A depth test no problem for Thunderbirds

ADELAIDE Thunderbirds won their fifth match on the trot with a convincing 17-goal win over Queensland Firebirds. Despite plenty of injury concerns testing their depth, the Thunderbirds got better and better as the game progressed, ultimately running away with the 63-46 win.

It initially started as a goal for goal affair, but thanks to Shamera Sterling, it was the Thunderbirds who were the first to pinch a goal off the opposition centre pass. They then converted their next centre pass to establish a proper lead.  The Thunderbirds grew their lead to as much as four goals as they made better use of the turnovers they were able to generate more than the Firebirds could.

As much as Remi Kamo was pulling her weight in defence, things were falling apart for the Firebirds as they progressed up the court. However as the Power Five came and went things started to turn around for the Firebirds and they began to lift.

With Donnell Wallam’s first successful Super Shot the Firebirds were back level and things had drastically turned.  Things were still tied at quarter time, with plenty of turnovers having been earned from both sides in the first time and proceedings very evenly poised.

Even though the Thunderbirds started the second quarter well by scoring a goal off the opening centre pass, things took a turn for the home side when Tippah Dwan had to leave the court injured.  This saw a shift in momentum in the Firebirds’ favour as they raced ahead to as much as three goals ahead.

The defensive pressure from the Firebirds was really affecting the Thunderbirds as things were starting to fall apart for the home side in attack.  But after a timeout, a move of Georgie Horjus to goal attack proved fruitful for the Thunderbirds when she landed a Super Shot with her first shot of the game to level things up.

The Thunderbirds snuck ahead late in the quarter to take a two-goal lead into half-time, but with injury concerns to other players it was looking like the Thunderbirds’ depth was going to be truly tested in the second half.

The Firebirds did not escape the half without injury concerns, as Gabi Simpson had to come from the court after getting up very gingerly from a heavy fall. Despite their injury concerns, the Thunderbirds still maintained their momentum, with the margin quickly out to five goals. 

The Firebirds then called a timeout and changed things up – including putting Mia Stower in wing attack – which appeared to swing the momentum briefly, but that did not last long as the Firebirds quickly put a stop to it. 

The Thunderbirds put their foot down late in the term and extended the lead out to as much as eight goals, but the Firebirds fought back late to reduce the margin back down to two goals at the final change.  Despite their strong finish to the third term, the Firebirds were unable to continue that momentum in the last term. 

The visitors managed to put only nine goals on the board in the final term as the Thunderbirds piled on 24 of their own to run away with the win.

Sterling (10 gains, nine deflections, six intercepts) was again stellar for the Thunderbirds, partnering well with Matilda Garrett (seven gains, six deflections, two intercepts).

The defenders were also the stars for the Firebirds, with Kamo finishing with seven gains, three deflections and three intercepts, while Ruby Bakewell-Doran finishing with six gains, four deflections and three intercepts. 

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 12 | 13 | 14 | 24 (63)
QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 12 | 11 | 14 | 9 (46)


Adelaide Thunderbirds

GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Tippah Dwan
WA: Georgie Horjus
C: Tayla Williams
WD: Latanya Wilson
GD: Matilda Garrett
GK: Shamera Sterling

Queensland Firebirds

GS: Donnell Wallam
GA: Emily Moore
WA: Lara Dunkley
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: Ruby Bakewell-Doran
GK: Remi Kamo

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