Giants Netball defeated the Adelaide Thunderbirds 65 – 54 in a dominant full-court display at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday to push themselves into the top four and remain unbeaten by the Thunderbirds in Suncorp Super Netball.

Diamonds skipper Caitlin Bassett proved a challenge for defensive dynamo Shamera Sterling who had no answers as she attempted different areas of positioning but attracted the whistle.

Thunderbirds debutant and South African international Shadine Van de Merwe struggled against Kim Green, giving away too much space and failed to push Green hard into the pockets. Green had full control of her game, hitting circle edge with pace and dictated the play.

Shadine Van der Merwe (Thunderbirds) and Kim Green (Giants) scramble for the loose ball. Image: Danny Dalton

Van de Merwe’s newness to the side was obvious as the Thunderbirds struggled to bring the ball down from defence which caused Sterling to doubt her decision making as she often hesitated before passing to players in the clear.

Despite Thunderbird Sasha Glasgow being the only shooter on court to miss a shot, her late run of goals at the back of dynamic playmaking closed the Giants four-goal lead to one before the quarter-time whistle 15 – 14.

The Thunderbirds opened the second quarter with smooth transitions in attack with Glasgow directing more play and adding movement to keep Poolman on her toes while Maria Folau provided a solid backup. However, they missed five goals between them with Glasgow taking just two of the rebounds.

Despite the Giants controlling the quarter, they were unable to push out a strong lead until the final minutes. Bassett again had the upper hand over Sterling in her playmaking ability and variation of holds and movement to prevent Sterling from settling into the match with just a single intercept before halftime.

Caitlin Bassett (Giants) holds space against Shamera Sterling (Thunderbirds). Image: Danny Dalton

While mostly on her feet the whole quarter, Bassett occasionally set a screen to block Sterling, while goal attack Jo Harten cut into the circle, leaving Layla Guscoth on the back foot without Sterling to cut off the lead.

The Giants’ defensive combination with added pressure from Parmenter caused the Thunderbirds to pass backwards to come forward yet they managed to think their way through the attack line.

A Parmenter intercept set up the Giants in the final minute of play as they soaked up time in attack and moved the ball with patience before a Bassett sent a bullet pass to Harten under the post to cement their quarter win 17 – 13.

Hannah Petty entered the game after half time at centre for the Thunderbirds but had an uphill battle against Jamie-Lee Price as she was limited to 12.5 Nissan Net Points compared to Price’s 27.5. The differentials came from Price’s combined 13 goal assists and feeds compared to Petty’s six, while Petty received five penalties and caused a turnover from a bad pass.

Amy Parmenter (Giants) goes for the ball against Maria Folau (Thunderbirds). Image: Danny Dalton

The Thunderbirds weren’t completely out of options in attack and created scintillating passages of play at times, yet grinded through the Giants’ defence and worked the ball in with patience at others.

Parmenter continued to impress as she covered the high balls to Pitman and snatched an intercept and a deflection in the third quarter.

Bassett maintained her dominance in the Giants goal circle where Sterling was often caught behind and eventually benched for Kate Shimmin.

Shimmin immediately impacted in taking an intercept by holding front position on Bassett to swing the momentum towards the Thunderbirds who levelled the quarter score with a quick three goals before the Giants called a timeout and shot six of the last nine goals to enter the final quarter 49 – 41.

In the fourth quarter Shimmin took an early rebound from behind Bassett who missed from under the post, yet she was soon subbed off for Sterling who took three deflections and a rebound with just two penalties to her name.

The tussle between Giants wing defence Amy Parmenter and her opponent Chelsea Pitman was a highlight of the match. Parmenter gathered an intercept each quarter yet Pitman dominated the attack line with 25 goal assists and 37 feeds before being quietened in the final quarter as Parmenter took an additional four deflections to earn her second MVP in four rounds.

Chelsea Pitman (Thunderbirds). Image: Danny Dalton

In taking her second stealthy intercept, Kristiana Manu’a was a standout in the Giants defence and played consistently throughout the entirety of the match, often leaving Folau to take a cross-court deflection from behind an unsuspecting Thunderbird.

While the Giant’s tried to rattle the Thunderbirds attack line with their defensive pressure, shooters Folau and Glasgow were unphased in their shot, and slotted a perfect 13/13 between them. However, most of the team’s 10 turnovers in the quarter came from bad hands and disconnected transition into attack.

Kristiana Manu’a (Giants) and Maria Folau (Thunderbirds) jostle for position. Image: Danny Dalton.

