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WANL 2022: COVID-19 grounds Souwest Jets’ attempt to bounce back against East Freo Sharks

Cameo appearances from head coach Karly Guadagnin and 20s personnel were not enough to help a COVID-19 affected Souwest Jets Open squad hold off a dominant East Freo Sharks, going down by 10 goals.

The Jets returned to Perth’s Gold Netball Centre on Friday to take on the East Freo Sharks in round four of the 2022 WANL season.

With the likes of Brooke O’Connor, Elycce Webb and Cassie Farquhar-Reid absent due to COVID-19, the Jets were forced to call on reinforcements including a number of 20s players, training partners and Guadagnin all sighted on the Jets’ bench.

Sibling rivalry between starting centre Brooke Repacholi and Sharks midcourter Jess Repacholi seemed to headline the opening quarter while shooters Giselle Taylor and Sophie Eastaugh helped the Jets build up an early lead.

Although a number of solid intercepts by Jess Repacholi and Rose Aryang kept the Sharks in close contention, the Jets held on to lead 15-12 at quarter time.

The Sharks had a fast start to the second quarter with a number of early goals from Larissa Harrison and Aryang, along with solid ball movement from the mid-courters, allowing them to take the lead.

Although the Jets managed to fight back to bring the scores level and put the pressure on, a few missed opportunities in the goal circle kept the door open for the Sharks.

After a dominant quarter, the Sharks led 31-26 at half-time.

Despite a relatively even contest throughout the mid-court early in the third quarter, the Sharks continued to extend their lead with a winning combination in Jess Repacholi feeding to Harrison.

After Brooke Repacholi was taken off with a suspected ankle injury after a tumble, 20s player Isabel Legros and Guadagnin stepped up in centre court as the Jets kicked into high gear to fight back with Lisa Millman providing assistance in the goal circle.

However, the Sharks held on to lead 41-36 at the final change.

The Sharks had another fast start during the final term, stemming from a strong intercept as the Jets tried to have a quick start of their own.

As the Sharks continued extending their lead, it seemed the Jets were starting to fade, only for an Eastaugh goal and a later intercept to give them some hope.

However, it was not enough to get over the line as the Sharks held strong to take the victory 65-55, with Taylor managing 42 goals for the Jets.

Meanwhile in the 20/U competition, the East Freo Sharks proved too strong for the Jets, defeating them 54-41 with former Jet Devin Cunninghame scoring a game-high 35 goals for the Sharks.

Tessa Kilchenmann managed 23 goals for the Jets while twin sister Rachel scored 10.

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