Super Netball fans stunned after game axed over 'rubbish' ruling

The netball game will go down as one of the most bizarre outcomes in the sport's history.

·5-min read
Staff pulling off the decal in Adelaide before the Super Netball game and NSW Swift player Helen Housby shooting.
NSW Swift player Helen Housby (pictured right) was left frustrated after the Super Netball game between the Adelaide Thunderbirds and the NSW Swifts was cancelled at half-time due to a power outage and also delayed due to a surface issue (pictured left). (Images: Twitter/Getty Images)

Australian netball fans have been left flabbergasted after the Super Netball game between the Adelaide Thunderbirds and the NSW Swifts was cancelled at half-time due to a power outage. Only a day after the Gabba lost power during the Brisbane Lions home clash in the AFL, netball fans were left stunned when the game ended in a 25-25 draw.

In bizarre scenes, the beginning of the match was delayed when staff were needed to remove the decal from the Netball SA Stadium surface in Adelaide. The floor was deemed unsafe to play on and the removal of the plastic delayed the match for an hour for the sold out crowd.

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In what will go down as one of the most bizarre netball dramas in Aussie history, Fox Sports commentator Bianca Chatfield was left perplexed at the delay. “Talk about drama, there’s been a lot of drama,” Chatfield said.

“It was flagged with Nicole Malcher – she’s the head of integrity and head of legal counsel at Netball Australia – that the court was deemed unsafe or not ready to be played on and more work needed to be done on the surface. We’ve had everybody out on court.

“The umpires were taking a look. It was all about the decals and whether they had the same surface area as what was on the court. (Coach) Briony Akle came out, the Swifts came out, the Thunderbirds came out.

“We were all waiting to hear if this game could go ahead. Netball Australia ticked every box and checked everything."

Power outage ends Super Netball clash

After the pre-match debacle, the blockbuster match between the Thunderbirds and Swifts got underway in front of a fantastic atmosphere. The Swifts led 16-12 at quarter-time but the Thunderbirds fought back to level the scores at 25-25 by the halfway mark.

However, for a second time in Australian sport on the weekend, a blackout halted the match after half-time. The power outage couldn't be solved and officials deemed the game would not finish in the designated time slot.

This meant the game finished in a draw. The players themselves were left absolutely gobsmacked at the situation. NSW Swifts star Helen Housby told Fox Sports that the second delay was just frustrating.

Fans used their phones as torches during a Super Netball game.
Fans used their phones as torches during the blackout in the Super Netball match between Adelaide Thunderbirds and NSW Swifts at Netball SA Stadium. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

“The first delay was alright because we actually got to play afterwards,” she said. “We played cards backstage. It’s so frustrating honestly.

“No one likes to have a draw even if you play 60 minutes. But to have a draw and not have been able to have an opportunity to win the game is actually really sad.

“There was some emotion in the changeroom. Every single point counts. Obviously there is nothing we can do.” Fans reacted with utter shock over how the fiasco played out.

After the match, Netball Australia addressed the controversy. "It's just really disappointing and very unfortunate circumstances tonight that a power outage has got us," Netball Australia head of integrity Nicole Malcher told Fox Sports.

The Thunderbirds will remain undefeated, having won their opening-round game, and move to six points. The Swifts picked up their first points of the season following a loss to Collingwood last time out.

Adelaide, who lost captain Hannah Petty with a rolled ankle in the first quarter, had the momentum going into halftime, outscoring the visitors 6-1 in the last four minutes. Adelaide goalkeeper Shamera Sterling was confident the momentum had swung their way.

"If we had played out the match, Thunderbirds had the capacity to win," Jamaica international Sterling told Fox Sports. "It's a bummer that we had to split the four points."

Adelaide's English shooter Eleanor Cardwell made all 13 of her attempts, including three two-point shots, with Thunderbirds shooting at 92 per cent and Swifts at 76 per cent.

with AAP

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