In what was a fantastic Sunday afternoon of netball, our four (4) Divisions of M League were all decided in what were tight, hard fought matches. Read on for our match reports.
Men’s Division 1
Sydney Uni Varsity Griffins (69) DEF Pacific Fire (63)
In a gripping battle worthy of the top division’s grand final, both sides came out firing. For the bulk of the match the teams went goal for goal with neither able to edge a lead. With both sides boasting a tall NSW Mens Opens GS (Vincent and Piliae respectively) much emphasis was on the defensive second phase as teams battled to stop their opponent’s flow.
Co-Coached by Teresa Tairi and Valance Horne, Fire opted to for Wetere in WA and gave NSW Opens Jamie Hardy the nod in GK. Both players were impactful in clutch moments with Wetere even swinging to GD during a blood time.
Heading into the 4th Quarter, Varisity shuffled their line-up with Ribaroski coming into WA, Jensen switching to C, Nexhip out to WD, Hamer into GD and youngster Brody Blackett-Gregg moving from WD to GK. The changes proved fruitful with Nexhip taking a rangy intercept and Blackett-Gregg collecting scraps at critical moments.
Vincent was awarded the MVP title for handling the pressure of Pacific defence with poise and precision. The win has been a long-time coming for Varsity who have been nipping at the heels of more experienced sides for 6 years now.
Grand Final MVP: Julien Vincent (Varsity Griffins)
Season MVP: Paki Jensen (Varsity Griffins)
Men’s Division 2
Southern Brumbies (36) DEF Southern Stallions (31)
In another close match, highlighting the exceptional skills and strong tactical coaching, Men’s Div 2 was a thrill. Brumbies entered the match as undefeated favourites, however it was Stallions who held the lead at the first quarter break.
A collision between Brumbies GA and Stallions WA forced a blood time and both sides were forced to make changes. Coming out of the time out, Brumbies held a slim lead but it was sufficient for them to settle in control of the game.
The game was won defensively with Baivatu in GK playing a physical game that rattled opposing shooters and earnt him MVP.
Grand Final MVP: Oni Baivatu (Southern Brumbies)
Season MVP: Samuela Rabuku (Southern Brumbies)
Mixed Division 1
Sydney Uni Varsity Griffins (47) DEF Southern Valkyries (39)
Defending champions Varsity held pole position for the Mixed Div 1 season. Despite boasting NSW Opens GS Vincent on their list, they opted to start Lee in shooter to mismatch against Price for height versus agility. At quarter time, with the scores level, Varsity opted for a more conventional shooting configuration with Stechiwskyj in GA Lennon in WA.
Varsity edged a lead in the second period which they held for the remainder of the game. Valkyries GA Berry was impressive with long-range shots landing. The last quarter she was backed by youngster Schodel in WA who showed versatility having played WD the previous two quarters. Valkyries GK Price was awarded MVP for his intense aerial contests and skillful hunting intercepts.
Grand Final MVP: Callum Price (Southern Valkyries)
Season MVP: Olivia Lennon (Varsity Griffins)
Mixed Division 2
Northern Beaches (47) DEF Southern Knights (27)
In a skillful and intense battle for Mixed Div 2, Northern Beaches were the clear favourites, but Southern Knights were eager to contest. With both teams shooting accurately the game was locked at 18-18 at half-time.
Offensive adjustments from Northern Beaches Rabuku saw them take control of the match, holding Knights to just nine goals in the second half. For her outstanding physical defensive contests Kim from Northern Beaches Goodearl was awarded MVP for the match.
Grand Final MVP: Kimberly Goodearl (Northern Beaches)
Season MVP: Samuela Rabuku (Northern Beaches)