Pretty Black and White Wrap Up Collingwood Magpies V Queensland Firebirds Round 9 Sunday 23 June 2019, Melbourne Arena
The game started well with Geva Mentor on her game with quick hands tipping passes and stealing the ball. Shimona Nelson was a little slower to settle but got there through some great teamwork from Nat Medhurst, who set up some plays. Medhurst got plenty of ball and had some wonderful long shots, all accurate. Kimi Poi started in the centre and Kim Ravaillion was on the bench. Kelsey Browne showed her athleticism in how she took the passes and moved them on with great speed to Nelson. The Firebirds took a time out and rightly so as the previous 6 goals were all black and white. Upon their return to the court the Firebirds shooters were unsettled by Mentor who seemed to interrupt their flow taking easy rebounds and applying relentless pressure. Medhurst was playing out of her skin as a feeder and goaler. The Magpies took the bonus point and led by 5 points at the first break.
The second quarter saw the Firebirds play a very settled, patient game and start to reduce the deficit. Collingwood went back to trying to force the ball into the circle and the Firebirds scored the first 3 goals of the quarter. The Pies took a time out and the advice from the Coaches was to work the GA back into the game and once back on court that was exactly what they did, with Medhurst scoring a beautiful high goal. The Firebirds levelled the score and a step by one of the Firebirds caused a turnover and Nelson scored. The next 3 goals were Collingwood. The black and white defence was outstanding as the Firebirds had difficulty getting the ball over the transverse line out of defence. Medhurst had her eye in with 8/8 goals and the Pies pulled away by 3 points. Medhurst had great vision and got the ball straight to Nelson from the centre pass.
The Firebirds called a time out and put Ramelda Aikin into GK in an effort to slow down the shooting machine that was Medhurst and Nelson. Nelson got her shots off in spite of Aikin’s height and Medhurst could not be stopped. The Firebirds took the bonus point at the end of the second quarter and the Magpies led by 4 goals.
The third quarter began with Aikin back on the bench and Mentor and Brandley dishing out some great defensive pressure. The Pies had a momentary lapse and struggled with their pass placement. They started forcing the ball into the circle. A bit of extra running from Medhurst and things were back on track with some very swift passes into Nelson.
Brazill did her athletic best to keep Nevins (Firebirds) out of the game. The Firebirds stepped up their defensive efforts and Collingwood played a very patient game working the ball into the circle and Medhurst delivering some amazing passes into Nelson. The Magpies called a time out and the Coach asked for more than one option and Mentor told her team mates to have a crack at the ball in defence. The team responded to the Coaches message and moved the ball quickly down the court, giving Collingwood the lead by 6 points.
The Pies circle defence was fantastic as Tippett (Firebirds) caused a turnover for contact and Kelsey Browne was throwing her body behind the ball. The Bonus point went to the Magpies and they led by 6 points going into the final break.
Collingwood started hard and fast in the last quarter and the Firebirds began to crack under the pressure. The Pies led by 8 goals and the Firebirds called a desperate time out. The advice to the Firebirds defenders was to jump on the shot to stop Nelson scoring.
Aikin came on in GS and a couple of calls went against Mentor, but the Magpie defence was a real headache for the Firebirds. Collingwood continued to put their foot down and Medhurst kept up the fast, long feeds to Nelson. Mentor had front position in the circle and took a beautiful intercept and the ball moved swiftly up court. Nelson missed two shots in a row but got her own rebound to finally get the goal. Ravaillion showed that she could help settle her side and add dynamic play by getting a few touches. The Firebirds forced the ball into the circle and Mentor was too good for Aikin. Desperate for percentage with only seconds to go Nelson took a pass at the top of the circle and turned to successfully bomb it. Nelson was surprised and the stadium erupted. Collingwood scored the final bonus point and won by 13 goals.
