Bupa VNL Round 12 Report

In another split round of the Bupa VNL, three of the five clubs took to the court on Wednesday night to kick off Round 12 with the remaining clubs completing the Round this weekend. With the Deakin University Australian Netball League finishing up on the weekend, many Victorian Fury and Tasmanian Magpies players returned to their Bupa VNL teams for the first time this season.

The remaining Round 12 games will be played this Friday and Sunday. Click here for the full fixture.



City West Falcons 47 def by 53 Boroondara Express

DC North East Blaze 50 def 40 Hawks Netball

Wilson Storage Southern Saints 46 def 33 Melbourne University Lightning

Selkirk Sovereigns 48 def 44 Geelong Cougars

Ariels 38 def by 49 Peninsula Waves 

Wilson Storage Southern Saints continued their strong season with victory over Melbourne University Lightning. Despite the skilled defence from Lightning’s  Hannah Orval, the Southern Saints were unfazed and finished the game with a 13 goal win. The Saints are in good shape for when they face fourth-placed Peninsula Waves next week.

Boroondara Express flaunted their top position on the 19/U ladder when facing the City West Falcons. Star shooting pair Georgia Moody and Bella Hodgson worked seamlessly together to send the Express six goals ahead to take the victory.

DC North East Blaze also exhibited their refined game plan as they prevailed over the Hawks by 10 goals. Blaze midcourter, Meg Williams, was once again a stand out as she secured three MVP votes from the umpires.

Selkirk Sovereigns achieved a fantastic result at their home game on Friday night. In a nail biter match, the Sovereigns were able to overcome the 2017 premiers, Geelong Cougars by four goals. After a thrilling first quarter against Cougars, the two teams were evenly matched with a level score of 11-all. The Sovereigns took an early lead in the second quarter, which they were able to maintain throughout the game, despite the Cougars’ attempts. The result puts Sovereigns in a great position to break into the top four before finals begin.

Ariels faced a tough contest at their home court on Sunday morning. The third ranked Peninsula Waves were finals focused as defenders Eliza McGuigan and Neomai Taufa performed brilliantly. Not dismayed by their pressure, Ariels shooter, Grace Kelly, charmed the crowd with her long distance goals. Ariels were eventually overrun by the Waves by nine. 


Division One

Wilson Storage Southern Saints 55 def by 66 Melbourne University Lightning

City West Falcons 45 def 37 Boroondara Express

DC North East Blaze 47 def 36 Hawks Netball

Selkirk Sovereigns 47 def by 51 Geelong Cougars 

Ariels 43 def by 53 Peninsula Waves 

City West Falcons achieved an important win over Boroondara Express  and now sit at fifth on the Division One ladder and must continue this winning streak if they are to play in the semi finals. Molly Gribble is working to ensure this outcome; the Falcons’  Wing Attack is consistently dominating the court and proving to be a rising talent for the club.

Melbourne University Lightning were out to impress with their 11-goal victory against the Wilson Storage Southern Saints. Lightning shooters Taylin Gourley and Rebecca Winch shot with an extraordinary 92% success rate. The talented goalers were aided by Wing Attack Meg Matthews, who notched up notable goal assists throughout the match. The win was critical for the Lightning as they defeated a team eight points ahead on the ladder.

The third placed DC North East Blaze caused an upset with their triumph over first placed Hawks Netball. Going into the game as the underdogs, Blaze flew to an early lead which they maintained throughout the game. Without their star midcourter, Olivia Gigli, the Hawks were unable to match the intensity that Blaze brought to the court.

Selkirk Sovereigns hosted the Geelong Cougars for a top tier clash on Friday night. The reigning premiers were given a scare by the Sovereigns as they trailed by four goals at half time. In the second half, Cougars demonstrated their premiership experience to eventually take the win by four goals. Despite this loss, the Sovereigns remain in fourth position thanks to their stellar performances in previous rounds. 

Ariels and Peninsula Waves contested a heated game on Sunday afternoon. Waves took an early lead, largely due to shooter Alex Maher’s success in the goal circle, shooting at 92%. After their dominance in Round 12, Waves are in a positive position to face Saints who currently sit just above them on the ladder this Wednesday night for Round 13. 



DC North East Blaze 59 def by 61 Hawks Netball

Wilson Storage Southern Saints 47 def by 61 Melbourne University Lightning

City West Falcons 61 def 47 Boroondara Express

Selkirk Sovereigns 32 def by 74 Geelong Cougars 

Ariels 41 def by 44 Peninsula Waves 

The game of the night occurred between the top two ranked teams, Hawks Netball and DC North East Blaze with the top spot on the ladder up for grabs.. Hawks finished the first quarter with an eight goal lead, however, the defending premiers were not to be silenced and turned the game , heading into the three quarter time with a three goal lead. By the final quarter, it was a shootout between Hawks’ goaler, Kim Commane, and Blaze’s Elizabeth Nichol. An outstanding intercept from Wing Defence Kelsey Buxton allowed the Hawks to take the lead and eventually the prevail by two goals.

Another riveting game took place between Wilson Storage Southern Saints and Melbourne University Lightning. The Southern Saints, currently ranked eighth on the ladder, were facing a challenge against the 2017 grand finalists. However, the young team demonstrated a powerful performance and were trailing by just seven goals at half time. In the second half, Lightning increased their intensity and extended their lead to become 14 goal victors.

City West Falcons and Boroondara Express welcomed back some familiar players this week. Melbourne Vixens goaler Sammy Gooden and Victorian Fury defender Rudi Ellis returned to Express, while fellow Fury teammates Jacqui Newton and Tahnysha Salanoa took the court for Falcons. The experience of these high-performance players brought a new level of passion and agility to the game. While the Falcons had a strong start with an eight-goal lead after the first quarter, Express continually fought back and closed the score gap to a narrow five goals. Unfortunately for the Express, some missed opportunities at goal and 18 final quarter goals shot by Falcons’ Uneeq Palavi meant that the Falcons finished the game 14 goals ahead. Their ability to perform under pressure puts the Falcons in a positive position as they attempt to break into the top four positions on the ladder before finals.

Geelong Cougars controlled the court as they took on the Selkirk Sovereigns, shooting an impressive 74 goals for the game. Despite the Sovereigns’ best efforts, they were unable to match the speed and intensity the Cougars brought to the court. The Cougars are working towards the finals as they become the second placed team in the Championship division. 

In a thriller contest on Sunday afternoon at Knox Regional Netball Centre, Ariels and Peninsula Waves staged a nail biter match. The two teams currently sit at seventh and sixth respectively on the ladder, and their equally matched performance was reflected in the games’ scores. While Waves led at each quarter break, Ariels were constantly challenging the Peninsula squad and stole multiple mid quarter leads throughout the contest. Waves added four Deakin University Australian Netball League (ANL) players to their line-up, as Gabrielle Dwyer, Sacha McDonald, Sharni Lambden and Rahni Samason took the court. Ariels defender, Monique Clark, seemed unfazed by Waves’ ANL players as she consistently carried out crucial intercepts throughout the game. Despite this defensive pressure, Waves prevailed by three goals.