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Aussie Carla turns the match

March 15, 2015

Thunderbirds 51 (Borrego 34/41, Bell 17/23)
Mystics 51 (Latu 28/29, Tutaia 23/28)

 

Adelaide Thunderbirds star Carla Borrego scored the last five goals of the match to help her side turn the game in the final three minutes against Northern Mystics and come away with a draw 51-51. 
Borrego has showed a stunning form revival finishing with 34 goals - 13 of them in the final term - along with scoring the Thunderbirds last 12 goals of the match.
After the Thunderbirds looked like their third loss was fast approaching when they were eight goals down with ten minutes to play before the Mystics attempted to 'ice the clock' late in the game. 
This forced a momentum shift and when Adelaide coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson changed Renae Hallinan from wing defence to centre the Thunderbirds rallied.
With the Mystics trying to control the game and hold possession they seemed to lose their momentum and suddenly the goals weren't flowing. 
The Thunderbirds together with their parochial home crowd sensed this and the tide turned with Borrego showcasing her class to steal a draw for her team.
Thunderbirds coach Woodlands-Thompson was proud of Borrego's performance today.
"I think she (Carla) has been given a pretty hard time with the press and whatever else they listen too and the pressure is certainly on them." she said.
"So she responded beautifully, she just didn't falter for a second today, so I'm really proud of her and the work she has put in to get back to that level."
"We've had two losses so we are building towards a win I guess and it was a tremendous comeback," Woodlands-Thompson said. 
"We were five goals down with a couple of minutes to go, so you can't knock their endeavour and their belief that they can always do it.
"You know we swung plenty of changes and everytime we swung a change we went up a couple, so they responded really well to the changes and had a real go and take nothing away from it every single player in that (Mystics) team has international experience, they have got the whole silver ferns front line and we just haven't got that experience.
"I thought Tutaia and Latu were magnificent today and we tried absolutely every tool in our toolbox and through no lack of effort we just couldn't get enough ball back.
Despite the Mystics looking like they were going to run away with a win, coach Woodlands-Thompson never wrote her young side off. 
"No I never count us out, I thought it was going to be difficult with about two and half to go, we were four away," she explained. 
"But a couple of quick turnovers and our game plan then pretty much switched to just fire it in to Carla and she had a magnificent game today on (Mystics Goal Keeper) Fakahokotau so we had to just keep peppering that." 
Northern Mystics coach Deb Fuller knew they needed to close the game out and take the win. 
"We needed to close out the game in the last minute and we didn't, our best is good enough, but our best needs to be good enough for 60 minutes," Fuller said
"The Thunderbirds are a great side, for me it was a great display of netball and that's how we want our game to be played and showcased. 
"The Thunderbirds always have that because their such a skilled team and Jane is such a strategic coach so we love coming over and playing that style. 
"But personally we needed to come out with the win, you know one's better than none so that's helpful as well I guess. 
"It is disappointing that we couldn't finish it off and I think we just got a little bit distracted in those last couple of minutes.
"We went away from our method and structures and we needed to just hold that.
Earlier in the match Mystics stars Maria Tutaia was proving the dominant player on court with her long range shooting ability proving deflating for the Thunderbirds.
"Maria impressed me today, you can always rely on Maria in moments," Fuller said. 
"She can shoot from anywhere, to have a long range shot like that and be so accurate is a momentum lifter for the team. 
"I think our mid court played well today having Selena (Guthrie) and Kayla (Cullen) work together defensively to turnover the ball, we had our targets in that area so that was good, overall it was a good team effort."
Woodlands-Thompson also complimented the efforts of the Mystics front line of Tutaia and Latu.
"I thought Tutaia and Latu were magnificent today and we tried absolutely every tool in our toolbox and through no lack of effort we just couldn't get enough ball back."
The Thunderbirds now look to Round Four facing another tough game against the Melbourne Vixens at Netball SA stadium next Sunday morning and the home side will be hoping they can reverse last week's nine goal loss.
"We never go into a game thinking we cant win and we got close to them (Vixens) last time compared with the last few outings," Woodlands-Thompson said.
"I think today was another step forward towards where we need to be, so we will attack that with confidence, we'll count the bits that weren't good enough (today) and we will work on those and have some strategies to put in place. 
"Its a building process, it's game three we've got two losses and a draw, but we've bracketed our first four matches as the hardest of the season though.

KEY MOMENT OF THE GAME:
Carla Borrego's influence late in the game shooting all of the Thunderbirds last 12 goals to help her team manage a draw.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN:
Northern Mystics Catherine Latu had the last shot of the game and missed as the final whistle went with scores level 51-51.

WHAT THE COACHES SAID:

DEBBIE FULLER (Northern Mystics Coach) 

"We needed to close out the game in the last minute and we didn't, our best is good enough, but our best needs to be good enough for 60 minutes," Fuller said

"The Thunderbirds are a great side, for me it was a great display of netball and that's how we want our game to be played and showcased. 

