NS Scoreboard: SSN Round 1, 2024


West Coast Fever 84 def Giants Netball 65
Adelaide Thunderbirds 63 def Queensland Firebirds 62
Melbourne Vixens 68 def Melbourne Mavericks 61
Sunshine Coast Lightning 79 def NSW Swifts 63

Kim Ravaillion notched her 150th national league match in Adelaide. Image: Hannah Howard

Kim Ravaillion notched her 150th national league match in Adelaide. Image: Hannah Howard


Kim Ravaillion – 150 national league matches

Shanice Beckford – SSN Debut
Sam Winders – SSN Debut
Erin O’Brien – SSN Debut
Fran Williams – SSN Debut
Olivia Wilkinson – SSN Debut
Lauren Frew – SSN Debut
Zara Walters – SSN Debut
Rolene Streutker – SSN Debut
Jessie Grenvold – SSN Debut
Elle Temu – SSN Debut


Jo Weston (Vixens) – calf
Hannah Mundy (Vixens)  – quad
Sasha Glasgow (Mavericks) – lower leg fracture
Lauren Moore (Mavericks) – ACL
Teigan O’Shannassy – hip injury


News of the Week

In an encouraging sign for the League, a record Round One total attendance was recorded for Suncorp Super Netball. 20,802 fans attended the four matches over the weekend, showing the interest is certainly there for this competition.  

Mavericks have been hard hit by injuries before the season even started, with Sasha Glasgow (lower leg fracture) and Lauren Moore (ACL) both long term outs. Mavericks craftily signed young South African sensation, Rolene Streutker to replace Glasgow, and were able to add Shimona Jok (nee Nelson) as their 11th player. Having not taken the court during the last World Cup, Jok is theoretically able to represent Australia, and so qualified in what many see as a loop hole in the rule designed to give rookies an opportunity.  Jessie Grenvold was part of the match day 10 to replace Moore, but is yet to be announced as an official temporary replacement player. 

Rolene Streutker made her Mavericks and SSN debut in her side's loss to the Melbourne Vixens. Image: Aliesha Vicars

Rolene Streutker made her Mavericks and SSN debut in her side’s loss to the Melbourne Vixens. Image: Aliesha Vicars

When Kim Ravaillion needed spinal surgery during the off season following a disc injury, the former Diamonds’ midcourter was unsure if she’d be able to return to netball at all. So it was fabulous to see Rav make a strong recovery, and notch up 23 minutes of court time in Round 1. 

At the Lightning v Swifts match a touching moment of silence was held before the warm-up as a sign of remembrance for the fallen and injured victims of the Westfield Sydney stabbing massacre.   

During the Thunderbirds match, it was announced that the Netball SA stadium will receive a $92 million rebuild, albeit with no increase in its current 3,000 seat capacity. 

The rookies

Lauren Frew started at goal attack in the Thunderbirds new look shooting circle. The 22 year old is one of the new breed of towering goal attacks, standing at 187cm in height. Frew slotted smoothly into place, finishing with 10/13, 19 feeds and 12 centre pass receives. 

Lauren Frew and Remi Kamo battle for the ball. Image: Hannah Howard

Lauren Frew had a strong debut performance for Adelaide. Image: Hannah Howard

While it’s hard to class the 28 year old Shanice Beckford as a rookie, given her 75 test caps, it was the Jamaican’s first Super Netball match. Beckford was electric, combining smoothly with Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard, and lighting up Fever’s attacking play. Beckford ran rings around  opponent Jodi-Ann Ward, contributing 31 centre pass receives, 19 feeds and a crucial intercept. Beckford’s accuracy of 67% (12/18) could be improved, but Fowler picked off all 6 offensive rebounds. 

No Watson, no worries for Vixens, with 20 year old Zara Walters slotting smoothly into the Vixens midcourt. The wing attack contributed 40 feeds and 15 centre pass receives, and crucially pulled in two intercepts in a classy debut. 

