2020 Suncorp Super Netball, Round 7: Top 3 players from the Adelaide Thunderbirds v Melbourne Vixens Game

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Caitlin Thwaites played such a blinder upfront for the Melbourne Vixens last night.

The communication with Tegan Phillip and Liz Watson in a brilliant forward pack outmuscled the Thunderbirds’ smart defense.

It’s the opposition’s lack of finishing where the Vixens’ backline did match what the Thunderbirds fired off in a low-scoring game.

And that build-up play the Vixens defenders reset in possession helped Kate Moloney and Liz Watson in the middle provide Thwaites the finish where her physical accuracy into the net is tremendous.

She barely missed a shot with 30 out of 31 attempts where the Vixens used her flexibility at goal shooter or goal attack.

Either way, it’s hard to defend a formidable opponent like Thwaites, who is a brilliant finisher on the ball.

It gave the Thunderbirds plenty of nerves to work harder in heaps of pressure, which didn’t have the chance to catch up.

Liz Watson

She’s a brilliant operator who helped Caitlin Thwaites dominate the Thunderbirds’ half.

The reading is there for Watson to identify the opposition’s weaknesses, which lacks support/finishing from the forwards.

From there, she capitalized on their mistakes and called Kate Moloney to get the job done from her defenders & join Watson by resuming that build-up play.

And that communication with Moloney allowed Watson to link up brilliantly to Thwaites and Phillip.

That way, they can finish it off for the points with pace into the court’s width, which is her role at Wing Attack.

It made Thwaites’ night on a positive note easier thanks to Watson’s work to make the Thunderbirds’ defenders hesitate when passing to her or Phillip towards the goal zone circle with some clear space.

Her presence with Thwaites and Phillip in the Vixens front three helped win most of the quarters alone bar the opening stage and overtook the lead where they held firmly to the wire by six points.

Shamera Sterling

She’s solid as a rock in the goalkeeper position for the Thunderbirds.

Her reach and tricky footwork combined that pace to frustrate the opposition half.

It helped her team fire off well with the points needed to stay ahead most of the time.

At one point towards the end of Stage 1, Sterling had to come off to check her ankle, which turned out fine to resume later on.

Although, Sterling looked fantastic in the back three led by captain Layla Guscoth who looks after her and Shadine Van Der Merwe.

Thanks to Guscoth’s guidance, they guided her lead to deflect it, find the Vixens’ weaknesses, and let Guscoth link up to Chelsea Pitman and Maisie Nankivell through the support passage of play.

Unfortunately, the poor finishing from the Thunderbirds towards the final third let their defensive half down.

It made the Thunderbirds backline try to block the likes of Watson, Thwaites, and Phillip with enormous pressure.

And it made them look easy to beat in the end, so it’s something Guscoth needed plenty of support next time.

They will need cross passes into the circle & use Nankivell and Pitman’s width to ensure it efficiently directs towards either Lenize Potgieter, Georgie Horjus, or Sasha Glasgow to focus on the points possible entirely.

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