Netball: West Coast Fever (79) defeat EasiYo Tactix (43)
16 March 2014
Official Result & Statistics: West Coast Fever (79) defeat EasiYo Tactix (43)
Fever hit top form to notch first win
An under pressure West Coast Fever got their season underway with an emphatic 79-43 win over Mainland Tactix in Perth on Sunday.
Winless after the opening two rounds, the pressure was on Fever to produce a result after their strong off-season recruiting and they replied with a forceful outing against Tactix.
The home team were dominant throughout, set up by a rousing first half where pace, execution and accuracy were the hallmarks. In the process, Fever topped their previous best score of 64 against the same opponents while just missing the ANZ Championship record score of 80 by a solitary goal.
Shooter Caitlin Bassett, with a prolific individual haul of 57 goals, and defenders Ashleigh Brazill and Eboni Beckford-Chambers were standouts in a well-drilled Fever team performance for which Tactix had few answers.
Opening at a cracking pace, it did not take long for the home team to show their intent. Producing seamless approach play on attack with Bassett finding her radar early under the hoop, Fever soon moved into a position of control.
In a free-flowing spectacle, Tactix soon found themselves off the pace and struggling to slow their opponents’ slick and crisp attacking momentum.
Conversely, the visitor’s found no easy path going forward, their key shooting weapon, Malawi international Mwai Kumwenda, having no chance to show her skill set after being double-marked by Josie Janz and Eboni Beckford-Chambers.
Fever wing defence Brazill and Tactix centre Jade Clarke were individual shining lights with their ability to snaffle intercept ball but the home team had already stamped their mark when leading 18-10 at the first break.
Fever continued at full throttle to completely overwhelm the visitors on the resumption. With the Tactix midcourt defence dropping away, Fever captian Natalie Medhurst was in the thick of action to control proceedings on attack with a potent showing.
Almost run ragged, the Tactix had little response with key off-season signing Kumwenda facing a steep learning curve on the harsh realities of life in the league to be completely shut down. Usually a free-scorer, Kumwenda was restricted to just 19 goals from 21 attempts for the entire match.
With Fever piling on the goals, Tactix introduced Zoe Walker for Louise Thayer at goal defence while Julianna Naoupu replaced Sophia Fenwick at goal attack as the home team hit a 20-goal lead before halftime.
The changes brought more structure from Tactix on attack but having just 27 attempts at goal compared to Fever’s 49 meant the home team were in total control when leading 42-19 at the main break.
Four personnel and positional changes from Tactix for the second half provided a more even contest. With the playmaking Naoupu offering more options on attack and Keisha Grant adding a spark from wing attack, the visitors held the home team to just a one-goal advantage through the quarter.
However, with such a handsome lead, the Fever’s intent was to play out the full 60 minutes without losing their structure. Forced to play a slower more measured game did nothing to detract the home’s team’s scoring ability as they headed to the last break with a daunting 56-32 lead.
There was no slipping off the task at hand in the run home, Fever providing another surge to further push the lead out while Tactix struggled for consistency and impact in reply.
Fever shooting statistics:
Caitlin Bassett 57/63 (90%)
Natalie Medhurst 22/28 (79%)
Tactix shooting statistics:
Mwai Kumwenda 19/21 (90%)
Julianna Naoupu 18/28 (64%)
Sophia Fenwick 6/10 (60%)
Match MVP: Caitlin Bassett (West Coast Fever)