Giants Netball have scored a come-from-behind 58-53 win over the NSW Swifts in a high-quality sellout encounter at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre to kick-start the new Super Netball competition.
The Swifts led by five goals in the third quarter before the Giants powered home to score the first win of the new competition.
The teams went into the final quarter locked at 42-all and there remained no more than a goal between them until Kristina Brice gave the Giants a 54-52 advantage with four and a half minutes left.
Swifts captain Abbey McCulloch then called a tactical timeout – an innovation of the new competition – but the Giants’ experience enabled them to overrun the gallant Swifts.
“It was probably not the best three quarters for us, a really shocking first quarter,” Giants captain Kim Green said.
“But in the pre-season we’ve had really good last quarters. The thing is, we can’t rely on final quarters to get us through a game. All of the girls, in the attack end in particular, are really disappointed in the performance.
“We need to do it better and we need to do it quickly.”
Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said her team had been “dreadfully nervous” in the lead up to the game.
“It took them a while to settle, but then even when we did settle I thought we had chances that we just didn’t take,” she said.
“It’s a big thing for us. It’s only six months ago we didn’t have a name, a colour, a team, any support staff, anything. The build up this week has been great and we were very very keen to establish today what we hope to be.
Swifts coach Rob Wright admitted he expected his side to struggle.
“I was really pleased with how well were able to come out each quarter and actually keep with them,” Wright said.
“I thought, under some key moments, they probably just dealt with the pressure a little bit better than we did. But we’ll learn and keep getting better from that.”