"The Thunderbirds always have that because their such a skilled team and Jane is such a strategic coach so we love coming over and playing that style. 

"But personally we needed to come out with the win, you know one's better than none so thats helpful as well I guess. 

"It is disappointing that we couldn't finish it off and I think we just got a little bit distracted in those last couple of minutes.

"We went away from our method and structures and we needed to just hold that.

"Everyone does that and that's how you play possession, I don't think it was an intentional tactic, this is the moment - we're in control, so lets retain our control and we just needed to be able to keep that going right till the end. 

"I think she has found her form coming into this week its been a big process getting her back to this point and having her starting again just adds another strength to our shooting end. 

"Maria impressed me today, you can always rely on Maria in moments

"She can shoot from anywhere, to have a long range shot like that and be so accurate is a momentum shifter for the team 

"I think our mid court played well today having Selena and Kayla work together defensively to turnover the ball, we had our targets in that area so that was good, overall it was a good team effort.

JANE WOODLANDS-THOMPSON (Adelaide Thunderbirds coach)

"We've had two losses so we are building towards a win I guess and it was a tremendous comeback, we were five goals down with a couple of minutes to go, so you can't knock their endeavour and their belief that they can always do it," Woodlands-Thompson said. 

"You know we swung plenty of changes and everytime we swung a change we went up a couple, so they responded really well to the changes and had a real go and take nothing away from it every single player in that team has international experience, they have got the whole silver ferns front line and we just haven't got that experience.

"I thought Tutaia and Latu were magnificent today and we tried absolutely every tool in our toolbox and through no lack of effort we just couldn't get enough ball back.

"No I never count us out, I thought it was going to be difficult with about two and half to go we were four away, but a couple of quick turnovers and our game plan then pretty much switched to just fire it in to Carla, and she had a magnificent game today on Fakahokatou so we had to just keep peppering that. 

"I think she (Carla) has been given a pretty hard time with the press and whatever else they listen too and the pressure is certainly on them so she responded beautifully she just didn't falter for a second today so I'm really proud of her and the work she has put in to get back to that level. 

"The first week I thought we were missing, I thought we fought really hard last week and got done by a better team and we didn't finish well today I thought we finished exceptionally well, we just played a very classy front line that we couldn't get enough ball back from so when we can put our attack and defence together we'll get that win on the board, but I don't think its far away.

"We certainly know how to win, it's just we make bizarre mistakes it's a concentration thing more than anything its always our younger players that are the ones under the pump and that's part of their learning process, we've got a lot of young talent out there and I guess patients isn't my strong point and it has to be to a certain extent when you play a team full of silver ferns. 

"It wasn't Renae's best day at the office unfortunately with her passing accuracy, I thought she did a tremendous job when we switched her into centre and she really fired everyone into that game and had a go at winning so when it counted she was there for us but she'll be disappointed with her error rate today.

"I think Camilla Lees got two warnings so one more indescretion she would have been offm so Fakahokotau she is an exciting new talent for them who only knows one thing and that is to mow down everything and everyone to get her hands on the ball and most of the time she does so. 

"I thought Carla did an exceptional job in sticking to our game plan and I think she only got one ball all day which is terrific for our forward line.

"The coaches clocks were three seconds but unfortunately that's not the ones that count but I thought we held them up really nicely when we had a real crack at winning when we put Steel back and Hallinan in the middle we had an all defensive backline to try and and get a few back and we really did have a real crack at winning and I thought there must of been a couple that were real close to that three second call and it was up to us to try to stay on it for one more second and we had to capitalise. 

"I think you just have to read it to how its going, we've got a really deep bench this year which is terrific and with a lot of young players out there its just really hard for them to get consistent excellence from week to week so we've always got plan B, C and D up our sleeve and we had to roll out Plan E today, so as coaches we threw everything we could at them we did not have another change in our toolbox and the girls stepped up, every time someone new went on they entered the game with great poise.

"I thought Waddington and Shimmin came into the game and were really strong for us and then when Amy Steel came back after being taken off to come back and play like she did in that last ten minutes I thought she was exceptional for us and got us a lot of ball back.

"We never go into a game thinking we cant win and we got close to them (Vixens) last time compared with the last few outings against the Vixens and I think today was another step forward towards where we need to be so we will attack that with confidence, we'll count the bits that weren't good enough (today) and we will work on those and have some strategies to put in place and its a building process it's game three we've got two losses and a draw, but we've bracketed our first four matches as the hardest of the season though.

"I think a draw is a draw and with the workload the players have playing extra time can be a little bit dangerous if it goes on and on and on and you have too many of those in a row at the intensity that we play, if you're not good enough to get over the line in 60 minutes you don't get two points its as simple as that, I think its a much fairer reflection of the table at the end of the year.

 

Images: Kelly Assender - Copyright - Our Sporting Life SA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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