Rhinos charge home to win thriller

A SUNDAY night beauty took place in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL), with Leeds Rhinos coming from behind at the final break to defeat Wasps Netball for a much-needed victory. The win was the Rhinos’ third for the season, moving up to sixth on the table, whilst the Wasps remained in the bottom three spots with just one win from six matches thus far in season 2021/22.

  • Team
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • Wasps Netball

Coming into the match, both the Leeds Rhinos and Wasps were desperate for a win, and the clash at First Direct Arena seemed like the perfect storm for a nail-biting contest. It certainly lived up to expectations, with the visitors going out to a one-goal lead at quarter time. In front of home fans, Leeds stepped it up in the second term to score 13 goals to 11 and take back the lead by just one single goal heading into the main break.

Coming out after half-time, the Wasps were the ones to really make moves, scoring 13 goals to nine and holding sway by three goals with a quarter to play. Though they lead, the margin was never insurmountable, and the Rhinos charged home in the final quarter, and thanks to some experienced players, got over the line by just one goal courtesy of an 11-7 final quarter to finish on 44-43.

Sienna Rushton (26 goals from 34 attempts, two rebounds and four feeds) scored the go-ahead goal for the Rhinos, with Vicki Oyesola making a crucial tip in the final few moments of the match for the home team to regain possession. The goal defence was superb all game with two intercepts, eight deflections, seven turnovers and two rebounds, teaming up well with Tuaine Keenan (three intercepts, one deflection and four turnovers). Amy Clinton (11 goals from 16 attempts) was handy in the goal circle, whilst the presence of the experienced Jade Clarke (15 feeds, two deflections and one turnover) made a difference in the win.

The Wasps shared the goals around, with Rachel Dunn being a standout with her 19 goals, nine feeds, two rebounds, one deflection and one turnover in a Player of the Match performance despite being on the losing side. Gezelle Allison (14 goals from 18 attempts and two rebounds) and Lucy Parize (10 goals from 13 attempts and 12 feeds) also scored double-figure goals. Iona Christian topped her side with 13 feeds, whilst Josie Huckle (eight deflections, five turnovers, one intercept and one rebound) was solid in goal keeper.

Leeds Rhinos will travel to the University of Worcester Arena to take on the Severn Stars on Friday night, whilst Wasps host Celtic Dragons at the Coventry Building Society Arena on the same night.

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