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West Coast Fever rises to second on Super Netball ladder by beating Giants

Courtney Bruce was instrumental in Fever's 72-61 Super Netball win over the Giants on Sunday.

Courtney Bruce was instrumental in Fever's 72-61 Super Netball win over the Giants on Sunday. Photo: AAP

Defending champions West Coast Fever has taken a major step towards securing the valuable double chance for the Super Netball finals by defeating the Giants 72-61 to rise to second on the ladder.

With a home crowd in excess of 11,000 packing Perth’s RAC Arena, Fever withstood a strong challenge from the Giants to win every quarter of Sunday’s clash and secure its ninth victory of the season.

Last night’s shock home loss for Adelaide Thunderbirds against Sunshine Coast Lightning presented Fever with a golden opportunity to reach the top two ahead of the South Australian club with a win over the Giants.

“We knew that we had a door and an opportunity that had opened after last night, and now we want that second chance,” captain Courtney Bruce said after playing a major role in West Coast’s success with nine of her side’s 18 gains and three intercepts.

“We want to be able to play the Swifts and we want to be able to have another final here, if need be.”

West Coast can lock in a top-two finish, along with a place in the major semi-final in two weeks’ time, by defeating Collingwood in Launceston during next week’s final round.

Giants mid-courter Jamie-Lee Price took part in her 150th national league game with the 27-year-old producing 39 feeds and 18 goal assists during an engrossing battle with West Coast centre Verity Simmons.

Bruce opened the contest in scintillating style, with her defensive prowess putting Fever in a great position to close the first quarter with a substantial lead.

However, Amy Parmenter’s late intercept allowed Sophie Dwyer to connect on back-to-back Super shots for the Giants to trail by just three goals.

With defender Lauren Moore keeping Jhaniele Fowler in check, the visitors stayed level for the majority of the second period until Fever made its charge to lead by eight nearing half-time.

But in a carbon copy of the opening term, the Giants hit back with the final two Super shots of the quarter and Fever could only extend its lead by one, with a 37-33 buffer at the main break.

Fever made the most of the long break to adjust its attacking strategy and it paid dividends with a 10-3 start to the third quarter, as Simmons and Alice Teague-Neeld worked in tandem to set up Fowler for a 19-goal term.

West Coast led by as many as 13 goals in the third period, then held off the Giants in the final minutes to take a 10-goal buffer into the fourth quarter.

-AAP

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