West Coast Fever captain Courtney Bruce has helped her side finally taste victory over the Giants after a nail-biting two goal win on Saturday night at Perth Arena.
After starting the fourth quarter with scores locked at 47 apiece, Bruce and her fellow defenders stood strong, as the final chaotic 90 seconds played out.
“I was basically thinking, I’m the leader, I’ve got to get ball here and do it for the team,” Bruce said.
“I was going to throw everything I could to get a call but the netball gods opened and gave me a step, so over the moon with that.
“I didn’t know what a step was, I actually couldn’t think of the penalty and I was so nervous about throwing the ball down and so excited at the same time.”
The game was played at a frenetic pace throughout the four quarters, which was to be expected from a tough Giants outfit, who came to town in second position on the ladder and boasting a 2-0 record over Fever.
“It was definitely intense,” she said.
“We knew it had to be a sixty-minute game and we put sixty minutes out there, I think."
“We still haven’t put our best netball out there yet, which I think is so exciting for us.”
Playing in her customary attacking defender role, Bruce took three intercepts and got a hand to five deflections, taking her tally to 20 and 31 respectively for the year, where she sits second in the competition in both categories.
“I guess our attack in defence is to have a crack,” she said.
“To really work hard and see the ball, I guess I’m the last line of defence so if see something, I’m going to have a look at it and impact for the team."
“Giants played smart tonight, there wasn’t too many opportunities for me to have a fly, but when we did, we tended to win ball.”
Although Bruce relishes the opportunity to fly for the ball, her defence-first approach against the Giants’ variety of tall shooters, including Kristina Brice at 196cm, went a long way to the Fever coming away victorious.
“They’ve just got so much variety in that circle,” she said.
“Obviously (Susan) Pettitt is a hardened experienced player but Krissy (Kristina Brice) just brings something completely different."
“I guess it’s like playing against us, it gives them that option to just put the ball in when there’s nothing else coming towards them.”
While the players will take most of the plaudits, Bruce believes the raucous 8306-strong crowd deserves some of the credit for getting the home team over the line in the final minutes.
“It was so good,” she said.
“That was probably why I didn’t know what a stepping call was, because I could not hear it over the crowd."
“I don’t know if the crowd realises how much we appreciate having them in as like an eighth player to get us over the line. It’s just phenomenal having that many people here supporting us Fever girls, it’s been a long time coming for us to reward them with some bloody great netball.”
West Coast Fever will enjoy a much-deserved rest with the competition bye this week before taking on the Melbourne Vixens on June 16 at Hisense Arena.
Fever will then return home to take on the Thunderbirds on June 23 at Perth Arena, with the Club set to celebrate its Shooting Stars Round. For more information on Shooting Stars, click here, while for tickets, click here.