Final score Pies 63 Firebirds 50 Pies by 13 points
Player of the match: Natalie Medhurst, Collingwood Magpies
This was the Collingwood Magpies Netball team that we know and love. There was a lot more confidence and cohesion on court this week. This win secured fourth place and the finals in four weeks-time after the World Cup. Nat Medhurst had 100% accuracy with her shooting for the game, something you don’t see very often and Nelson around 96% by the third quarter (73% last week) which was the difference in their game this week. The defenders had an outstanding game with Mentor joining the 100 touches club and keeping Tippett’s shooting stats to just 80%. Ash Brazill kept Nevins quiet and as a team they really stepped up their defensive efforts. They played a steady, patient game. It was also nice the see the Coach a little less exasperated this week. I’m excited for finals as we all know just what this team can do especially with the right mind set. Looking forward to a great final series.
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Pretty Black and White Wrap Up Gold Coast Lightning V Collingwood Round 8 Saturday 15 June 2019, USC Stadium
Both teams started confidently, and Lightning quickly took control of the game, but the Pies were still in it. Medhurst shot a long bomb and Mentor was quick to pick up a loose ball. Unfortunately, it was not converted. The Goal Shooter for Lightning, Proscovia, bounced the ball off the post in order to get closer for a goal and scored leaving Mentor a little surprised but it was legal. At the 8.40-minute mark the Magpies were trailing by 4 points and took a time out. The Pies returned to the court and worked hard to claw back 2 goals. The bonus point went to Lightning at the end of the 1st quarter and the Pies trailed by 2 goals.
The start of the second quarter saw the Pies chasing Lightning until they settled and got their game into full swing. The Magpies applied strong defensive pressure in the circle resulting in turn overs and the Pies had levelled the score. The Pies then started to force the ball into the circle and a lack of vision saw the easy option to Medhurst missed. Lightning had a time out at 7.18 minutes and came back on in full force. At this time the Lightning Goal Shooter had it all over the defenders. The Magpies called another late time out but failed to improve their score line.
The bonus point went to Lightning at the end of the second quarter and Collingwood trailed by 6 goals at the main break.
The Magpies looked as though they were ready to play their game at the start of the 3rd quarter with Brandley showing great vision with a beautiful pass to Browne at the top of the circle then into Nelson for a goal. This momentum shifted backwards, and the Magpies had trouble finding their groove. Brazill threw herself into the game in an attempt to inspire her teammates. At this stage of the game the penalties were 26 to 46 with the Pies copping the brunt of the infringements. Mentor kept fighting and picked up a defensive rebound and sent it to the attack end for another Magpie goal. Collingwood trailed by 13 goals and Lightning picked up another bonus point.
The final quarter saw Sinclair on for Medhurst and Garrett on for Brandley and the Magpies struggled to find their own game. Medhurst came on for Nelson to hopefully introduce a different style of shooting game (both Sinclair and Medhurst are under 6foot tall) however old habits die hard and players were still trying to feed the ball over the back only to be easily picked off by tall, eager defenders. Garrett had a run but racked up the penalties and Medhurst tried to share the goaling with Sinclair, but the lack of familiarity was their undoing. Lightning collected the final bonus point and the Pies were defeated by 23 goals.
Final score Lightning 64 Pies 41
Player of the match: Karla Pretorius
Collingwood seemed to start well but there appeared to be a shift in mindset about halfway through the game. I’m not sure if there was fatigue from travel or the lack of calls got to them, but this was not the same side we saw and loved last week. I always argue that if you can watch a game of netball and barely notice the umpires then they are doing a great job. However, there were many calls missed and Collingwood seemed to be on the end of them. The penalty count at half time speaks volumes. Some would argue they were given a few, yes a few but what about the Lightning GK arms across Nelson and Sinclair? Last time I checked that was obstruction and the penalty was out of play and a pass or shot to the affected shooter. The GK also was touching the ball as the shooters were about to shoot. That is contact and again the player should stand out of play. And that penalty when apparently Nelson ‘pushed’ Pretorius and as Liz Ellis said “She milked that” was upon replay, inflicted by her own player. And I know that you can’t blame the umpires for the way that Collingwood played but I think that it went a long way to dampening their enthusiasm especially when they knew they were not going to get the calls. One spectator commented “It’s 50% Collingwood and 50% the umpires.” Liz Ellis commented “They are such a talented line up. What is going on in that club?” On the surface all appears to be well at Collingwood and I don’t think they need to go back to the drawing board. I think they have a good game. Maybe they need a bit of mental toughness when it comes to poor umpiring decisions or a better travel recovery program. That’s another game that can be chalked up to experience even for these players.