New recruit Zara Walters fitted seamlessly into the Vixens midcourt. Image Aliesha Vicars

New recruit Zara Walters fitted seamlessly into the Vixens midcourt. Image Aliesha Vicars

The shooting circle

Five time league MVP Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard had to relinquish her title to Jamaican compatriot Shamera Sterling-Humphrey last season, but staked an early claim in the opening round. Fowler-Nembhard hit 67/68 goals, including 3 supershots, for a total of 70 points. That was just one point shy of Donnell Wallam’s record of 71 points set last season.

Teams are getting more confident and proficient at taking the supershot, and it sure was on show this round. The only team which shot at less than 50% from the two point zone was Fever, and they were so dominant, it didn’t matter. Across all four games, a prolific 98 attempts were made, with 66 of them scoring for 67% accuracy. Only two of the 21 shooters who took the court this weekend didn’t attempt a long bomb – Cara Koenen and Romelda Aiken-George. In a shock to absolutely no one, Helen Housby was the supershot super star, nailing all eight of her attempts trying desperately to claw back the Swifts deficit against Lightning.

Helen Housby hit 100% of her supershots in her side's loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Image: Marcela Massey

Helen Housby hit 100% of her supershots in her side’s loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Image: Marcela Massey

The midcourt

Two veteran midcourters proved their class and tenacity in new colours. Former Lightning teammates and premiership winners Kelsey Browne and Laura Scherian were switched on and off regularly for Fever and Thunderbirds respectively, and neither committed a turnover in 40 minutes court time. Browne had a field day servicing her Jamaican shooters with 19 assists, while Scherian’s was a dogged yet steadying impact player for Adelaide at quarter time,  giving Tania Obst plenty of options to rotate the midcourt and guide the younger athletes. At the end of 2023 it seemed possible that both players’ elite careers were ending, but the first round showed that this would have been premature indeed.

Alice Teague-Neeld continued her strong form of 2023, with a dominant opening round performance. She contributed 50 feeds and 19 centre pass receives in Fever’s win.

One of the key match-ups of the weekend was the tussle between centres Kate Moloney (Vixens) and Molly Jovic (Mavericks). The hard running pair almost negated each other’s efforts, but both provided a pivotal link between attack and defence.  

The defenders

The league’s best defensive unit were pivotal in the Thunderbirds narrow victory over the Firebirds. The back three of Shamera Sterling-Humphrey, Tilly Garrett and Latanya Wilson combined for a monster 18 gains. That included 9 intercepts, 20 deflections, 3 rebounds and 6 pickups. 

Courtney Bruce was slow to warm up in her first game as a Lightning player. Up against Sam Wallace-Joseph, who was strong in the air and on the move especially with silver platter service from her mid-court, Bruce was only able to record one gain and three deflections in the first half. A slight tinker to the midcourt, with more defensive pressure coming from the injection of Ava Black alongside Mahalia Cassidy really allowed Bruce into the game for the second half. She added an extra deflection and three clean intercepts to her stat sheet which were key in rallying her side to a strong opening round victory. 

Courtney Bruce grew into the game in Round 1. Image: Marcela Massey

Courtney Bruce grew into the game in Round 1. Image: Marcela Massey


Fever’s defensive pressure on Giants’ shooter Sophie Dwyer paid dividends. With fast and smooth shooting being such a key part of Dwyer’s game, Fever’s defensive trio of Kadie-Ann DehaneySunday Aryang, and Fran Williams combined to put great pressure on the shot and never let the goal attack get into a rhythm. As a result, Dwyer ended the match with 22/32 at just 69% and it affected her confidence in other areas. She’s too good a player to not come back from this one poor game, but on this occasion, the tactic worked well in Fever’s favour. 

In contrast, West Coast’s successful attacking game plan was based largely on nullifying Jodi-Ann Ward. The athletic Jamaican defender normally pulls in dazzling intercepts at will – in round one she had only one gain via a deflection. Shanice Beckford never stopped offering and clearing, not offering long racing leads which are easily chased down. The Fever goal attack waited off the top of the circle and a little bit wide before her entry, distracting Ward and allowing tall wing attack Alice Teague-Neeld to take the best feeding position in all three channels, By checking where the Giants’ goal defence was covering, West Coast simply put the ball elsewhere, to a safe reset or a swing across court.  Even when Giants ran at the ball outside the circle to build pressure, their teammates weren’t able to back up, making retention of possession easy for Fever, as they converted 88% of centre passes and 100% of Giants’ turnovers.

