Stadium.

Head Coach Megan Simpson said she was really pleased with her charges’ composure tonight to claim a comfortable win over quality competition.

“It was a fantastic composed effort by the girls tonight.  They executed the game plan with confidence, kept the game short and sharp and gave QLD no opportunity,” Simpson said.

“I’m really proud how they stood up to the physical pressure of QLD’s defence, combined with their home crowd support which included some of the QLD Firebirds.  It’s really testament to their dedicated attitude.

“What I’m most happy with is that we built with every quarter, and I think we’re starting to grow in confidence, trust each other, and show we are able to close out a game.

“But now it’s really important that we focus on getting our bodies rested and ready for tomorrow, which will be a tough day with games against Western Australia and defending Champions, South Australia,” Simpson concluded.

QLD won the toss and opened the scoring with the teams entering a see-sawing battle with nothing separating the State rivals. It wasn’t until late in the opening 15 minutes that NSW were able to edge ahead – however slightly – to force QLD into chase mode.  Enjoying a short purple patch NSW took a small, but handy, four goal lead at the first break.

NSW enjoyed their momentum into the second quarter, opening out to as much as six goal-lead with eight minutes until half time.  Captain Kaitlyn Bryce was a work horse in C, combining some beautiful feeding to her shooters whilst being tenacious in defence.  Her Vice Captain Maddie Hay was similarly determined, putting strong hands over the pass whilst her and GD Billie Gurr provided back up in transitioning the ball quickly into attack.

The effort resulted in NSW holding a slim 7-goal lead at the big break.

Simpson opted to continue with her starting seven for the second half as the game continued on goal-for-goal basis. However slowly but surely NSW began to chip away and by the time QLD had called a timeout with under five minutes to play, the Sky Blues had pulled out to a 12-goal buffer.

It was no less through the simple discipline NSW showed in their patient ball movement; providing two options, finding the targets, and putting strong hands over the pass.  With QLD opting to double-defend 196cm NSW GS Kristina Brice, her shooting partner Georgia Marshall at GA stepped up by providing strong drives into the circle and going confidently to the post.

On the back of a terrific attacking quarter, NSW outscored the hosts 18 goals to 10 to further extend their lead at the final break.

NSW continued to push on, aided by some terrific teamwork until halfway through the final quarter they’d opened up a 19-goal lead.  Suffering from cramp, Bryce called a timeout which allowed Simpson to make her first (and only) changes for the game – Brooke Lawrence to C and Stephanie MacGougan to GA.

The changes did little to disrupt momentum and with a place in the top four on the horizon, NSW went on to post an 19-goal win over the hosts.

NSW will return to Caloundra Indoor Stadium tomorrow, Thursday 12 March, to take on Western Australia for Round 5 at 2pm AEDST.

Follow Netball NSW’s social media channels for live updates throughout the game – facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW and @netballnsw on both Twitter and Instagram.

Watch highlights from NSW win over QLD, including interview with Megan Simpson, below – previous match highlights can be found on Netball NSW YouTube channel, NetballNSWTV;

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW│ Q1: 16 – Q2: 30 (14) – Q3: 48 (18) – Q4: 64 (16)
QLD│ Q1:  12 – Q2: 23 (11) – Q3: 33 (10) – Q4: 45 (12)

Shooting Statistics
NSW: 64/74 @ 86%
K. Brice: 47/52 @ 90%
G. Marshall: 14/18 @ 78%
S. MacGougan: 3/4 @ 75%

QLD: 45/56 @ 80%
B. Friday: 24/26 @ 92%
B. Cattelini: 6/8 @ 75%
J. Power: 10/12 @ 83%
B. Payne:5/10 @ 50%

Starting Line-ups
NSW│ GS Kristina Brice, GA Georgia Marshall, WA Georgia M. Marshall, C Kaitlyn Bryce (c), WD Maddie Hay (vc), GD Billie Gurr, GK Kara Styles

QLD│ GS Beryl Friday (c), GA Bianca Cattelini, WA Mahalia Cassidy, C Madeline McAuliffe, WD Hulita Haukinima, GD Leah Middleton, GK Kate Dudley

Positional Changes
NSW│ Q4 Timeout – GA Stephanie MacGougan, C Brooke Lawrence.

QLD│  Q2: WA Dominque Scott, C Cassidy, WD McAuliffe, GD Haukinima, GK Middleton; Q3 – GS Jemmason Power, GA Friday, GD Middleton, GK Dudley; Q4 – GA Briony Payne, C Kate Oxenford.