Looking forward to next week against the Firebirds in Melbourne. Go Pies!
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Pretty Black and White Wrap Up Melbourne Vixens V Collingwood Magpies Round 7 Monday 10 June 2019, Melbourne Arena
The Magpies started hard, scored 4 quick goals and had a very controlled game. Mannix and Weston (Vixens) found it hard to defend Shimona Nelson and amassed the penalties. Ash Brazill was her usual athletic self and turned over the ball which resulted in a goal. Collingwood was up by 5 points with 58% of the possessions at the 5-minute mark and the Vixens called a time out. Kim Ravaillion was all over the loose balls and the Magpie defence forced the Vixens backwards on their centre pass. April Brandley was producing the goods in the circle with an intercept that resulted in a Magpie goal. Nelson became a little nervous under pressure and missed a few easy shots. The result being a time out for Collingwood at the 2.45-minute mark with a 4-goal lead. The advice from the Coach, Rob Wright, whom I might add was absolutely on fire this week, was to maintain the pressure and get the job done and that, they did. The Magpies scored the bonus point at the end of the first quarter and led by 7 goals.
The Vixens applied pressure at the start of the 2nd quarter resulting in a lost centre pass for the Magpies. Brandley recovered a loose ball and Nelson came good and scored. The Vixens switched from Watson to Maloney on Ash Brazill which upped the intensity mid court and around the Magpies defensive end. Nat Medhurst was her cool self under pressure and easily goaled. Nelson followed suit and goaled quickly and often. The Vixens fought back and levelled the score, so the Magpies called a time out; they talked about not conceding the space. This worked but not for Nelson who could not buy a call against the contacting Mannix. Brandley took a brilliant intercept, but it wasn’t paid, and Nelson started to take the ball in front, which was better, more effective play for her. The Vixens took the bonus point at the half time break and the Magpies led by 3 points.
The start of the 3rd quarter saw the battle continue with Geva Mentor taking an intercept and Caitlin Thwaites copping an elbow to the face which she was slow to recover from. Eventually she came off court with a blood nose and Fletcher came in for her. The 1st half of the game produced 35 turnovers showing the absolute intensity by both teams. Poi came on in place of Ravaillion to mix things up in the centre a little with her speed and Thwaites (Vixens) came back on possibly because Fletcher conceded too many balls in the circle. Ravaillion returned after 5 minutes and the intensity continued. The Magpies were outstanding in defence and forced the ball to the edge of the circle giving the opportunistic Mentor an intercept. Nelson was good at scooping up the loose balls but could not convert them. Phillip (Vixens) scored with a long bomb taking the pressure off Thwaites. Thwaites forgot who she was playing against and moved too early on a hold giving Mentor a nice easy pick off. The Vixens took the bonus point at the end of the third quarter and the Magpies led by 2 points.
The final quarter saw the Magpies score quickly and a tidy rebound from Mentor produced yet another Magpie goal. Medhurst shot a long bomb that was all net and the Vixens called a time out as the Magpies led by 5 points. The Pies took their last time out at the 4.50-minute mark only to return and continue the match with the same intensity. This won them the game by 3 points.
Final score Vixens 52 Pies 55 Pies by 3 points
Player of the match Rene Ingles, Vixens
Wow! What a game and what a win. It was hard fought and well deserved. The Magpies started hard and finished that way and at no point did they concede the lead to the Vixens. It felt like a grudge match and in some ways, it was, because technically the Magpies are the ‘new kid in town’ and the Vixens consider this their territory. Rob Wright, the Coach, was the most animated and enthused that I have ever seen him and obviously did some great work with this team during the week. What was interesting is the amount of unforced errors by the Vixens. This demonstrates that the defensive pressure was constant, intense and deliberate.
