The NSW 21/U Team have continued their winning start to the 2015 National Netball Championships by defeating Victoria, 54-39, in a spirited team performance.
It what was at times a physical encounter, NSW stuck to their game plan of being patient in attack by offering plenty of options, whilst their defensive unit were tenacious in denying VIC any space.
Head Coach Megan Simpson said she was really proud of her charges’ composure, both on court and on the bench.
“I’m really pleased with the team’s efforts today; the girls on court showed a lot of composure during some really intense, physical battles while our bench were superb in supporting their teammates,” Simpson said.
“We really stuck to our game plan today and the great thing about that is it forced VIC to make a significant amount of changes. It was a real team performance and something I hope that we will continue to do throughout the tournament.”
It was a scrappy start from both NSW and VIC early in the match, with the first five minutes producing just five goals between the sides. However it was NSW who settled first with their defenders working hard to limit the influence of Victorian shooters, 198cm Jane Cook and 185cm Madeline Morrison.
However much like the NSW v VIC battles before them, the teams entered a see-sawing battle trading goals. It was only until the final minutes of the opening quarter were NSW able to string together consecutive goals to take a small lead into the first break.
The battle continued into the second 15-minute period, with both goal shooters having a real impact on the game. With Cook and 196cm Kristina Brice taking plenty of high feeds in the circle, the importance of strong hand-over defence became paramount.
VIC were able to hit the front midway through the quarter, however the Sky Blues continued to push and with half-time on the horizon had climbed back out to a three-goal lead with the VICs calling a timeout.
While the unscheduled break could have had disastrous effects on NSW, they actually went on to score the next two goals and stretched out their lead to five-goals at half-time.
NSW continued to push into the second half, opening out to as much as seven goals after five minutes play. The Sky Blues were impressive, showing plenty of patience and netball smarts to work the ball fastidiously to Brice to capitalise on the scoreboard.
While her Victorian counterpart – former Australian representative Nicole Richardson – used her bench extensively throughout the 60 minutes, Simpson decided to retain her starting seven for the entire match. The result was a hard fought, patient 15-goal victory for NSW over their traditional rivals, providing a successful opening day outing at the 2015 tournament.
NSW will return to Caloundra Indoor Stadium tomorrow morning, Wednesday 11 March, to meet Australian Capital Territory at 10:40am AEDST for Round 3.
Follow Netball NSW’s social media channels for live updates throughout the game – facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW and @netballnsw on both Twitter and Instagram.
Watch match highlights below, including interview with Megan Simpson;
NSW│ Q1: 11 – Q2: 26 (15) – Q3: 37 (11) – Q4: 54 (17)
VIC│ Q1: 9 – Q2: 21 (12) – Q3: 28 (7) – Q4: 39 (11)
NSW: 54/67 @ 81%
K. Brice: 47/53 @ 89%
G. Marshall: 7/14 @ 50%
VIC: 39/53 @ 74%
J. Cook: 32/39 @ 82%
M. Morrison: 5/12 @ 42%
M. Lind: 2/2 @ 100%
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
VIC│ GS Jane Cook, GA Madeline Morrison, WA Molly Jovic, C Maggie Lind, WD Melissa Bragg, GD Kate Eddy, GK Leah Reilly
VIC│ Q2 – GD Reilly, GK Zoe Donne; Q3 – GA Elle Rice; Q3 Timeout – GS Morrison, GA Lind, C Bragg, WD Kate Eddy, GK Cook; Q4 – WD Reilly, GD Eddy; Q4 Timeout – GS Cook, WA Lara Dunkley, C Jovic, WD Bragg, GK Madeline Ralson.