Trinidad and Tobago international Samantha Wallace was in inspiring goal-scoring form as she led defending champions New South Wales Swifts to a flying start to their Suncorp Super Netball title defence on the weekend.
Goal-shoot Wallace, last season’s MVP of the final, scored 33 goals as the Swifts held on for a thrilling come-from-behind 63-61 win over the Giants.
The defending champions recovered from a five-goal deficit at half-time to lead by eight with four minutes to play, before withstanding a late Giants run to win a historic NSW derby at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.
Both Sydney clubs were originally scheduled to open the pandemic-delayed 2020 season with a series of home games at the newly renovated Ken Rosewall Arena. But new border restrictions forced the Swifts and Giants to relocate north just days before the opening round.
The Giants led 33-28 at halftime courtesy of captain Jo Harten’s long-range accuracy, the England international proving the difference in a tight opening half by nailing seven of nine two-point Suncorp Super Shots.
But the Swifts surged to the lead with Wallace inspiring a 21-13 third-quarter charge, the Trinidad and Tobago goal-shoot closing the period with a pair of team-lifting super shots.