This week, I liked that there were not too many changes to the team because I think that consistency is the key with this particular team. They were all fired up and enthusiastic for the whole game and it would seem determined to make amends for the previous losses. Possibly putting the other teams on notice. This puts the Magpies in 5th place and in a position to make finals if they continue to produce the goods that they did against the Vixens. Congratulations to Shimona Nelson for reaching the milestone of her 300th goal. Well done!
Next week will be another match of titanic proportions against Lightning who are currently 2nd on the ladder. Looking forward to another exciting game. Go Pies!
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Pretty Black and White Wrap Up NSW Swifts V Collingwood Magpies Round 6 Sunday 2 June 2019, Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
The Magpies were slow to start, and the umpires were clamping down on footwork stinging both Ravaillion and Medhurst. The Swifts played a patient game and worked the ball into their circle leaving the Magpies trailing by 5 points. At the 5-minute mark the Magpies got a turnover and steadily pegged back the Swifts lead. The Pies continued to work hard and levelled the score causing a Swifts time out. Mentor was at her finest and picked off the ball around the edge of the circle. The Swifts had 51% of the possessions to the Magpies 49%. At the break the Swifts led by 3 points and collected the bonus point.
The start of the second quarter saw a lack of rebounding from the Magpie defenders bring it to 4 so early in the game. Medhurst delivered a beautiful pass into Nelson and produced a goal but the Swifts continued to press on, and the Pies had a 9-goal deficit. The Pies called a time out around the 9-minute mark and on return gave more of the same. Brazill used her great vision to get a bomb to Nelson who scored. Brazill continued to work hard and show her athleticism around the edge of the circle by flicking it back in and not going offside. Another Magpie time out saw big changes in the team with Poi in for Ravaillion, Sinclair in for Medhurst and Garrett in for Brandley. The Swifts took their lead to 10 points. Sinclair had 2 successful long shots and reduced the Swifts lead to 8 points at half time. The Swifts took another bonus point at the end of the quarter.
The third quarter saw the return of Medhurst and Brandley, with Brandley and Mentor momentarily finding their groove. The Swifts took a time out with a 10-goal lead. Brandley and Mentor were unable to stop the shooting machine that was Wallace (Swifts). At the final break the Swifts led by 11 goals and took the final bonus point.
The final term saw the Magpies defence not working with many unforced errors. The Magpies called a time out at the 6.5-minute mark and were trailing by 16 points. Mentor was replaced with Garrett and Browne started trying to force the ball into the circle. Garrett was outclassed in the circle by Wallace and Nelson was moving too early in the Magpie end. The Pies opted for unsuccessful lobs to Nelson over the easy option of Medhurst. They managed to stop the haemorrhaging with a 16-point deficit to the Swifts at the final siren.
Final score Giants 68 Pies 52 Swifts by 16 points
Player of the match Sarah Klau, Swifts
I’m not sure what happened to this very talented team this week but there seemed to be a disconnect. At times their Coach was unable to offer options to counter the opposition and I’m not sure why there was so much talent and experience on the bench at a crucial time in the game. I understand that players need a rest but putting a small Goal Defence on a very tall shooter and expecting a good result was surely up there with the definition of madness. By the final quarter the Magpies knew they were beaten, and their heads started to drop. By all appearances it seems that there needs to be a shift in mind set; especially with all that talent in the team. And for my money there seemed to be a lack of passion that started in the coaching box and spread throughout the team. Maybe the team need to go back to basics with their drills and plays and a little team bonding wouldn’t go astray either. This team has the ability to produce bigger and better things. Sure, a win would be great, but a game where the intensity does not stop, and every player is giving their all and doing a little on-court problem solving might give them the confidence to win. I believe in this team even if some of them are not there yet. Looking forward to next week’s game against The Vixens. Go Pies!
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Hi, in a nutshell I love my Pies, Collingwood Magpies that is. I have loved the Black and White since I was 8 years old. I also love my AFL, AFLW and Netball. These are my thoughts on each game and to me it's Pretty Black and White.