Saints stun astonished Ariels

SOUTHERN Saints rose in the almighty championship quarter to demolish the Ariels by 28 goals in the second half of the Victorian Netball League (VNL) Round 10 clash.

A 75-47 victory for the Southern Saints pushed their campaign for the top four even further with their convincing third quarter performance over the ninth placed Ariels. During the majority of this outing, the Saints goalers were isolating themselves to get the best one on one opportunity which was opening up Emily Andrew (37 goals) under the post.

The Saints led by five at the first break with both sides doing vastly different things in attack. The Saints midcourters were unfazed and willing to use the pockets to feed the ball into their shooters, whereas the Ariels players were determined to always pass the ball in from the top of the circle.

It looked as though Andrew could do no wrong, slotting goals from her favourite spot under the post and slowly pushing herself out further, even spiking down a ball and chasing it down for a goal.

The Ariels pinned back the lead to within as close as four with the help of go to ball getter Jo Wietrzyk. She was forcing turnovers from the Saints midcourt, which were rare but she was making the most of her possessions and was able to bring the ball down court, especially in the second term.

From a five-goal lead extended to 10 by half-time. The Ariels seemed to be in reaching distance but were struggling to get the ball over their respective transverse line.

Young 17-year-old Mia van Wyk made an immediate impact when shifted from wing defence into keeper against Millie Brock (24) who had van Wyk up to her shoulders. The building connection between newly championship promoted van Wyk and Tadiwanashe Kahonde was stunning with Kahonde winning the pick ups while getting gains of her own.

Van Wyk’s elevation and read of the play was amazing and her body positioning as well as her footwork was allowing her to cleanly get in front of her shooter after starting behind helping her get a hand to the ball. She really summed up the second half for the Saints when she swatted the ball, sending it high in the air and jumping as high as she could to get the gain. 

The Saints put their foot down in the third quarter and extended their lead from four midway through the second term to 23 heading into the final break.

A moving circle proved to work well for the Ariels in the fourth, but the Saints were too clinical on their turnover conversion and kept on pulling their lead out by another five by the time the full time siren sounded.


Melbourne University Lightning (48) defeated by Hawks Netball (52)

Ariels (47) defeated by Southern Saints (75)

City West Falcons (67) defeated Geelong Cougars (58)

North East Blaze (68) defeated by Casey Demons (69)

Boroondara Express (62) defeated Peninsula Waves (45)

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