MATCH REPORT | Saracens Mavericks 62-43 Wasps Netball
Match report written by Erica Rosa Tapp.
Super Saracens swat away Wasps and reclaim their top 4 spot
An in-form Wasps side, with an impressive record against Mavericks, threatened to sting the Hertfordshire team who’d won just one of their last five matches. However, after a shaky first quarter, the crowd at the University of Essex were treated to full-court exhibition netball from every single player wearing Black and Red. It was a performance that confirms Mavericks’ right to the top 4 spot this game earned them.
Head Coach, Kat Ratnapala, couldn’t praise her squad enough: “Our unit defence is what wins us games and those players were fantastic today”. Razia Quashie, a member of that unit, was awarded Gilbert Player of the Match but Ratnapala lauded players at both ends of the court, identifying Kadeen Corbin as having been “outstanding” as well as giving special mention to Aliyah Zaranyika.
Headline new signing, Temalisi Fakahokotau, didn’t make it onto court tonight but was very much the eight player with her vocal support from the bench! Ratnapala, who has been working to bring Temalisi over from New Zealand for a couple of years, recognised the positive impact she is already having on the team: “Tem brings stuff on and off the court.”
After tonight’s dominant display, Mavericks will be hungry to collect more points in their charge for the play-off finals when they host Celtic Dragons next Saturday.
In the opening quarter Wasps and Mavericks went goal-for-goal but also error-for-error. With turnovers and loose passes from both sides the quarter ended with a modest scoreline of 11-11.
The game changed at the start of the second quarter and the Mavericks didn’t look back. Head Coach of Wasps, Mel Mansfield, lamented that after a first quarter where her team “should have been up” the side then “weren’t good enough for 45 minutes”.
The Black and Reds came out flying in the second quarter, establishing a dominance that Wasps couldn’t overturn even when errors crept into the Mavericks liquid play towards the end of the match. Britney Clarke scored from range in a game where she chalked up 46 goals. The speed, creativity, patience and whole-team fluidity showcased the Mavericks’ top 4 credentials. In response to the pressure Wasps made a number of substitutions but weren’t able to stop the locomotive charging at them. Wasps looked deflated as the half-time whistle blew. 31-24.
Unfortunately for the away side it was the Mavericks of the second quarter who took to the court after the break, not the Mavericks of the opening 15 minutes. Both sides changed their Centre players, with Gabby Marshall coming on for the home team. The Corbin sisters treated the crowd, and Sky Sports viewers, to a netball masterclass as they combined both flair and consistency. 45-33.
Fans were hoping to see Temalisi join the display but with the Mavericks defence all playing their A-game there was no obvious substitution to make. Georgia Lees came on for Sasha Corbin in the final quarter and stamped her mark on the game with composed feeds into the circle. With an emphatic 19 goal advantage Mavericks smashed this must-win game out of the park. 62-43.
Thank goodness there are only 5 days to wait before Mavericks are back in action. Saracens Mavericks will be back at the Hertfordshire Sports Village at 4pm next Saturday (9th) to play Celtic Dragons.
Saracens Mavericks starting 7: GS Britney Clarke; GA Kadeen Corbin; WA Sasha Corbin; C Beth Ecuyer-Dale; WD Aliyah Zaranyika; GD Jodie Gibson; GK Razia Quashie
Replacements: Georgia Lees; Gabby Marshall; Chloe Essam; Temalisi Fakahokotau; Yasmin Hodge-England
Wasps starting 7: GS Rachel Dunn; GA Lucy Parize; WA Iona Christian; C Leah Goss; WD Ella Powell-Davies; GD Rachael Fee; GK Josie Huckle
Replacements: Gezelle Allison; Ellie Gibbons; Lauren Nicholls; Christina Shaw; Caroline Tarnowski
Quarter scores (Saracens Mavericks first): Q1 11-11; Q2 31-24 (20-13); Q3 45-33 (14-9); Q4 62-43 (17-10)