Fever v Giants Round 1 SSN. Image: Danny Dalton

The all-Jamaican shooting end for Fever is humming. Image: Danny Dalton

In their game against Firebirds, it appeared to be a conscious decision from Thunderbirds to opt out of going for the super shot. They scored just two for the game, and for the most part, relied on scoring regular goals to stay in front, while Firebirds regularly pegged them back with two pointers. It may also have been a choice to not place too much pressure on new goal attack Lauren Frew. In the end, it was Georgie Horjus’s move from wing attack to goal attack in the last quarter, and her lone super shot with just over three minutes to go, which proved vital to their win.   

Shamera Sterling-Humphrey comes through for the flying intercept. Image: Hannah Howard.

Shamera Sterling-Humphrey comes through for the flying intercept. Image: Hannah Howard.

Stats performance of the week

Thunderbirds’ Shamera Sterling-Humphrey had 10 possession gains in total, made up of six intercepts, two deflections and two rebounds. 10 gains is the same number as the whole Firebirds team that she was up against. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, GIANTS could only manage three gains in their entire game against Fever. 

Across the eight teams, there was some good consistency to the scores – with six teams all posting results in the 60s. The stand outs were Fever and Lightning, finishing with 84 and 79 respectively. Largely due to their low error and high conversion rate, there was a lot of similarity for the key stats from both teams

Centre Pass to Goal: Fever 88% Lightning 90%
Gain to Goal: Fever 82% Lightning 88%
Turnovers: Fever 8 Lightning 10
Shooting Percentage: Fever 88% Lightning 91%
Gains: Fever 11 Lightning 8

With such similar stats, an exciting top two clash awaits in Round 2 when they go head to head as Courtney Bruce returns to Perth for the first time since her defection to the east coast. 

Rolling stats of the season

As we enter the 2024 season of Suncorp Super Netball, it’s a good time to look back at some of the best performers in the seven seasons so far. Firstly, who has played the most SSN matches? Incredibly, six players were tied coming into this season, but with the retirement of Verity Simmons and Jo Weston’s injury-enforced rest, there are now four players left on top with 108 matches played; Sarah Klau of the Swifts, Kate Moloney of the Vixens, Jamie-Lee Price of the Giants, and newly signed Thunderbird Laura Scherian

Unsurprisingly, Fever’s spearhead Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard is well on top of the goal scoring list. She has 5,309 goals at just over 55 goals per game. Regarding feeders, again one name is well ahead. Liz Watson has amassed 2,315 goal assists at almost 25 per game. Defensively, two names stand out; Courtney Bruce leads every major defensive category; gains, intercepts, deflections, and rebounds. However, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey is closing the gap with a higher average per game in each one.

Post Match Chats

Tania Obst, Adelaide Thunderbirds Head Coach

On not being able to push the lead out

“I think there’s moments in each quarter where we would get to say four or five, out and then we’re unable to push ahead. I think that was probably mistakes off our own hand so they’ll be areas that we’ll have a look at. This team has a real belief that regardless of the situation we know that we will get the ball back, we know how to bring it through to put it through the ring. It’s probably about tidying up some technical errors but at least we’re giving our fans another exciting game to watch”

On the new recruits – Romelda Aiken-George, Lauren Frew & Laura Scherian

“We had three changes, we retained 70% of our Premiership team. I suppose they’re all in one area of the court which might make it feel like there was more changes than there actually was. We’re still working through some of those combinations. We’ve had a good 10-12 weeks of doing that, it is a bit different when it comes to playing for points. I thought Romelda was pretty solid for us under the post. Lauren in her debut was pretty solid as well, she was always a reliable option for us and went to post pretty confidently. And when Schez got out there she was making the most of her opportunity to be out on the court. So really happy with the three and what they did tonight”

