The Queensland Firebirds just can't catch a break while the NSW Swifts and Sunshine Coast Lightning are at the other end of the table.
Sunshine Coast Lightning v Giants Netball
A third-quarter demolition job has propelled the Lightning to a fourth consecutive win with the Queensland team coming away with a 72-61 victory.
The Giants ground their way to a three-goal lead in the first half but Lightning dialled up the pressure at both ends from the opening seconds of the third quarter. The Lightning piled on an incredible 25 goals for the quarter as the GIANTS lost the reins in defence and saw the game slip away.
The Lightning finished the quarter in front 55-47, with goal defence Karla Pretorius holding Jo Harten to five goals for the quarter.
It resulted in Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald putting Harten on the bench, with Kiera Austin inserted at goal attack but it was to no avail as the Lightning picked up where they left off and increased their advantage further.
The second-half blowout didn’t do justice to the enthralling contest fans were treated to in the opening two quarters. The result marked Lightning coach Noeline Taurua’s 100th national league win.
Melbourne Vixens v NSW Swifts
The Swifts have bounced back from a loss and jumped to the top of the table as they handed the Vixens their first loss of the season in a 60-50 win.
The Swifts swamped the Vixens defensively from the outset, winning every quarter.
Sarah Klau and Paige Hadley made their final case to Lisa Alexandra to be included in the Diamonds’ World Cup team. Klau’s five defensive gains equalling the Vixens’ entire defence end combined, while Hadley was a rock through the middle again.
The defensive effort came from the whole team with wing defence Kate Eddy restricting Liz Watson’s influence in the opening quarter. The defensive dominance continued into the second quarter, with the Vixens scoring just one goal in the first three and a half minutes.
At the other end, Emily Mannix and Jo Weston had few answers for the Sam Wallace/Helen Housby combination.
However, the Vixens weren’t prepared to lie down, scoring four of the first five goals of the final term to drag the margin back to five goals but the Swifts steadied and were able to push their advantage back out to eight.