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Author Archive for Erin Delahunty

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‘They’ll be out to get us’: Australia wary of England fire in Quad Series | Erin Delahunty

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander expects the Roses to use the upcoming series to prove last year’s success was no flukeNever has a Quad Series meant more. Six months out from the Netball World Cup, the first international tournament of 2019 – featuring Au…

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Burnout and unfair advantages: Super Netball’s problematic World Cup break | Erin Delahunty

Plans for Australia’s domestic competition during next year’s tournament raise major concernsSix days. That’s how long the best netballers in the world will have to recharge their batteries between playing a gold medal match at next year’s World Cup in…

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Brash, bold and unique – Sharni Layton joins Diamonds exodus

The netball galaxy has lost four of its brightest stars as Layton, Geitz, Robinson and Pettitt retire after 249 TestsStarting last Monday, three of the sport’s biggest names – Laura Geitz, Madi Robinson and Susan Pettitt – announced their international…

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Super Netball’s ‘galácticos’ finally begin to speak the same language | Erin Delahunty

Collingwood may have sparked a revival that should put the rest of the competition on noticeAfter failing to impress in season one of Super Netball last year and losing four of their first five matches in 2018, Collingwood’s shock win over the Queensla…

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Impassioned rallying cry strikes chord with netball followers | Erin Delahunty

‘Absolutely overwhelming’ reaction to Sue Gaudion’s #wakeupnetball video, which has reached thousands of fansSue Gaudion has a memo for the netball lovers of Australia: “Turn the bloody TV on and watch it.” Gaudion, one of the most respected names in n…

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‘Exciting’ scoring changes to spice up new Super Netball season

Netball’s tectonic plates shifted when England stunned Australia and more change is afoot as Super Netball radically revamps scoring systemThe world’s premiere netball league, which begins with a Melbourne derby between the Vixens and Collingwood on Sa…

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Laura Geitz recall shows parenthood is not an elite sport career-ender | Erin Delahunty

Return for Commonwealth Games proves having kids is now part and parcel of women’s sport Netball doesn’t rate a mention in conventional fairy tales, but Laura Geitz might just be writing one of her own. The 30-year-old Queenslander – who has not played…

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Workload few could shoulder finally takes its toll on ‘exhausted’ Sharni Layton

Netball community rallies around likeable Diamonds goal keeper after announcement that she will take a break from the game

Sharni Layton is many things. She’s a star netballer with a swag of World Cup and Commonwealth gold. She the game’s only true cult figure; complete with a band of fanatical supporters, the Sharni Army. She’s also witty, brash and “unashamedly Sharni”.

This combination makes the 29-year-old a relatable hero to the girls who wait hours after matches for a selfie, a highly marketable commodity to corporate heavyweights and a “walking quote machine” the sports media can’t get enough of.

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Sunshine Coast Lightning blow out Giants to win inaugural Super Netball title

  • Sunshine Coast Lightning 65-48 Giants Netball
  • Caitlin Bassett and Stephanie Wood shine for Lightning in grand final

The Super Netball league may have been designed to cultivate home-grown talent, but it was new franchise, the Sunshine Coast Lightning – with its “United Nations” of netballing talent – that claimed the competition’s inaugural premiership in Brisbane, beating a gallant Giants outfit 65-48, in a surprisingly one-sided contest.

Lightning captain, UK-born goal keeper Geva Mentor, Kiwi star Laura Langman and South African Karla Mostert led their side to glory at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. It helped they had the best goaler in the world, 29-year-old West Australian Caitlin Bassett, in the circle, who shot a game-high 48 from 50 attempts, ending the match with 96% accuracy.

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The Guardian’s guide to playing netball – part seven: goal defence

Our series concludes with the focus falling on goal defenders, who must instantaneously morph into the attackers they hunt and have just a bit of ‘pizazz’

Goal defenders are netball’s great chameleons, required to be fast-moving, canny and adaptable to change. They may have to fly for every contest with an aerial specialist or execute a quiet, grinding game in the shadow of more a dazzling defensive partner, who picks off loose balls generated by their tireless work.

Whatever variety and versatility a contest demands, goal defenders must deliver. To do that, they need an aerobic engine to match a centre, a high tactical IQ, fantastic footwork and second-to-none (with the possible exception of the goal keeper) communication skills.

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The Guardian’s guide to playing netball – part five: goal attack

In the latest instalment of our series, we look at the position that requires a player to be technically proficient but also tactically shrewd

Contrary to their reputation as ponytail-tossing glory-seekers, goal attacks have one of the most complex and critical assignments on the netball court.