Romelda Aiken-George and Remi Kamo in the air. Image: Hannah Howard

Romelda Aiken-George had a strong opening performance for the Adelaide Thunderbirds. Image: Hannah Howard

Shamera Sterling, Adelaide Thunderbirds Match MVP

On the various defensive combinations

“Whatever is put in front of me I am able to work with, we’ve been together for quite a while so we’ve got that connection with each other. Whether it’s Latanya or Tilly on court, I’m able to adjust to the play”

On getting to play at Adelaide Entertainment Centre every home game

“Netball SA holds 3500 fans, but the last couple of years we’ve had more people wanting to come to our games but it was sold out. It’s great that we have more capacity here, so that more fans will be able to come and watch. I feel like we have some of the best supporters here in Adelaide so it’s great to get them to come and see our games”

Bec Bulley, Queensland Firebirds Head Coach

Overall thoughts on the game

“Overall I was pretty pleased with that game, we set out to stay in the game for 60 minutes so to fight back like that was really positive. For us now it’s about finishing off, closing out and winning those close games”

On combating the Thunderbirds defence

“I think there’s no doubt the Thunderbirds have such a strong defensive unit, so we knew it was always going to be tough. I think Wallam did a great job of making sure she found Sterling, that she had plenty of space to drop into. Our feeds were on point as well, that was really important. That bit of variety with Tippah Dwan in the mix also did a great job.

Kim Ravaillion, Firebirds Captain

On her playing future following off-season spinal surgery

“There was absolutely fear of not playing again, but me in my competitive head was like ‘I’m not going to let that happen’ and I did whatever I could to make sure I was strong enough, I felt good and my leg was ready to go”

On the unfamiliar position of starting on the bench

“I’ve spent a bit of time on the sideline this preseason so I’ve been pretty comfortable there. But when Bec gave me the nod I knew that I was ready to go, 100% fit, so I just had to have that confidence stepping out on court. Once the adrenaline kicked in I was in the zone and just wanted to win so bad. To lose by one to a championship side is a promising sign for us, we’ll take so much confidence from the game and don’t want that to happen again.”

Belinda Reynolds, Head Coach Sunshine Coast Lightning

On getting the new recruits and rookies on court. 

“I think all of our young ones played well today. They all played their roles. With Leesa MiMi she started really strong. Ava slotted into the wing defence role and had a great knock for a wing defence. Even Reilley at the end, when she went on she fronted up for those two two-pointers. The experience around them also know how to bring the young ones into the game and make sure they feel comfortable.”

On the supershot defence

“I thought the Swifts used their speed and exploited our defence a bit. We have a couple of strategies in the two-point dfence and I think the split circle worked well against the Swifts. That’s not to say it will work well against every team. So we will keep exploring the variation when it comes to the two-point shot.”

Ava Black, Sunshine Coast Lightning wing defence

On playing alongside and training against Liz Watson.

“I am still in awe of her. Even at training, I still have a big smile on my face when I look at her. I am still adjusting to having her there.”

On the pressure of being ‘the team to beat’

“We have talked about the noise and on having a really good list and what leads into that. But playing at home when you have the fans around you, and when everyone wants to see you do really well, I think with the nerves… it just eases the pressure.”

Briony Akle, Head Coach NSW Swifts 

On where the game was lost

“Lightning were too good. It’s as simple as that. We were good in patches but we could not match their speed of ball today. I thought they were exceptional.”

Maddy Proud, Swifts Co-Captain

On having Sam Wallace back out on court

“It felt unreal to have her back. That has been the absolute highlight. And maybe that makes it a little more disappointing to lose today because it would have been so good to sing our song with her. I think it has been 749 days between SSN matches for her. There was a point there where Sammy, and I think a lot of people, thought that was it. And she had a real tough time in that last year being able to get back and rehab. I think she was awesome and we let her down a lot today.” 

