Last Time We Met
It’s been just over a month since we played the Magpies, after we travelled to Melbourne for our Round 8 clash at Hisense Arena. Things were even early on, with Fever leading by two goals after the opening five minutes, before one goal in the next six minutes of play allowed the Magpies to lead by four goals as the first term came to a close. A late goal saw us cut the margin to three at the first break, before a frenetic second term resulted in us trailing by a solitary goal at the long break.
After half time, the Magpies put their foot down to lead by eight goals at the final change. We opened the fourth term by scoring the first three goals, giving us a glimmer of home, before the home crowd rallied the Magpies who ran out 13 goal victors.
Stacey Francis had an outstanding match ending the game with six interceptions and five deflections and held Alice Teague-Neeld to just 60% shooting. Jess Anstiss recorded another four interceptions playing on Madi Robinson, while Verity Charles had 37 feeds and Ingrid Colyer did a mountain of work on the circle’s edge with 20 centre pass receives and 16 feeds.
Magpies shooter Caitlin Thwaites bounced back from her Round 11 performance against the Lightning, in which she shot a season-low 33 goals, with an outstanding 48/51 (94%) performance against the NSW Swifts last week.
Lightning defender Geva Mentor shut down Thwaites two weeks ago, with the League’s leading scorer shooting at just 60% in the opening term. Magpies coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell was forced to move Thwaites to Goal Attack shortly after quarter time to get her into the game. The move worked, as she lifted her shooting percentage to 82% in the second term, before moving back under the post in the second half, where she missed just two shots for the remainder of the match.
News broke this morning of Cody Lange rupturing her ACL for the second time in as many seasons, with the Magpies now forced to find a replacement player for the remainder of the 2017 season. Samantha Gooden was named in the Magpies side for the opening two rounds of the season while Lange returned from her last knee reconstruction, and looms as the likely replacement. Gooden played 18 minutes in the opening round against the Melbourne Vixens, finishing with 5/7 (71%) and two centre pass receives.
Goal Attack Rotation
Keppich-Birrell is yet to solidify her Goal Attack position, with both Cody Lange and Alice Teague-Neeld rotating through the position in the past two weeks. The season-ending injury to Lange will obviously affect the rotation, with Shae Brown or the Magpies replacement player, now the contenders to take the Goal Attack bib should a change be made.
The last time one player took the court for the entire 60 minutes at Goal Attack for the Magpies was in Round 8, our last meeting with them, when Alice Teague-Neeld ran out the four quarters.
Madi Robinson has been in outstanding form in season 2017, leading the competition in centre pass receives (281) and sits second in the feeds category behind former team mate Liz Watson with 219. Robinson is coming off one of her best games of 2017, where she recorded 16 goal assists, 44 feeds and 21 centre pass receives. The last time we met Robinson recorded 41 feeds, 20 goal assists and 17 centre pass receives, with her direct opponent Jess Anstiss nabbing four interceptions along the way.