SSN Mid Season Report Cards

IT is officially halfway through the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season, so it is time to take a look at where everyone sits on the ladder, and how the back half of their season might look.

8th – NSW Swifts – 2 wins

The reigning champions have had a season they would rather forget thus far. But, they did lose starting shooter Sam Wallace in Round 1, so her loss was always going to have a huge impact.

However, they have also been their own worst enemy at times this season. As much as the likes of Helen Housby and Maddy Proud have busted their guts every week, errors like wayward passing into the circle have not helped their cause at all.

They have got the GIANTS then the Thunderbirds in the next fortnight. The GIANTS will be a tricky assignment, especially because they will be in a world of confidence after their huge win last week, but the Thunderbirds game will certainly be a winnable one.

7th – Adelaide Thunderbirds – 2 wins

Adelaide is another side that has been its own worst enemy at times this season, and finds itself second to last on the ladder.

The Thunderbirds will also be cursing the narrow losses they’ve had thus far this season. They have had multiple one-goal losses already this season, and if those had been wins the Thunderbirds would be sitting in a very different position at the moment.

One player who has been an absolute star this season is Shamera Sterling. Her intercept work has been exceptional, and she has single handily kept her side in the match at times.

In the next fortnight, they have the Lightning and Swifts. Both are winnable games, and they quite frankly must win if they are any chance of playing finals.

6th – Sunshine Coast Lightning – 3 wins

The Lightning have had quite the Jekyll and Hyde kind of season, in the sense that the gap between their best and worst this season has been quite wide.

They were exceptional against the Vixens, but were poor against the GIANTS. That performance could be put down to Cara Koenen missing, but they cannot afford any more performances like that if they want to make finals.

Looking at players that have played well thus far, Tara Hinchliffe is currently third in the league for defensive rebounds, while Steph Wood has been very good from super shot range, as per usual.

In the next fortnight they have the Thunderbirds and Fever. The Fever game will be tough, but the Thunderbirds is a very winnable game.

5th – Collingwood Magpies – 3 wins

What a few weeks the Magpies have had! After a very poor start to the season, they have found their groove, got a string of wins on the board and looking dangerous again with all their weapons firing.

The win against the Vixens in particular really showed how good the Magpies can be. They were in control all game, and adapted their game style well to counter the Vixens’ advantages.

They will need to maintain that form in the back half of the season, and in the next fortnight they do have two tough matches. They face the Fever this weekend, but the confidence from beating the Vixens will help them, and then they face the Firebirds, who they have beaten already this season.

4th – GIANTS Netball – 4 wins

Unlike their crosstown rivals, the GIANTS are really proving why they were Grand Finalists last season.

After a Covid outbreak within the team hampered the start to their season, the last couple of weeks have shown the true GIANTS, and they have inflicted a few giant killings along the way. They beat the Fever, then absolutely thrashed the Lightning, so will be a side to watch in the coming weeks.

Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer have been on song in front of the ring, while Matilda McDonell has been impressive in defence.

They have the Swifts and the Vixens in the next fortnight. They should comfortably beat the Swifts, which will set up a mouth-watering clash against the Vixens, especially with the Vixens not at their best at the moment.

3rd – Queensland Firebirds – 4 wins

The Firebirds have had a bit of a rollercoaster of a season, but the trajectory of the season is a mostly positive one.

When they are up and firing, they are awesome to watch. However, when a team gets on top of them it is quite the opposite.

However, they have arguably unearthed the recruit of the season in Donnell Wallam. Although only in her first year in the SSN competition, she looks like she has been playing for much longer and her partnership with Gretel Bueta has developed exceptionally.

In the next fortnight they have the Victorian teams back to back, so although they have not beaten either yet this season, if they do manage to knock them off it will go a long way to establishing their credentials.

2nd – Melbourne Vixens – 5 wins

After having a season to forget last year, the Vixens are certainly back to their 2020 form that saw them win the flag that year – most of the time.

The gap between their best and worst is a canyon. Against both the Lightning and the Magpies they were outclassed and looked like a sub par side.

Their mid court in particular has been exceptional this year. Having Liz Watson back in the side has been a huge boost for the Vixens, and the injection of Kiera Austin has gone a long way to finally filling the gap of the departure of Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip from a few seasons ago.

In the next few weeks they have the Firebirds and GIANTS. Both have the potential to be tantalising clashes, and could also go a long way to determining the final make up of the top four.

1st – West Coast Fever – 5 wins

The team to beat thus far, and realistically the premiership favourites at this point in the season. Although the Fever have lost two matches, they have not been big losses and they were not really outclassed as such.

It really has been a team effort from the Fever, from the star defending of Courtney Bruce, to the running machine in Verity Simmons and the very accurate Jhaniele Fowler. The goal circle partnership between Fowler and Sasha Glasgow has also been very good, so when that gets disrupted, it can bring the Fever unstuck.

After going so close a few times, is this finally the Fever’s year? Time will tell.

They have the Pies and Lightning in the next fortnight, which are two matches they should easily win.

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