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Mid-season report card

NOW THAT EVERY TEAM HAS PLAYED EVERYONE AT LEAST ONCE, IT’S A GOOD TIME TO REVIEW THE FIRST EIGHT WEEKS. WHICH TEAMS ARE EXCELLING, WHICH TEAMS ARE PERFORMING AS EXPECTED AND WHICH TEAMS ARE UNDER-PERFORMING? CHAMPION DATA LOOKS AT THE NUMBERS.

GIANTS NETBALL (EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS)
The Giants currently sit top of the competition on 14 points with a very healthy percentage of 110.4%. Whilst they would have been expected to be near the top before the season started, they have been dominant in all but one game. You can tell the experienced coach and experienced playing roster is a winning combination. The Giants have won five fourth quarters which is the most by any team.

The Giants have scored the second most amount of goals with 456 (57 per game) and the third most deflections with 126 (17.8 per game). However it is the negative stats where the Giants are showing their strength. They have conceded the least amount of penalties with 411 (51.4 per game) and the least amount of turnovers with 192 (24 per game).

MELBOURNE VIXENS (EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS)
The Vixens are currently second with a percentage of 113.3% which is the best in the competition. Before a goal was scored the Vixens were predicted to be the second team in Victoria, but they quickly put that notion to bed by winning their first local derby in Round One by a margin of three and have never looked back. The shooting combination of Mwai Kumwenda and Tegan Philip (only team to have the same goal shooter and goal attack in all eight games) have scored the most goals with 485 (60.6 per game). The Vixens have not lost a first quarter and only lost the third quarter once. However they have only won the second quarter once which was in Round Five against the Firebirds.

The Vixens have converted the most centre passes scoring 331 times from their centre pass. They also lead the way with goals from turnovers by converting 87 goals from opposition turnovers. On the flip side they are the second best team when it comes to their own turnovers with just 205 (25.6 per game).

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING (MEETS EXPECTATIONS)
The Lightning are third on 13 points with a percentage of 111.9%. They have scored 451 goals from 509 attempts for a shooting percentage of 88.6% which is the best in the competition. They have conceded the least number of goals with 403. This averages out to be 50.3 goals conceded per game. The Lightning’s second quarter is one of their strengths, winning it six times. Having a strong second quarter translates into the Lightning leading at half time six times from eight outings, being even once and being behind once.

The Lightning lead the way for intercepts with 70 (8.7 per game). 53 of those intercepts have come from Geva Mentor. Not surprisingly the Lightning are one of the leaders in the competition (second) for deflections with 129 (16.1 per game). The Lightning however is equal second for the most number of penalties given away with 552 (69 per game). Their passing game is the best in the competition with only 19 bad passes for the season (2.4 per game).

MAGPIES NETBALL CLUB (PERFORMANCE REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT)
Rounding out the Top Four after eight rounds is the highly-fancied Magpies. Favourites going into the season, the Magpies are fourth on eight points with a percentage of 105.0%. Their position on table is a fairly good indication of where they are on the competition as they are pretty much middle of the road for most statistics. The Magpies are yet to string two wins together going through the season so far with Lose, Win, Lose, Win, Lose, Win.

They are fourth for goals scored with 441 (55.1 per game), fifth for shooting percentage with 84.6%, third for intercepts with 60 (7.5 per game), fourth for deflections with 121 (15.1 per game) and fourth for loose ball pickups with 71 (8.9 per game). The Magpies have given away the second most penalties equal with the Lightning with 552 (69 per game).

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS (PERFORMANCE REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT)
The Firebirds are hanging onto the top four by their fingernails sitting fifth on seven points with a percentage of 99.3%. The half time score tells a story for the Firebirds winning three from three when leading at half time and losing four from four when behind on the scoreboard at half time. The Firebirds have the second worst shooting percentage in the competition with a shooting accuracy of only 77.9%.

Not surprisingly though the Firebirds lead offensive rebounds with 61 (43 by Romelda Aiken) but in context this is a negative. The Firebirds are great at pouncing on the loose ball though with 82 pickups (10.3 per game), the equal most with their captain Gabi Simpson leading the way with 19. However the Firebirds concede the most number of penalties with 581 (72.6 per game) with 409 contacts and 172 obstructions.

WEST COAST FEVER (MEETS EXPECTATIONS)
The Fever sitting sixth on the table with four points and a shooting percentage of 88.3% are positioned about where the experts thought they would be sitting at the start of the season. It took the Fever a little while to settle into the season losing their first four games but have won two of their last four.

The Fever are one of two teams to not score over 400 goals, scoring 393 for a shooting percentage of 80.0%. They have taken 66 intercepts (8.3 per game) which is the second highest, but they have converted the lowest amount of gains, with only 57 gains leading to a goal. The Fever shooting end has taken 25 offensive rebounds which places them third in the competition. Their defensive rebounding is the second lowest in the competition with only 23, which is less than three per game (2.9).

NSW SWIFTS (PERFORMANCE REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT)
Even though the Swifts are seventh with three points and a percentage of 95.9%, they could be considered unlucky with their results. They have lost six games, but five of those games have been by less than five goals. They drew with the Vixens away and lost to the Magpies by one. The Swifts have been leading at three-quarter time in the last two games against the Giants in Round Seven and the Lightning in Round Eight, but lost both games. They are definitely not far away and their ladder position doesn’t really reflect how competitive they are.

The Swifts have a very healthy shooting percentage of 86.4% (424 goals from 491 attempts). They have taken 54 intercepts (6.8 per game) which places them fourth and third for loose ball pickups with 75 (9.4 per game). They have turned the ball over 216 times (27 per game) which is equal third best with the Lightning.

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS (UNDER-PERFORMING)
Whilst not expected to via for a finals berth at the season start, the Thunderbirds have still been disappointing. They sit last with two points with a percentage of 78.9%. The Thunderbirds started the season with a bang turning a six goal deficit at three-quarter time at home against the Fever to storm home winning the fourth quarter by 11 (19-8) which is still the biggest margin in a quarter this season.

There hasn’t been much to sing about since not leading at any other quarter time break. The Thunderbirds have only won seven quarters and have drawn four all season. The Thunderbirds’ five scoring players (equal most with the Magpies) have scored 358 goals from 467 attempts for a shooting accuracy of 76.7%. The Thunderbirds lead the way however with 135 deflections (16.9 per game), second for offensive rebounds with 27 (3.4 per game), and equal best on the competition with the Firebirds for loose ball pickups with 82 (10.3 per game). Not surprising though, the team coming last has have turned the ball over the most with 281 for the season (35.1 per game).

By Christian Eshman, Sports Manager Champion Data

All stats provided by Champion Data
(Official Data Provider to Netball Australia and Suncorp Super Netball)