Samantha Wallace

SAMANTHA WALLACE

SAMANTHA WALLACE captured her second Team of the Week honour after six rounds of Australia’s Suncorp Netball Super League following a third perfect game of the season.

A titanic effort from prolific shooter Wallace helped NSW Swifts to a 63-51 win over local rivals Giants Netball, in their most complete performance since winning the 2019 grand final.

The Trinidadian made all 58 of her attempts at Ken Rosewall Arena on Sunday and the Swifts didn’t miss any of their 63 shots in an efficient offensive performance.

As a reward for her performance, Wallace occupied the goal-shoot spot in the Team of the Week, replacing the league’s top-scorer and prolific shooter, Jamaican Jhaniel Fowler, who has held that position on three occasions this season.

The Swifts, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season, improved to 4-2, the same mark as GIANTS, who have lost their last two. Both teams jointly lead the standings with 16 points.

In front of 8,158 spectators, the Swifts led by one, four and eight goals after each of the first three quarters. Giants fought hard in the final quarter, but couldn’t get the deficit below six nor match the accuracy of Wallace.

Both teams controlled the ball well, with hardly any turnovers as Swifts led 18-17 at the first change. The Swifts then capitalised on a couple of turnovers to lead by six with under four minutes of the second quarter left.

GIANTS’ coach Julie Fitzgerald shuffled her circle defence around halfway through the second quarter, bringing on Kristiana Manu’a at goal defence for April Brandley, who less than a minute later returned to the court at goal keeper in place of Sam Poolman.

Three successful super shots from Sophie Dwyer kept the GIANTS within reach and they trailed 36-32 at half-time.

Fitzgerald shuffled her options again at the start of the third quarter, returning to her starting circle defensive duo and shifting Manu’a to wing defence in place of Amy Parmenter while switching the positions of shooters Dwyer and Jo Harten.

Swifts’ coach Briony Akle was less inclined to tinker with her starting seven apart from bringing on Tayla Fraser for Nat Haythornthwaite at the start of the second half.

While the GIANTS scored the first point of the third quarter, the Swifts shot to a ten-point lead heading into the Power Five period and were 49-41 up at the end of the term, keeping the lead all the way to the end.

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