Goal attacks have to shoot accurately, often from distance and when fatigued, engineer their team’s attacking strategies and share the centre pass workload – all while being harassed by one of the opposition’s fittest and finest defenders.

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The Guardian’s guide to playing netball – part four: wing defence

In the fourth instalment of our series, we take a look at one of the most maligned bibs in the game, the position that is to netball what fine leg is to cricket

It’s netball’s thankless task. A position which requires unceasing doggedness, the speed and conditioning of a sprinter, tactical nous and the disposition to allow others to take the glory when hard work translates into an intercept. And it’s to do it almost unnoticed. It’s wing defence, the most maligned position in the game.

Wing defence has long had a bad rap, seen as immaterial to a side’s performance – in a social game, the WD bib is the first to go unworn when a team is short – and sometimes even the place to hide the Sharon Strzelecki of the team. It’s to netball what fine leg is to cricket.

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Caitlin Bassett leads Diamonds masterclass against Silver Ferns

  • Australia 68-56 New Zealand
  • Australia draw first blood in Constellation Cup against New Zealand

Australian superstar Caitlin Bassett put on a shooting masterclass in Sydney this afternoon to lead her netball Diamonds to victory over the Silver Ferns in the first Test of the Constellation Cup series.

Bassett knocked down 47 goals from 47 attempts in three quarters as Australia ran out 68-56 winners. The Maria Tutaia-less Ferns were plain outclassed and couldn’t match the Diamonds’ physicality and precision. 

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Forget the negativity, Australia’s new netball league could pass the pub test | Erin Delahunty

In New Zealand top netballers are household names, a situation that could be repeated in Australia if the new national league captures the public imagination

Two middle-aged men with thick Wellingtonian accents sit at a bar, arguing about the best starting line-up for New Zealand’s upcoming Tests against traditional rival Australia. The year is 2007 and they’re talking about … netball. Not rugby or cricket.

Perched a few bar stools away in that Wellington pub on the first day of my holiday across the ditch, I eavesdropped on the pair’s fervid debate. Resisting the temptation to join in, I revelled in the seeming normalcy of two grown men (and the barman) dissecting netball – the sport I’ve played and written about most of my life – like any other sport.

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Netball Australia’s information vacuum has run risk of alienating fans | Erin Delahunty

The paucity of details about players’ pay, the salary cap, sponsors and even a name for the league, has curbed excitement over the brave new world of netball

They say patience is a virtue. But fans of elite netball across Australia, including this one – so excited about the inaugural all-Australian league in 2017, featuring teams aligned to AFL and NRL clubs and to be screened in prime time on free-to-air – are nearly all out of patience after months of uncertainty and an information vacuum.

Netball, Australia’s No1 female participation sport, is riding an unprecedented wave of popularity, as evidenced by recent sell-out crowds for the Quad Series against New Zealand, South Africa and England and last year’s world record-breaking World Cup in Sydney, but fans have been short-changed.

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Laura Geitz says new scoring zones would alter ‘whole concept’ of netball

  • New national netball league could feature significant scoring rule changes
  • ‘I don’t think we need to change it in any way’, says Diamonds captain

Australian Diamonds captain Laura Geitz says the introduction of different scoring zones – said to be among rules changes being considered for a new national netball league – would change the “whole concept of the game.”

Netball Australia last week announced details of the new Australia-only league, which will be supported by a five-year free-to-air television deal on the Nine Network. Three new teams, backed by AFL clubs Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney and NRL side, Melbourne Storm, will be added to the five Australian sides in the existing trans-Tasman netball league, which will shed its New Zealand teams in a major overhaul.

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ANZ Championship season preview: Firebirds start with targets on their backs | Erin Delahunty

The reigning champions from Queensland are again the team to beat, with new rules, scheduling and venues promising to make for an intriguing competitionThe 2016 edition of the ANZ Championship begins on Friday, with the reigning premiers, Queensland Fi…

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Netballer Ashleigh Brazill’s civil union: my sexuality has never been an issue

The Diamonds star celebrated a lifetime commitment to her partner at the weekend and says she has been ‘lucky’ in her experience as an openly gay athlete

Ashleigh Brazill didn’t set out to be a trailblazer.

But as one of the only openly gay elite netballers in Australia, the self-proclaimed “scrappy kid” from the New South Wales town of Bargo who celebrated a civil union with her partner on Saturday, she is one by default.

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