The Giant’s attack line was a stark difference. Harten and Bassett combined their flair and focus to deliver one of their most potent attacking performances since the season began as they split the circle open with swings into the pockets and developed a rhythm of calmness and whip-like ball speed.

Ultimately, the Thunderbirds had no answers to the Giants, who controlled the match from start to finish, where their exceptional attacking play could be measured by the fact that they became the first team to force defender Shamera Sterling to the bench this season.

FINAL SCORE: GIANTS NETBALL 65 def. ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 54.

(15–14, 17–13, 17–14, 16–13)

Player of the match: Amy Parmenter

Shooting:

Caitlin Bassett 32/35 91%

Jo Harten 33/37 89%

GIANTS Netball 65/72 90%

Maria Folau 26/30 87%

Sasha Glasgow 28/33 85%

Adelaide Thunderbirds 54/63 86%

 

Jo Harten (Giants). Image: Danny Dalton

Key Stats

Intercepts

Amy Parmenter (Giants) 4

Kristiana Manu’a (Giants) 2

 

Deflections resulting in a gain

Amy Parmenter (Giants) 4

Kristiana Manu’a (Giants) 2

Shamera Sterling (Thunderbirds) 2

 

Goal assists

Chelsea Pitman (Thunderbirds) 25

Kim Green (Giants) 21

Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) 20

 

Feeds

Chelsea Pitman (Thunderbirds) 37

Jamie-Lee Price (Giants) 30

Kim Green (Giants) 27

 

Centre pass receives

Jo Harten (Giants) 28

Chelsea Pitman (Thunderbirds) 27

Maria Folau (Thunderbirds) 23

Kim Green (Giants) 22

 

Penalties

Shamera Sterling (Thunderbirds) 17

Amy Parmenter (Giants) 16

Shadine Van de Merwe (Thunderbirds) 14

 

 

Starting line ups

Giants Netball

GS Caitlin Bassett

GA Joanne Harten

WA Kimberlee Green

C Jamie-Lee Price

WD Amy Parmenter

GD Kristiana Manu’a

GK Samantha Poolman

 

Adelaide Thunderbirds

GS Sasha Glasgow

GA Maria Folau

WA Chelsea Pitman

C Kelly Altman

WD Shadine Van de Merve

GD Layla Guscoth

GK Shamera Sterling

Changes: Q3 C Hannah Petty, GK Kate Shimmin

Q4 GS Maria Folau, GA Sasha Glasgow, GK Shamera Sterling

Kim Green, GIANTS Netball Captain.

Positives from the match:

In previous games, we’ve lost it a little bit and then we’ve lost the plot completely. But I was really proud that the girls kept to their structures … I thought the fact that we kept running onto the ball and making sure that we had them (Thunderbirds) on our back to create that contact was really important.

On areas for improvement:

I think now it’s trying to stop those lulls or the duration of those lulls. I know in that third quarter we went down a little bit and then pulled ourselves back, but if we can stop doing that, we start to put our foot down and continue building our confidence and I think we’re slowly getting there.

On Jamie-Lee Price’s world cup selection:

I’m so proud, I think J was similar to me when I was growing up: we’re very feisty and passionate players out there, but off the court we’re completely different people … She’s worked really hard and the fact that she had an opportunity to play for the Silver Ferns and she turned that down and said ‘no, I want to play for the Diamonds, I always have wanted to play for the Diamonds’ and she could have been in there three years ago. So, look at her now, she’s worked her way in and to get into a world cup year is very hard and I’m just so proud of her. I think she’s played some really great netball this year in a team that’s been a bit shaky so I’m really proud of her.

Julie Fitzegerald, GIANTS Netball Coach

On the overall team performance:

I think everybody played well, but I’m really happy when we maintained our intensity and that we were able to be consistent across the four quarters which is something we’ve really been trying to work for … I think when they get out there and they play that well they deserve to stay there (on court for the full match) so [I’m] very happy with the performance of virtually everyone.

On the defensive pressure:

We did get our hand on a lot of ball but unfortunately, we didn’t convert it as well as we would like so that’s probably what’s going to be the focus this week is converting the ball that we do get.

On Jo Harten’s 1000th goal:

I thought Jo had an excellent game today and it’s not just the goals she shoots, it’s the work she does out the front and particularly the work she does in defence. I thought she was very, very good today.

On the performance of Jamie-Lee Price and Caitlin Bassett after Diamonds selection:

I am [pleased] because it is an emotional week and I’m really, really proud of the fact that they’ve got to go and I’m particularly thrilled for Jamie-Lee and of course to have Cbass named as captain it’s such an honour to be captain at a world cup.

Alexia Mitchell.

Twitter: @lexilegs99