2021 ANZ Player of the Week: Round 4 – Elle Temu

EACH week, Draft Central casts an eye over the top performer from the ANZ Premiership round taking into account not only their individual stats but their overall impact on the game. Round 4 saw a number of key players lead the way for their respective teams and put their best foot forward. This week the nod goes to Elle Temu.

The Northern Stars defender has relished the move from the Central Pulse to the Stars this season, developing at a rate of knots. Sitting behind the likes of Katrina Rore, Karin Burger and Kelly Jury for the past couple of seasons, Temu has really found her form at the Stars able to get regular court time and elevate her game play to the next level. Pegged as a star in the making, the move has been nothing short of beneficial and her performance on the weekend was indicative of this. Temu is a highly versatile defender who is able to do damage both in at goal keeper or out at goal defence credit to her netball IQ and increased endurance.

Directly opposed to Australian Diamonds goal shooter Caitlin Bassett, Temu was not fazed, instead immediately getting down to business and using her aerial ability to wreak havoc. An unassuming defender, Temu was not overawed by the class and calibre of Bassett but utilised her individual strengths such as her read of the play and closing speed to have an impact. Temu was hardly ever out-positioned against Bassett and her workrate eventually pushed the goal shooter to the bench. The most telling thing was Temu’s ability to adapt on the fly shaking up her defensive technique against the likes of Khiarna Williams who is a dynamo in comparison to Bassett or Chiara Semple.

She spent majority of her time back in goal keeper but when afforded the extra space out in goal defence did not look out of place, using her drive through the midcourt to assist in attack. Ger partnership with Anna Harrison has improved week in, week out and this performance was no different as the duo rotated through the defensive positions to mount pressure. Their ability to sandwich the shooters together and then ease off to go hunting for an intercept was second to none and that is largely due to Temu’s anticipation and ability to sight the ball and space.

In the end it was a stats-stuffing performance for Temu who racked up six gains, three intercepts and five deflections. She was in just about everything for the Stars and was a key reason for their fifth straight win and although she amassed 15 penalties it can be forgiven credit to the wealth of ball she won back.

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