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West Coast Fever overcome Collingwood Magpies challenge to continue dominant Super Netball start

West Coast Fever began their stretch of away games with a dominant 70-53 victory over Collingwood at John Cain Arena on Sunday.

The first of three games on the road in 10 days, Fever once again found an even spread of contributors but it was shooter Jhaniele Fowler who stood out with 58 goals at 95 per cent accuracy.

Fever’s lead-up was interrupted when former Magpie Alice Teague-Neeld was ruled out because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, with training partner Zoe Cransberg coming into the side.

They couldn’t call on English international Chelsea Pitman, who they had already loaned to the COVID-ravaged Giants.

The loss of Teague-Neeld didn’t stop Fever from making an early statement, blowing the game open midway through the first quarter with a 13-goal run to lead by 10 at the first break.

A scare went through the Fever camp when captain and 100-gamer Courtney Bruce went down with an ankle injury after she landed on the foot of Collingwood shooter Shimona Nelson just before half-time.

Bruce came back on after the main break and continued to dominate against the Magpies’ under-sized attack, finishing with eight gains and seven deflections.

Courtney Bruce injured her ankle in the second quarter.
Camera IconCourtney Bruce injured her ankle in the second quarter. Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

“I am all right, I might be a bit sore but I’ll be fine,” Bruce said post-game.

Fever struggled in the opening minutes of the first three quarters and it helped the Magpies cut the deficit going into the last break.

Their pressure continued to mount and when the super shot came into affect in the final five minutes, the home side were within eight goals.

Collingwood’s inaccuracy came back to haunt them in spectacular fashion, with Nelson and former NSW shooter Sophie Garbin struggling under the post, shooting at just 72.5 per cent.

After a tactical time-out, Fever came back with a purpose, scoring nine consecutive goals to blow the margin out again and keep them at the top of the ladder.

“That game really tested us. We weren’t having a great start in every quarter and in that last quarter we came out firing,” Bruce said.

“Little things to work on, but we’re pretty happy with that.”

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