Second chance clashes at Bupa VNL

As we hit Round 10 of the Bupa VNL, teams clashed with their Round 1 opponents. While some were looking to reinstate previous victories, others stepped on court with a vengeance to redeem themselves and correct the past.

Who were able to step up to the match? Check out this week’s match breakdown to find out!


Boroondara Express (52) def Peninsula Waves (47)


Boroondara had obviously not forgotten their Round 1 loss to Peninsula Waves as they took the court Wednesday night with a fighting spirit.

An evenly matched first half contest, the two sides were tied at the end of the first half at 24-all.

Former English Superleague player for Surrey Storm and Loughborough Lightning, Jade Forbes-Wattley, said her team had a tough first half but ended on a high to play an undeniably superior second half and win by 5-goals.

“We knew we were going to be evenly match,” Forbes-Wattley explained.

“Last time they had the edge on us but in our third quarter tonight the girls just pulled away and really dug in.”

After weeks of trying to improve on third quarter lulls, Express executed a high quality third quarter with lots of talk on court and smooth movements down the court.

“We built our connections, turned a heap of ball and at that point it was just about transferring the ball all the way down the end of the court,

“Our middies worked really hard on getting the ball through and in attack our shooters were on form.”

With the loudest on court talk by far, Forbes-Wattley feels as the season has progressed the communication between the new Championship team has strengthened and made it that much more memorable for her first season in the VNL.

“I’m really loud,” she laughed as she said. “So, you can probably always hear me shouting.”

“With the girls, we have little communications with each other. As the season has gone on we’ve had new faces and the talk as grown and everyone is more confident to shout at each other.”

As team captain, Forbes-Wattley is confident that her team will continue to develop together and impress other sides with some new tricks up their sleeves.

“We’ve come a long way since the first half of the season,

“We just need to trust the process, knowing the game isn’t won or lost in one play, keep working and trusting in each other and ourselves.”

Melbourne University Lightning (59) def Casey Demons (41)


The last time they met marked Casey Demon’s inaugural match and victory as they took out a win against Lightning, 59-54.

Victory this time went to Lightning who outplayed Casey over four quarters to see an 18-goal triumph.

With goalers as impressive as each other, the difference for Casey and Lightning came down to the communication and accuracy in the midcourt to transition the ball down to utilise turnovers.

Cransberg and Ridley acted as a power duo to manoeuvre themselves and the ball with absolute precision and put utter force behind their passes.

City West Falcons (63) def Hawks Netball (36)


City West still remain undefeated as they saw a convincing 27-goal win against Hawks Netball.

Jini Sivilalingam and Tahnysha Salanoa shooting 19 goals at 100% accuracy in the first quarter, City West dominated the play for the rest of the match with consistency and confidence.

Hawks, especially Clare Johnson in Goal-Keeper, performed well in defence to get around the ball and height of Jini in Falcons goals. However, they lacked the momentum in their midcourt to provide options to transition the ball down the court which ultimately saw Falcons outplay them.

Geelong Cougars (63) def Ariels (39)


Geelong saw another clean sweep at the State Netball centre with their Championship team winning the final match of the night to make it 3 out of 3 convincing wins.

Cougars consistent dynamic to anticipate the movement and placement of team mates to pass to could not be slowed, taking an 8-goal lead at the end of the first half.

Strength from Cougars defence to intervene Ariel’s goal focus allowed them to increase their lead over the course of the match. Ruby Horton in Cougars goals achieved a goal accuracy of 92% to assist in her teams well-deserved 24-goal win.

North East Blaze (62) def Wilson Storage Southern Saints (48)


Scores tied in the first quarter, Blaze’s Libby Nicol and Sarah Hogan not missing a goal, Saints and Blaze played a closely competitive match until the fourth quarter where Blaze had a run-away win.

The movement of the ball in the midcourt and around both teams goal circles was captivating to watch. Despite keeping up with Blaze in the first three quarters, Saints seemed to fatigue in the final quarter and allow Blaze to capitalise on easy errors.