“It was real nice last night. We had a lot of messages from back in Trinidad and a lot of her old coaches and her family were wishing her well. It made it really special. We got all the emotion out last night so that she could be all business today. Sammy is a true professional and a class act and I think we saw from the beginning that she took it all in her stride and was great.”

Sam Wallace shares a laugh with Courtney Bruce. Image: Marcela Massey

Sam Wallace shares a laugh with Courtney Bruce. Image: Marcela Massey

The games

West Coast Fever issued a powerful warning to the competition with a 84-65 demolition of GIANTS Netball in Sydney. The visitors’ variety of angles and confident passing in attack was rewarded by sensational athleticism from player of the match Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard, who posted 67 goals at 98.5%. Fever’s sharp connections simply couldn’t be interrupted, as they committed only eight turnovers for the entire match. Giants improved their defence in the second half but struggled to get clean possession from their deflections, or to rebound missed shots. Meanwhile, the new West Coast feeding combination of Kelsey Browne and Alice Teague-Neeld were on fire, seeing Fever convert all thirteen of Giants’ unforced turnovers in an exhilarating display of slick possession netball.

Jamie-Lee Price and Sunday Aryang battle for the ball. Image: Danny Dalton

Jamie-Lee Price and Sunday Aryang battle for the ball. Image: Danny Dalton

Reigning premiers Adelaide Thunderbirds narrowly escaped a last-second loss to last year’s seventh placed team, Queensland Firebirds. Leading comfortably in the early stages of the match, and despite a defensive masterclass, the Thunderbirds lost their way late in the match and squeezed out a win 63-62. Donnell Wallam had two chances to draw or win the game for the Firebirds during the final seconds of the match, but couldn’t seal the deal. Georgie Horjus should draw the eye of national selectors, sliding between wing attack and goal attack for three goals, 38 feeds and 22 centre pass receives. However, her 7 turnovers proved costly. Shamera Sterling-Humphrey was player of the match, and in combination with Latanya Wilson, she was pivotal in getting the Thunderbirds over the line. 

The first Melbourne derby between the Vixens and Mavericks didn’t disappoint, with a closely fought contest that was eventually won 68-61 by the Vixens. With both teams missing key personnel due to injury, teams were rejigged to cover the gaps. Vixens led by seven at half time, thanks to greater experience and slightly better composure in the tight moments. To Mavericks’ credit however, they were more than competitive in the second half, drawing the third and fourth quarters. For Vixens, Sophie Garbin was a star at goal shooter and her combination with Kiera Austin, Kate Moloney, and first-gamer Zara Walters, was crucial in the win. Molly Jovic and Eleanor Cardwell were among Mavericks’ best.  

While Lightning look like the team to beat this year, few would have predicted their blow out 79-63 win against last season’s minor premiers, the NSW Swifts. The hefty 16 goal margin also showcased Lightning’s depth, as coach Belinda Reynolds got her full roster out on court. Liz Watson’s stats at wing attack were only shaded by Fever’s Alice Teague-Neeld, while Cara Koenen (50/53) and Courtney Bruce (5 gains) also excelled. However, Lightning’s young supporting crew played their roles to perfection. Swifts were disappointingly disjointed at times, although it might take some time for them to find their attacking connections with Sam Wallace-Joseph again. 


Team / Pld / Pts / %
1 . FEVER . 1 . 4 . 129.2
2 . LIGHTNING . 1 . 4 . 125.4
3 . VIXENS . 1 . 4 . 111.5
4 . THUNDERBIRDS 1 . 4 . 101.6

5 . FIREBIRDS . 1 . 0 . 98.4 
6 . MAVERICKS . 1 . 0 . 89.7
7 . SWIFTS . 1 . 0 . 79.7
8 . GIANTS . 1 . 0 . 77.4

Next Round

Sat, Apr 20 – 5:00 pm – FIREBIRDS v GIANTS
Sat, Apr 20 – 7:00 pm – VIXENS v THUNDERBIRDS
Sun, Apr 21 – 2:00 pm – FEVER v LIGHTNING (12pm local time)
Sun, Apr 21 – 4:00 pm – SWIFTS v MAVERICKS

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