fbpx

Under the microscope

By Christian Eshman, Sports Manager Champion Data
Photography: Getty Images

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

IT HAS ONLY TAKEN THREE ROUNDS BUT WE ALREADY HAVE OUR FIRST BIG BLOCKBUSTER FOR THE YEAR. TWO UNDEFEATED TEAMS GOING HEAD TO HEAD FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME…EVER!

Even though we had local derbies in Round 1, there was a whole lot of unknowns. Three rounds later the unknowns are no longer.

The Giants are flying at the top of the table with three very impressive wins against the Swifts (58-53), the Fever (66-51) and the Magpies (59-51). Whilst all games were close at various stages they controlled all three games as if they have been playing together for years.

The Lightning have been just as impressive with two wins and a draw. Round One saw a draw against the Firebirds (59-59) where they let a six goal lead slip in the last quarter. They have since cemented their spot as one of the teams to beat with a 66-51 thrashing of the Fever then a 51-42 victory over the Thunderbirds.

But what do the statistics tell us?

The Giants have played 242 more National League games than the Lightning. This includes Susan Pettitt who is the only player to have played over 200 games. Bec Bulley will be playing her 199th game this weekend.

The Giants have scored 18 more goals than the Lightning. Jo Harten (Giants) will score her 100th goal this season with her first successful attempt on Sunday. Caitlin Bassett (Lightning) scores 85% of her team’s goals.

The ever green Kimberlee Green (excuse the pun) is on fire this season being her team’s main goal circle feeder. She is ranked second in the competition for circle feeds with 106 and fifth for goal assists with 44.

The Lightning’s defensive end is being lead magnificently by another old timer (or should I say experienced campaigner) in Geva Mentor. Mentor is ranked sixth for intercepts with seven and first for deflections with 21.

Both teams are disciplined but the Giants are a cut above the rest. The Giants are conceding the least amount of penalties with only 128 (97 contacts {only team under 100} and 31 obstructions). The Lightning are one of four teams still under 200 penalties (146 contacts and 50 obstructions).

Turnovers is a statistic where both teams are competition leaders. The Giants lead the way with only 60 with the Lightning not far behind with 79. No player from either side are in the Top 10 players for turnovers.

This Round Four game has the potential to be one of the games of the season. Both teams will be fighting for first bragging rights and the competition lead. Based on early season form this could quite possibly be a Grand Final pre-cursor. No doubt the new USC Stadium will be overflowing with 2000 screaming fans.

Good luck to both teams but my tip is a Giants win by four with the result only being decided in the last few minutes.

#LightItUp