Once again, a standout performance for Libby Nicol saw her obtain 54-goals from 57-attempts to make up 87% of Blaze’s end result of 62.

Division One

Boroondara Express (53) def Peninsula Waves (37)


Boroondara obtained a first quarter lead that secured them their second win against Waves for 2019.

The last few weeks have allowed Express to showcase their efforts as a team and execute consistent plays down the court with assured victories resulting.

Boroondara’s 9-goal lead at the beginning of the second half couldn’t be halted by Waves as they shot 27-goals to Waves’ 20-goals, resulting in 16-goal win.

Tegan Stephenson for Boroondara leapt with intensity in Goal-Keeper throughout match to take rebounds and pounce on her opponent to take some impressive intercepts.

Melbourne University Lightning (59) def Casey Demons (52)


Looking for their second win of the season, Casey took on Lightning in a well fought contest but unfortunately couldn’t see the win through.

Having lost by nearly 20 goals the last time Lightning and Casey went head to head, team captain Bianca Sanzaro was pleased with her team’s performance this week to just miss out by 7-goals.

“We would have loved a win but it’s big improvements for us,

“We went in pretty confident, we’ve done a lot of work of court and at training to fine tune our team.”

Despite only winning 1 match so far, Sanzaro said as a new association for Casey the best outcome has been seeing new girls step up to the VNL contest and walk off court loving it each and every week.

“We would have loved a couple more wins but being a team with a lot of junior players who have never played VNL before, it’s been really great to see them get out there and have a good crack at some good quality netball.”

Sanzaro said her teams’ commitment to going hard four quarters tonight is what ensured they had a standout match in each third.

“The last few weeks we’ve worked really hard to keep in the game for the whole sixty minutes,

“Defensively we did really well and Tash Petroff has really taken those Goal-Shooters out from each team and to shut her players down has been great for us,

“Our midcourt went and went and lots of drives. We had Brit Mishado there with Georgia Hellyer in Centre so it was great to see the drives between them and the double plays which is what we need.”

As Casey enter the second half of the season, Sanzaro said their eye is still on top four but more than a premiership they just hope to redeem their losses from the start of 2019.

“We want to get those wins that we maybe should have got the first time we played teams,

“That’s our main goal to be the teams we should have.”

City West Falcons (42) def by Hawks Netball (49)


Falling short to Boroondara last week, Hawks were seeking a comeback while Falcons were flying high off their triumph against Ariels.

Hawks dominated the contest from the get-go to secure a 7-goal win in their seventh win of the season. Making use of their opportunities, Hawks sped the ball down the court into their goalers who positioned themselves well in the circle.

With smoother transitions and precision when feeding into their goalers, Hawks maintained a lead throughout the entire match despite consistent goaling from Waves’ Langley and Palavi.

Geelong Cougars (62) def Ariels (48)


In a match very similar to their Round 1 clash, an unsettled start from Ariels saw them playing catch-up to Cougars who came out with the same ferocity seen all season.

Despite only a 3-goal difference at half time, Cougars pushed out their lead in the second half with strategic passes and fast paced movement leaving Ariels defenders unable to stick as tight as they usually do.

Shooting a combined team accuracy of 88% between McDonald, Hickman and Cuthbertson, Geelong obtained at 14-goal win to take top spot on their Division One ladder.

North East Blaze (58) def Wilson Storage Southern Saints (48)


Blaze were not ones to be kept down this week as they took a 10-goal win against Saints at Maroondah Nets.

A tight game from the first quarter, the score was as close as the midcourt defence from both sides, Blaze leading by 1-goal at the end of the first quarter.

The defensive efforts from Liv Ellis and Nakita Singe from Blaze gave their team an opportunity to blowout the score in the second quarter to 6-goals. However, a third quarter comeback from Saints kept the margin close with a 1-goal difference.

Blaze doubled Saints scoring shots in the final quarter, 20- goals to 10-goals, to redeem themselves from last week and play the netball they have been known for all season.

