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Heartbroken West Coast Fever skipper Courtney Bruce pays tribute to greats Caitlin Thwaites, Tegan Philip

Courtney Bruce has continued to show why she is one of the most gracious players in Australian netball, taking the time to pay tribute to two retiring greats of the sport.

The teary goalkeeper, who is known for her ferocious attack on the court and soft spoken nature off it, thanked retiring Vixens Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip moments after the West Coast Fever’s heartbreaking two-goal grand final loss.

The kind gesture was met with air kisses from Thwaites and tears from Philip.

“If we wanted to be the best, we had to beat the best,” Bruce said in her post-game speech.

“To Teegs and to Caity, I’m so proud of everything you guys have done.

“You guys are champions of the sport and you’ll leave the sport in a better place and I wish you all the best for your futures.”

The 2020 Super Netball champions, the Melbourne Vixens.
Camera IconThe 2020 Super Netball champions, the Melbourne Vixens. Credit: ALBERT PEREZ/AAPIMAGE

Bruce, who had a tough battle against player of the match Mwai Kumwenda, said her side would be back to challenge again in 2021.

The grand final loss is Fever’s second in just three years, after going down to the Sunshine Coast Lightning in 2018.

“To the girls, to (coach Marinkovich) Stace and to the staff, we’ve given up so much to be here,” she said.

“I’m so proud of all the effort we’ve put in, bring on 2021.”

The Fever won’t have much time to dwell on the heartbreaking loss, with the side flying back to Perth tomorrow where they will begin a mandatory 14-day quarantine after playing out the Super Netball season in a Queensland hub.

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