Giants notch win over the Thunderbirds

Kathryn Bermingham
The Giants have snatched a Super Netball win over the Thunderbirds at Priceline Stadium in Adelaide

The Adelaide Thunderbirds were "well and truly beaten" in strength, depth and commitment to the ball in their 23-point Super Netball defeat on Saturday, coach Dan Ryan says.

The Thunderbirds went down 71-48 against premiership favourites the Giants in Adelaide.

The visitors came out strong, quickly securing the lead and going on to claim the full eight points available.

The Giants came in off the back of a round one win over the Sunshine Coast and three of their players - Jo Harten, Susan Pettit and Serena Guthrie - were involved in the gold medal playoff at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The Giants may have benefitted from some inside knowledge too, with three of the seven on court for the third quarter having previously played for the Thunderbirds.

Bec Bulley, Sam Pullman and 196cm goal shooter Kristina Brice, who scored 28 from 28 shots in the second half, helped destroy their former team.

But Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said her side slipped slightly in the third and fourth quarters after keeping up "exceptional" pressure in the first half.

"We did let it drop off a little bit in the second half but not enough to let the game slip away, so I was pretty pleased with the effort," she said.

The Thunderbirds' defensive concerns heading into the match proved founded, with the home side notching 23 turnovers to the Giants' 13.

Ryan said his side was beaten by a "much stronger competition."

"Their strength, their depth, their commitment to the ball - we were well and truly beaten in that regard," he said.

"They set the tempo of the game very, very early and at times we kind of got into the groove, but more often than not we were on the back foot and that was full credit to the Giants."

Thunderbirds goal shooter Shimona Nelson again impressed, grabbing some near-impossible passes and recording 89 per cent accuracy.

But regular errors from the home side quashed any chance of a close competition.

"I think a lot of the mistakes that were made certainly come from the heightened anxiety that they put on us," Ryan said.