19 & Under

Boroondara Express (64) def Peninsula Waves (51)


Last time they met Peninsula “pipped Express right at the end”, to quote Boroondara’s Zali Anderson. It was clear from the first quarter that Boroondara had a point to prove against Peninsula second time around.

A fierce start from Boroondara highlighted their confident decision making and consistent movement on court to create options to pass. The team dynamic was electric, especially between Emma Allman and Casey Dunstan in Boroondara’s midcourt.

Leading by 3-goals at the beginning of the second half, Boroondara kept their intensity up in the third quarter while Peninsula lifted theirs to match, not missing a goal to bring the margin back to 2-goals.

Some final quarter changes for Boroondara allowed them to expand on their lead and attain a 13-goal victory, redeeming themselves and hinting at a new co-operative team to look out for in the second half of the season.

Melbourne University Lightning (55) def Casey Demons (45)


In Casey’s closest match of the season, it looked like they might finally take their first win in 19 & Under until Lightning kicked in to overdrive in the final minutes of the match.

Casey displayed the strongest form of their season this week with decisiveness in their passing and new plays being executed on court. Jade O’Shannessy played a strong four quarters in Goal-Shooter for Casey to achieve an 89% goal accuracy.

Only 1-goal separating the two at half time, Lightning took the advantage at the end of the third quarter to outscore Casey and shoot 16-goals to Casey’s 11.

Despite being down, Casey shot 8-goals in the final quarter to bring the scores back to a 3-goal difference. A final minute blaze of fury from Lightning saw them silence Casey and shoot 7-goals in a row to take back the match and win, 55-54.

City West Falcons (55) def Hawks Netball (33)


Hawks were seeking a win against Falcons Wednesday not only to make their way into the top 4 but to redeem themselves after losing to Falcons in Round 1.

Unfortunately, a slow first quarter for Hawks gave City West the opportunity to get a head start advantage that only grew over the course of the match.

More than doubling Hawks’ score in the first quarter, Falcons played a consistent match similar to their win against Ariels last week to win by 20-goals.

Geelong Cougars (58) def Ariels (49)

An equally matched contest between Cougars and Ariels proved thrilling for spectators as a powerful final quarter for Geelong gave them the points they needed to remain 2nd on the ladder.

Scores tied up in the first and second quarter, there was no telling who might take the win until a 1-goal lead at the end of the third hinted it might be Geelong.

The defensive efforts from both sides were captivating. Geelong’s reach over the ball against Ariels goalers forced missed goals, allowing Geelong to capitalise with rebounds. Down Ariels defensive end, they stuck tight to Geelong’s midcourt to pressure turnovers and add to the back and forth match.

With a heightened intensity Geelong played an exceptional final quarter to outscore Ariels by 8-goals and increase their lead to win by 9-goals.

North East Blaze (60) def Wilson Storage Southern Saints (50)


Having not faced each other since the March Bendigo Blockbuster, Blaze and Saints youngest sides came out blazing. Saints were on the backend of a win against Lightning while Blaze were ready to comeback from their loss to Geelong.

Blaze seemed to have learnt from their past mistakes against Saints and started strong to lead at the end of the first quarter. Despite the strategic movement between Moody, McGurgan and Ellis in Saints attack end, Blaze’s control of the ball and ability to shift the game pace played a vital role to give them an 8-goal lead at the end of the second half.

Saints fought hard in the third quarter to close the margin to 5-goals but finishing as convincingly as they started, Blaze shot 15-goals in the last quarter to finish with a 10-goal win.

No matter the rain, hail or shine, teams will be back next Wednesday for Round 11 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre and HE Parker Maroondah Nets for some fiercely competitive netball.

Want a taste of the action? Head down to either venue next Wednesday, June 5th, to see sides face each other from 7pm onwards. Nets entry fee is just $4 and SNHC is $4.30.

For more player stats and to see the updated section ladders, CLICK HERE

Written by Amellia Wood