SSN Player Focus: Shamera Sterling (Adelaide Thunderbirds)

IT has been a tough few rounds for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball competition. Two one-goal losses then a 10-goal loss last weekend means they are in a bit of a form slump at the moment.

But, one player who has really shone for the Thunderbirds not just in the last week but across the season is Shamera Sterling. It is not always easy to have an impact on the match at goal keeper, but the Jamaican international has at times really kept her side in the match.

It was very much the case on the weekend against the Queensland Firebirds.

As things fell apart up their attacking end, down the other end Sterling was certainly making it hard for the Firebirds attackers to get any easy shots in.

In a two on two situation in the circle, the vast majority of the time if it was a Firebird that won out and got the shot up, it was the shooter Sterling was not defending, so that shows how effective her intercept, deflection and general intercept work was.

She was also one of only two Thunderbirds (the other being skipper Hannah Petty) to play the full 60 minutes on the weekend, which is another sign of how well she was playing and how vital she was to keeping the Thunderbirds in the match.

Her final stats from the weekend are quite remarkable.

She finished with a game-high six rebounds and six intercepts (the intercepts figure being significantly higher then anyone else on the court), as well as four deflections, which was the highest out of all her teammates.

She ultimately finished with 110 Nissan Net Points, which although they do not tell the full story of how a game transpire, they are usually a good indication of how a player has gone and who the better players have been.

The figure is important because not only is it significantly higher than all of her teammates (the next highest being Elle McDonald on 44), but it is much higher than any Firebirds (the highest being Gretel Bueta on 77). It just goes to show that although she may have been on the losing side on the weekend, she was clearly best on court.

While the Thunderbirds themselves may not be having the best of seasons thus far, teams can never afford to take them lightly while Shamera Sterling is in the mix.

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