It's going down to the wire! With just three rounds remaining, teams were looking to grasp a top-four spot at any cost.
GIANTS V FIREBIRDS (63 – 57):
Giants Netball downed the Queensland Firebirds by six-points, in a ruthless physical affair.
With fourth place on the ladder still up for grabs, it was a must-win clash for Julie Fitzgerald’s side.
Whilst the first half saw both sides struggle to find their rhythm, the Giants’ class was evident with a mammoth third quarter, providing them with an eight-point lead going into the final term.
Both sides were brutal in their contest, making for some undisciplined play.
It began with a careless knock from Kristiana Manu'a to Gretel Tippett’s face, leading to a suspected broken nose.
Several nervous moments for both sides followed, with bruising body-on-body contests triggering some near injuries.
Consequently, clean and connected play was sacrificed, causing uncertain long balls as the first choice for circle feeds.
Such a dominant third quarter from the Giants set up their victory, yet a series of penalties in the final term kept the Firebirds in the game.
Whilst Roselee Jencke’s girls never stopped fighting, it was too little too late by the final quarter.
Giants’ goal attack Jo Harten was dynamic for her side, shooting 33 out of 39 attempts, while also moving prolifically, exposing her defenders.
However, she was aware that her team needed to improve their composure against the second placed Lightning next week.
“I think we have to up our game,” Harten admitted post game.
“They don’t give up,
“We expect a tough match next weekend.”
With two bonus points coupled with four match points, the Giants continue to cling to the last finals spot on the ladder.