This is the second part of a three-part series evaluating the first six rounds of the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season.

 

Wing attack

Name Team QP GA F GN I IPT DG DN CPR PU P GPT
Watson Vixens 24 178 265 6 3 11 4 4 125 7 42 25
Green Giants 24 156 240 8 5 10 3 3 116 6 25 27
Robinson Magpies 24 133 212 3 2 6 3 3 171 6 31 15
Browne Lightning 24 105 171 0 0 5 0 0 127 9 13 21
Pitman Thunderbirds 23 103 163 2 1 14 1 7 118 5 25 31
Hadley Swifts 23 83 152 6 6 9 0 0 100 12 23 22
Nevins Firebirds 22 72 157 1 1 5 0 0 94 9 29 14
Colyer Fever 21 46 98 4 3 7 1 3 126 5 22 19

QP – quarters played; GA – goal assists; F – feeds; GN – gains; I – intercepts; IPT – intercept pass thrown; DG – deflections with gain; DN – deflections with no gain; CPR – centre pass receives; PU – pickups; P – penalties; GPT – general play turnovers.

 

In terms of goal assists and feeds, Liz Watson heads the league. Watson is yet to meet her match as yet and the high quantity of ball she receives and passes off makes her the leading wing attack in the competition, with Kim Green is not far behind her.

Madi Robinson can be expected to lift her work rate slightly to finish out the competition and building a better connection with Bell will be key to this.

Ingrid Colyer has the lowest feeds and goal assists of any wing attack. At least part of the reason for this is the exceptional work of Medhurst in feeding Fowler, but Colyer’s ability to feed accurately when it counts will be key as we move deeper into the season.

Robinson leads the league in centre pass receives by almost 50, which is a telling stat. The Magpies rely a lot more than other teams on their wing attack in the first phase, where other teams like the Firebirds rely more on their goal attack in Gretel Tippett.

Caitlyn Nevins has the lowest volume of centre passes received, while Tippett sits fourth in the league. Similarly, Kelsey Browne and Wood share the centre pass receives relatively evenly, a tactic which keeps defenders guessing.

Green is the wing attack with the most gains, recording five intercepts and three deflections with a gain. Paige Hadley has the highest rate of pickups.

Liz Watson has the highest penalty count by quite a margin, with Robinson coming in second. Browne has mostly escaped the ire of the umpires, recording just 13 penalties for the season to date, perhaps a sign of less defensive play (given her zero gains and deflections).

Chelsea Pitman (Thunderbirds). Photo: Sue McKay.

Chelsea Pitman sits second equal for turnovers overall, alongside Romelda Aiken, recording 31 so far. This high count appears to come predominantly from a lack of connection between the Thunderbirds midcourters, with many of her turnovers coming from intercepted passes.

Green and Watson’s higher turnover counts can be negated somewhat, due to the sheer amount of ball they obtain in a game. Both Nevins and Robinson boast the lowest turnover count – this being a particularly impressive statistic for Robinson who has at times had to carry a struggling Magpies attacking end.

The achievements of Liz Watson and Green cannot be overstated here. Both have excelled in doing all a wing attack is meant to do and then some.

 

 

Centre 

Name Team QP GA F GN I IPT DG DN PU P GPT
Guthrie Giants 24 81 151 13 11 11 2 15 15 42 22
Charles Fever 23 89 154 11 9 14 2 4 4 51 27
Cassidy Firebirds 23 73 126 6 6 13 0 6 5 63 26
Moloney Vixens 23 66 114 6 4 5 2 3 5 52 20
Scherian Lightning 22 65 102 5 3 14 2 6 7 54 33
Proud Swifts 21 92 158 11 8 15 3 11 10 64 28
Bryce Thunderbirds 21 48 63 4 4 16 0 6 8 43 25
Ravaillion Magpies 13 47 74 2 1 7 1 1 1 30 15
Brown Magpies 12 60 87 1 1 6 0 5 6 28 17
Msomi Thunderbirds 11 23 44 5 3 1 2 0 6 40 12

QP – quarters played; GA – goal assists; F – feeds; GN – gains; I – intercepts; IPT – intercept pass thrown; DG – deflections with gain; DN – deflections with no gain; PU – pickups; P – penalties; GPT – general play turnovers.

