Giants rise to top of Super Netball ladder

Kristiana Manu'a of the Giants during their Round 12 Super Netball win over the Vixens.
Kristiana Manu'a of the Giants during their Round 12 Super Netball win over the Vixens.

The Giants have the 2021 Super Netball minor premiership in their sights after recording a clinical 54-45 victory over Melbourne Vixens to maintain top spot on the ladder.

The league leaders made light work of the struggling Vixens at Brisbane's Nissan Arena on Wednesday night to capitalise on NSW Swifts' upset loss to Collingwood Magpies and move one game clear of their Sydney counterparts and the surging West Coast Fever.

The Sunshine Coast Lightning can join the Giants on 32 competition points by defeating Adelaide Lightning in Wednesday's second fixture but a superior percentage will ensure Julie Fitzgerald's squad remains in first place with two rounds of the regular season to play.

The Giants looked comfortable for most of the contest and led by as many as 15 goals in the fourth quarter but another late scoring surge from Vixens shooter Mwai Kumwenda created a few anxious moments for the victors.

"A little bit disappointed in our second half but it has been 10 days since we last played so we're pretty happy with how we went," centre Jamie-Lee Price said after the Giants completed their fourth victory in the last five games.

While the result has locked up a top-four finish for the first time since the 2018 season, upcoming clashes with the Lightning and Fever will determine if the Giants can hold on to claim their second ever minor premiership.

"We're really looking forward to it actually. I think it's good to have two really hard games at the end of the season to hopefully get into that top form and get ready for finals," Price said about their upcoming clashes.

The Giants led 14-12 after one quarter and while the Vixens held strong at the defensive end, their scoring woes continued as they could only conjure up eight points in the second term and closed the half with just 69 per cent shooting accuracy.

The Giants extended their seven-goal halftime advantage into a 43-32 lead thanks to the efforts of Price and defender Amy Parmenter, allowing Fitzgerald to interchange a number of her substitute players to close out the match.

While the Vixens pushed hard to reduce the margin in the final term, they failed to reach the 50-point mark for the fourth successive game as they fell to their tenth loss of a disappointing campaign.

Australian Associated Press