The Wheatbelt Flames got their season back on track after a convincing 19 goal win (59 – 40) over the bottom of the ladder Souwest Jets on a stormy Friday night at the WA State Netball Centre.
Although the score line ended up being quite lopsided, the Flames head coach Deb Ruka felt her team’s performance was “a bit inconsistent”.
“We’ve been working on playing well and moving the ball well for a whole 60 minutes and I felt at the end of the game and at times in each quarter we became a bit stagnant.”
The highly anticipated bottom of the ladder clash started evenly with both teams level on 5-all until the 7-minute mark of the first quarter where the Flames mid courts, and Fortune (WA) in particular, clicked into overdrive with their pin-point passing and gut-running cutting a swathe through the Jets defence which opened up a handy 20 – 12 lead at quarter time.
The Jets came to play in the second quarter but failed to capitalise on their dominance around the court shooting at a less than average 64%, however, they still managed to cut the margin down to 7 goals at the main break.
Maybe it was Ruka giving her team a fierce message at half time, or perhaps it was the substation of Tanya Anderson to the bench for Marene Peyper to GS, but the Flames started with a bang and Peyper had immediate impact shooting 9 from 11 in the quarter including a couple of long range bombs from the edge of the shooting circle.
It was much of the same for the Flames in the final stanza with an impeccable shooting accuracy of 90% (16/17), however, the win may have come at a cost as Sarah East (GA) had to be substituted out of the game with a rolled ankle halfway through the last quarter.
“It’s ok (East’s ankle),” said Ruka.
“It’ll just add to her wounds on her legs but it’s just a rolled ankle, she’s icing it now and she should be fine.
Ultimately, the difference between the two teams was the ability to move the ball forward to their respective shooters; the flames mid courts have a brilliant rapport with their shooters and found them with ease whereas the Jets consistently struggled to hit targets going forward with Flames GD Stacey Mourish having a field day intercepting everything that came near her.
Up next the Jets face the daunting task of taking on the ladder leaders in the Coastal Sharks on Saturday night at 7:10 in Eaton while the Flames can enjoy the bye after a deserving win.
Wheatbelt Flames 59
Souwest Jets 40
Sarah East 23/28 (82%)
Tanya Anderson 21/25 (84%)
Marene Peyper 15/18 (83%)
Shantelle Tassone 23/30 (76%)
Kate Duncan 14/17 (82%)
Alkira Rodney 3/7 (43%)