 

Centres cover the most ground in a game of netball. They must be exceptionally fit and able to direct play. Interestingly, the only centre to play all 24 quarters thus far is Serena Guthrie.

Guthrie has not disappointed, leading the other players listed here in gains, including both intercepts and deflections. She also leads the league in pickups and a safe pair of hands – the only regular player with fewer turnovers is Kate Moloney.

Maddy Proud has spent at least one quarter at wing attack, but has the highest volume of goal assists followed by Verity Charles. Charles has had to take on a lot more of a feeding role, given Colyer’s lower stats in this area. The inimitable Guthrie is not far behind, despite the fact that one of the most prolific feeders in Kim Green is in her team.

Verity Charles (Fever). Photo: Steve McLeod.

Despite playing one less quarter than Ravaillion, Shae Brown has 13 more goal assists on the board. Ravaillion who has struggled with form, and has been recently replaced by Brown who is also has more pickups and deflections.

In terms of penalties, both Proud and Cassidy are attracting a lot of whistle. Comparatively, Guthrie has managed to stay out of play just 42 times. Bongiwe Msomi, has just two penalties less than her, but has played 13 fewer quarters.

It is not that surprising that the player with the most turnovers in 2018 is a centre, given the amount of possession they tend to obtain. Laura Scherian heads the stat with 32, while Proud and Charles have 28 and 27 respectively. Kaitlyn Bryce has the highest number of intercepted passes.

 

 

Wing defence 

Name Team QP GA F GN I IPT DG DN CPR PU P GPT
Brazill Magpies 24 0 0 23 17 2 5 12 54 13 47 10
Simpson Firebirds 24 3 3 12 10 6 2 13 44 4 54 12
Price Giants 24 4 7 10 9 5 1 9 16 9 75 12
McAuliffe Lightning 24 7 16 8 5 5 3 14 12 6 60 13
Anstiss Fever 22 30 37 6 5 2 1 7 44 10 53 6
McCulloch Swifts 20 0 1 9 7 2 2 7 25 7 56 7
Fowler Thunderbirds 19 0 0 11 10 4 1 10 32 7 75 7
Watson Vixens 16 0 0 3 1 0 2 2 30 11 40 2

QP – quarters played; GA – goal assists; F – feeds; GN – gains; I – intercepts; IPT – intercept pass thrown; DG – deflections with gain; DN – deflections with no gain; CPR – centre pass receives PU – pickups; P – penalties; GPT – general play turnovers.

 

Wing defenders are the most underrated members of a netball team. A good wing defence will hold up the flow of the ball down the court, make hitting the circle edge difficult for midcourters and generally cause havoc.

The clear standout this year is Ash Brazill, who has been the shining light for the Magpies. Brazill has the most gains, including 17 intercepts and five deflections with a gain. In these stats, she has exceeded both circle defenders from Collingwood and is equal-third overall for intercepts, the only non-circle defender to make the top ten list.

Commentators have stated that Brazill has the highest vertical leap in the competition. Those who have seen her launch herself into the air like a rocket will not be surprised to hear it. Along with this, she has the most centre pass receives of any wing defence, more pickups and the lowest penalties amongst the bib who have played over 19 quarters this season.

Ash Brazill (Collingwood). Photo: Danny Dalton.

The closest player to Brazill statistically is Gabi Simpson. She has 12 gains, including ten intercepts, plus four pickups, 44 centre pass receives and just 12 turnovers. Simpson’s ability is not always appreciated by statistics. She is a player who can completely shut down her opponents’ effectiveness, something that won’t necessarily show up in statistics.

Jamie-Lee Price has had a great start to the season with 10 gains, including nine intercepts. However, her penalty count is the highest of any midcourter – an trait she should look to curb. Fiona Fowler, who has had significant time in goal defence as well as wing defence, boasts 10 intercepts.

Jess Anstiss is another who has impressed, especially given she has played at wing attack and centre during this season (hence her high volume of goal assists and feeds). She also has 44 centre pass receives, six gains and one of the lowest turnover counts among wing defenders – a vital statistic for any player.

Tomorow on Netball Scoop: Defenders

 

Twitter: @Catrat07
Cover image: Steve McLeod

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