Captain Laura Geitz could be the key to lifting the Queensland Firebirds into the ANZ Championship finals following a 51-44 win over the West Coast Fever.
It wasn’t pretty netball, but it was a grinding defensive display from the Queensland Firebirds that could propel them into the 2014 ANZ Championship finals.
For the second week in a row, the Queensland defensive end, lead by captain Laura Geitz, worked overtime to restrict their opposition to their lowest scores of the season.
Last week it was the New South Wales Swifts, this week it was the West Coast Fever who struggled to make inroads into the Queensland defence in their 51-44 loss in Brisbane on Sunday.
After three straight losses earlier in the season threatened to derail the Firebirds chances of contesting the finals, the double dose of defensive steel has propelled the Queenslanders into the top four.
Anchored by Geitz, the staunch defence could lift the Firebirds all the way to the championship.
“We need to shut down our opposition’s main shooters,” coach Roselee Jencke said.
“I was really pleased (with) Geitzy, she had a really good game. She is having a great season. Her ability to shut the real key shooter in the team has been great.
“And technically today I think everyone did their job.”
It was a vital win for the Firebirds, who came into the match in fourth place but just two competition points from a tumble down to ninth in one of the tightest championship races.
It was also a devastating loss for the Fever, with former Diamonds coach and current West Coast mentor Norma Plummer left to rue what could have been for the sixth-placed side which could have moved into the top four with a win.
“It was difficult to take because it could have put us in the four,” she said. “We just didn’t treasure possession. We need to keep challenging ourselves going forward.”
One positive for the Fever was the return of Chanel Gomes who played two quarters in her return from a hip injury.