The Super Netball’s biggest tease have been urged to turn their topsy-turvy form around, and they have the dangerous duo to do it.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds have been urged to make the most of having the best defensive duo in the Super Netball to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Thunderbirds haven’t made finals in the history of the Super Netball but it looked like that might change after they won their first two games of the season.
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But they have stuttered since then and struggled for consistency, taking their fans on a rollercoaster ride of results — five losses, win, loss and a win.
The Thunderbirds have been powered by their star Jamaican defensive duo of Shamera Sterling at goal keeper and Latanya Wilson, who constantly snaring intercepts and providing plenty of ball for their teammates.
In Adelaide’s Round 10 win over the Queensland Firebirds, Sterling and Wilson combined for nine gains, three intercepts, 17 deflections and two rebounds as they nullified the Firebirds’ Gretel Bueta and Donnell Wallam.
Former Diamonds captain Laura Geitz recently labelled Sterling the “best goal keeper in the world” and her combination with fellow Jamaican Wilson looms as a huge threat to leading teams including Australia at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
“I would be so nervous going into Comm Games,” ex-Diamonds shooter Kim Green said on Fox Netball’s Centre Circle.
“That Jamaican connection between those two — any goaling international pairing going up against that — that’s going to be pretty tough.”
The Thunderbirds are sixth on the ladder and are only one win away from fourth spot, but they must produce consistent performances if they are any chance to sneaky into the top four and secure a finals berth.
“They’re showing signs that they are the real deal and that they can put their hand up and potentially be in finals,” Green said.
Cath Cox said she is sick of the Thunderbirds teasing their fans and wants to see them string together some consistent performances.
“The Thunderbirds have to get a win … because I’m so over the up and down this season,” she said.
“If they want to play well (and) be contenders, they need to back up performances.
“The Thunderbirds, you know what they’re like. They get so many gains but the (Round 9) game against the Swifts, they had 40 turnovers, they didn’t even get into the twenties in this game (against the Firebirds). To cut that in half in just three days was phenomenal.”
Green added: “And I wonder if Sterling sits back and goes, ‘Come on ladies!
“How much more can we do at the back for you guys to actually produce something at the front for us. Let’s step up’.”
Australian netball legend Caitlin Bassett believes the Thunderbirds have to figure out a way to convert all the ball their defenders get into points on the board.
“This is what we’ve seen over the years,” Bassett told news.com.au this week.
“They show so much potential but when it comes to finishing off, they just can’t get there.
“I’d love to see some more structure. In their midcourt, they’re quite unstructured. They often have players moving to the same area of the court or they’ve all got leads happening on the same timing.
“I would love to see them start together and maybe work off each other, set some screens, have some more clarity in set up on court because I feel like when they do win the ball or when they do get a turnover, it’s just chaos.
“Sometimes they have a lead that’s on and they can get it down court easily, other times they struggle and they throw it away because they don’t have an option that’s ready and waiting.
“I feel like they don’t expect to get intercepts and when it does happen it’s a surprise and they’re caught out of play.”
The Thunderbirds take on the Collingwood Magpies on Sunday afternoon in what looms as a must win game for both teams.
Round 11 Super Netball games
Queensland Firebirds vs Sunshine Coast Lightning — Saturday 5pm AEST
Melbourne Vixens vs NSW Swifts — Saturday 7pm AEST
West Coast Fever vs Giants — Sunday 2pm AEST
Collingwood Magpies vs Adelaide Thunderbirds — Sunday 4pm AEST
Originally published as ‘Come on ladies!’: Legends are ‘so over’ Super Netball’s biggest tease