West Coast Fever are back on top of the Super Netball table and remain undefeated at home after a 76-56 win over the struggling Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Fever were coming off a 14-goal road loss to the Melbourne Vixens but responded as coach Stacey Marinkovic would have hoped they would against the winless Thunderbirds on Saturday night at Perth Arena.
West Coast were rarely troubled, with Jhaniele Fowler dominant in attack with 66 goals from 73 attempts.
Adelaide had no answer to Fever’s full-court pressure and couldn’t get enough ball to Shimona Nelson.
It wasn’t as if Fever were at their sharpest but again the Thunderbirds showed why they are winless, having won just two quarters from eight games now.
West Coast have won six of their eight games this season and all four in Perth.
Fever forced the Thunderbirds into 30 turnovers and pulled off six intercepts. Adelaide did manage to make West Coast turn it over 21 times but had just the two intercepts.
As well as Fowler’s 66 goals for Fever, Nat Medhurst produced 10 of 11. Defensive duo Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis were again standouts along with underrated mid-court leader Verity Charles.
Nelson did hit 47 of 52 for the Thunderbirds but she just didn’t get enough ball with Fever taking 84 shots to 66.
The Thunderbirds didn’t actually start too badly and were just five down by quarter-time but a 6-0 run for Fever through the second period blew it open.
They went on to lead 34-24 at the half before the first four goals of the second half left no doubt about the result.
The lead ballooned to 20 by three quarter-time but the Thunderbirds did show some heart in the last term with honours ending up even.
Fever coach Marinkovic wasn’t surprised by Adelaide’s fight in the last quarter to deny them all four bonus points, but was happy with the response from her team.
“They will still shake a couple of teams with points but if we just keep focusing on us and we get the points that we are, ultimately getting the wins is the first and foremost thing,” she said.
“It was good to get a bit of rhythm and we got our speed back, which was nice. There’s still lots to improve on but it was certainly a better brand than last week.”
Australian Associated Press