The Wright Call: ANL

The Wright Call is back for another special edition! Today NSW Swifts Head Coach Rob Wright takes a close look at the statistics from the two Netball NSW teams in the Australian Netball League (ANL), ahead of this weekend’s final round of the 2014 regular season.

The Netball NSW Blues wrapped up their season on Wednesday night* with the NSW ANL Derby against the Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs, while the NNSW Waratahs play two matches this weekend, needing one win to cement their place in the Finals.

Keeping a close eye on the up-and-coming talent in the League, Wright has attended a number of games both home and away in the 2014 season and, using the statistics from the Performance Analysts of NSW Swifts Major Partner and Netball NSW Team Partner, the NSW Institute of Sport, he has come up with some interesting stats and facts about the NSW 2014 teams.

Before I jump into the numbers, I wanted to start by saying a big good luck to the NNSW Waratahs for this weekend’s matches in Victoria.

With the NNSW Blues finishing up their season this week, and the NNSW Waratahs fighting to secure a Finals berth, I wanted to take a look over their seasons and pick out some of their interesting facts and stats.

I have picked out one shooter from each of the NSW teams to take a closer look at:

I went with Kristina Brice for the NNSW Waratahs, there are some interesting facts around her; so far she’s scored 324 goals in seven games (only playing a half against the Western Sting) at an average of 49.84 per game, at a percentage of 94%, which is quite cool. Those 324 goals make up 65% of the NNSW Waratahs goal tally (498 goals)!

For the NNSW Blues, I took a look at the stats of young gun Kiera Austin. Kiera’s the NNSW Blues’ top scorer, shooting 145 goals but she’s only played 27 quarters – that means she’s averaging 21.5 goals per game, at goal attack. She’s also shooting that volume at a great percentage – 82.86%, so she’s doing a heap of work. That’s impressive for a 17-year-old up against the big guns.

The NNSW Waratahs helped set two new League-Wide records earlier in the season:

The NNSW Waratahs and QLD Fusion played out an exciting Double Extra Time thriller in Queensland, the home team came out on top 80-78 but the goal tally is the most goals scored in the history of the ANL competition – 158 goals! It’s also the most goal attempts in a game, at 182 attempts.

The NNSW Waratahs also set a record when they defeated Territory Storm 89-21 – the most goals scored by a team in a single game against a domestic side (the NNSW Waratahs defeated Singapore 91-19 in 2010).
It’s also the biggest ever winning margin against a domestic side, beating the record against Singapore.

One of my favourite areas is Possession Gains;
Three times in their seven games, the NNSW Waratahs have got 40 or more possession gains. Their best for the year is 48 possession gains in a single game, against the Territory Storm.
The NNSW Blues also had one game when they got over 40 possession gains; their best for the year was 41, also against the Storm, and helped them to one of their two wins in season 2014.

In three games this year, combined between the NNSW Blues (twice) and NNSW Waratahs (once), the goal attack has out-scored the goal shooter – the interesting fact about that is that every time it has happened their team has lost so it is essential to make sure your shooter is firing!

Best centre pass conversion rate;
The NNSW Blues best was 66%, which may not sound that high but is still impressive considering the high standard of the League, and ensured they got over the line against the Canberra Darters for their first win of the season.
The NNSW Waratahs converted 81% of their centre passes in a single game for their best conversion rate this season, which is unbelievable.

It’s very interesting going into this final weekend of the 2014 ANL preliminary rounds, a couple of fun stats to keep your eye out for when following the matches – it will be the best attackers versus the best defenders in the League, hopefully a nice preview of the level of play we can expect from the Finals.

The NNSW Waratahs have scored a League-High 498 goals already in 2014, while their opponents this weekend have the best defensive records – the Victorian Flames have conceded only 247^ goals in seven games this season and sit in fourth-place, just one behind the NNSW Waratahs, while the top-of-the-table Victorian Fury have had 266 goals scored against them in 2014. The battle in the NNSW Waratahs goal circle will be one to watch in both matches!

*Fun Fact: Wednesday night’s match was the final ANL game to be played at the Anne Clark Centre, before we move to the exciting new centre of excellence, Netball Central.43 ANL games were played at Anne Clark Centre since the Australian Netball League’s inception in 2008.

^ The Flames due to the over turned result recorded a 10-0 result against the Southern Force.