A 48-goal haul at 94 per cent accuracy by Caitlin Thwaites has helped Collingwood secure an upset 59-56 Super Netball win over competition heavyweights the Giants in Sydney.
The Magpies held five-goal leads at different stages of the first two quarters and a six-goal advantage at three-quarter-time.
However, the Giants continued their trend of finishing strongly and drew level at 52-52 with seven minutes remaining, forcing the Magpies to draw on all their substantial firepower to close out the match at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
“We just really wanted to make sure we did the basics right today,” Collingwood goalkeeper Sharni Layton said.
“Sometimes it takes your natural instinct away from the game, but we really wanted to stick to the plan. When you do that and you can get on top of things, that’s when it flows and your mojo starts to come out again.”
The Giants held Collingwood to a 31-29 lead at halftime.
At the first break Collingwood coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell replaced goal attack Alice Teague-Neeld with Cody Lange to work with goal shooter Thwaites.
The change appeared to smoothen the Magpies’ movement in attack but, at the other end, Giants duo Jo Harten and Susan Pettitt kept the pressure on Layton by sharing the scoring load for the home side.
In the third term the Magpies again established momentum but this time the Giants couldn’t go with them, falling to a 47-41 deficit at the last break.
Both sides made changes at three-quarter-time, with Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald introducing experienced midcourter Sarah Wall for Taylah Davies, while the Magpies made another goal attack switch with Shae Brown coming in for Lange.
The switch suited the Giants, who stepped up their intensity to set up a tight finish.
“It’s really frustrating,” Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald conceded.
“In various stages through the match we launched great fightbacks and when we got level I thought we were there.
“But we just didn’t do enough earlier on. I thought in the first half of the match we had patches where we weren’t getting our hands on any ball defensively and making a few errors attacking-wise. So I think in that first half of the match we just didn’t do enough.”