Replay: Wildcats v Bull Sharks in Sapphire Series
A quick two-nil lead for the Brisbane South Wildcats was not enough to secure the first quarter for the visiting side as home team Bond Bull Sharks clawed back points at a sold-out Tallebudgera Recreation Centre Saturday night.
The Wildcats’ quick domination was a sign of things to come in what was a fluctuating round 5 game in Netball Queensland’s HART Sapphire Series however it was a consistent Bull Sharks that took the win.
The Bull Sharks stuck to their plan in the first quarter, forcing their way down the middle of the court, giving their shooters 17 chances to convert – securing an impressive 16.
The pressure gave the side the edge, leading the quarter 16-13.
Aggression and speed initially elevated for the second quarter however the Wildcats’ slowed towards the end of the quarter, unable to make the most of a time-out called by the opposition after level pegging at three minutes to go.
The Bull Sharks were able to pull away from the Wild Cats in the final minutes before halftime, putting on seven goals to leave the court 30-23 at the buzzer.
Bull Sharks’ shooter Josephine Fennell proved a standout in the first half, with an impressive 12 goals from 15.
However it was the Wildcats’ who pushed back in the third quarter, closing out the 15 minutes with a one-point lead for the quarter, having made use of a time-out called by the Bull Sharks with around just more than six minutes to go.
However, despite the Wild Cats’ continuation of momentum at the beginning of the final quarter, it was the Bull Sharks that claimed victory, taking a 15-10 lead for what was an intense quarter.
The side made use of a late changeover which saw Emily Gilbert swipe three intercepts in four minutes, helping the home team claim a 54-43 victory.
Bull Sharks head coach Linda Peterson said her players’ ability to hold their ground even under pressure was crucial to securing the win.
“Even though the momentum fluctuated between the two sides, we held our ground,” she said after the game.
“I just congratulated the girls on a full-team effort.”
She said the shooting combination of Mackenzie Jordan and Tiarni Fennell was looking strong, bolstered by Fennell’s standout shooting effort for the majority of the game.
During an extended – 10-minute – halftime Peterson’s words of wisdom included a message for the young side to hold their ground.
“We have been guilty of having a third-quarter fade, but we reminded the girls that we just go out there and (do our jobs).”
“They got shaky there (at times) but they just went about their business.”
Meanwhile Wildcats head coach Megan Lynch remained confident that as her team gathered experience, more full-time successes would come.
She praised her team for consistent hard work, highlighting speedy workhorse Kourtnee Baird’s impactful efforts.
“(She) had a very, very strong game – I would almost say that was her best game this season.”
Lynch also complimented the strengthening shooting combination of Josephine Bingham and Brianna Gregory.
“They are really starting to develop a nice connection … I was really pleased.”
Next, the Wildcats will prepare to face a strong lineup in the USQ Jets while the Bull Sharks will take on the Carina Leagues Club Tigers.
A winning quarter against table topping Brisbane North Cougars last week might be just the right treatment to set the city’s southern counterparts up for a win on the Gold Coast tonight.
Brisbane South Wildcats head coach Megan Lynch said her young Sapphire Series team was bolstered last week by a 11-9 third quarter win over 2020 champions the Cougars and hoped the developing team would draw confidence from the effort.
“I was really, really happy,” Lynch said.
“Consistency is my number one focus this game,” she said.
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Lynch said her young side, which features rising stars like versatile Halle Geyer, will be without a couple of key players this week due to injury including Lillyanna Rennie who is recovering from a rolled ankle.
In her place, they will welcome Wildcats Ruby Series captain Allie Waugh.
“What I lose in height I gain in experience,” Lynch said.
The team will tonight face the Bond Bull Sharks, who are snapping at their heels for fifth spot on the ladder coming off a 55-25 over north Queensland's Mendi Rays last week.
Bull Sharks head coach Linda Peterson said the drubbing was “a nice step in the right direction” as the team honed in on their own performance.
“We’re really just focused on our own game … attending to our processes,” Peterson said.
“I’m quietly confident in the side that I’ve got.”
She said their key to success would be nailing their attack and “getting more ball into the hands of our shooters”.
Peterson, who is only a couple of weeks into her role as head coach said while the side was coming out of an “unsettled period”, they remained focused on their goals while “going about it really professionally”.
The side would be looking to GK Ashleigh Ervin to create extra opportunities.
“She’s having a massive impact in games, creating turnovers and getting clean intercepts.”
And while Maddi Ridley, Ava Black and Riley Burns were hitting their stride, the Bull Sharks’ defence would need to put the brakes on the Wildcats’ flow as much a possible.
“They’re a pretty quick team — they move the ball pretty quickly,” Peterson said.
She said her side’s attacking form was yet to reach its peak and so a “direct” style of play this week could be key.
“(We need to) play it down the line,” she said.
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Originally published as Replay: Wildcats v Bull Sharks in Sapphire Series