Collingwood off the mark in Super Netball

Feb 25, 2017 - 11:51 AM Collingwood Magpies won their first game in Super Netball holding off defending champions Queensland Firebirds 54-50.

The Magpies, who were upset in their franchise-opening game 58-55 by local rivals Melbourne Vixens last week, dominated for most of the match with skipper Madi Robinson in dominating form leading the game in feeds (47) and assists (17).

Just as in their opener against the Sunshine Coast, when the Firebirds hauled back a seven-goal fourth-quarter deficit for a draw, the hosts came back in the final quarter reducing the arrears to two with 1:16 on the clock but could not complete a comeback.

Caitlin Thwaites hit 32 of 40 and Alice Teague-Neeld 22 of 31 for the Magpies, with Romelda Aiken doing the majority of damage at the other end with 41 from 52.

After trailing for all the opening quarter, the Firebirds scored the last three goals to end the term 13-12 up.

The Magpies snatched the momentum back taking a four-point lead into half-time and doubled this advantage at three-quarter time.

A thrilling last term that saw the Firebirds score five consecutively to scare the Magpies, before late goals from Teague-Neeld and Thwaites ensured victory.

Kim Ravaillion, who won two titles with the Firebirds before joining the Magpies, admitted to feeling nervous as her former side began their typical last quarter surge.

"I know how fast the Firebirds can score because obviously I had the pleasure of feeding Romelda last year," Ravaillion said.

"We just stuck to the game plan, which was to force the ball in long and Sharni (Layton) came out and had a few intercepts under her belt, which was awesome.

"It was far from our best performance. We're gonna go back into the sheds and do our analysis and pinpoint the areas we need to improve and take that into the next game."

Firebirds skipper Gabi Simpson felt the pressure the Magpies put on them proved key as it forced them into turnovers, giving them too big of a mountain to climb in the fourth quarter.

"We got ourselves back in the game and gave ourselves hope and there were patches where it was fantastic but the pressure the Pies put on for the full 60 minutes allowed us to fall into lapses and that's where the turnovers came," Simpson said.

Source: AAP

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