Super Netball – West Coast Fever v Collingwood Magpies

It seems it doesn’t matter what sport it is, if the name is Collingwood, the nature is to love, or hate, as Peter Sweeney experienced on the other side of the country.


Hundreds of people were sporting black and white coloured scarves and beanies in the middle of Perth early on Saturday night.


Over in Melbourne, Collingwood were losing feathers in the first half of the battle of the birds with the Hawks at ‘The G’. The scoreboard there was of little consequence to those gathering outside Perth Arena, the State’s premier sporting and entertainment showpiece pre the early 2018 opening of the 60,000 seat ultra-modern Perth Stadium.


They were rugged up to beat a wintry Western Australian night – and to watch Collingwood’s netball team tackle West Coast Fever in their Super Netball League fixture.


There was a bit in this contest before nearly 8000 fans.

The Abba track ‘Money, Money, Money’ played when the Magpies made their way onto the court.


This was the first time former Fever players Ash Brazill, April Brandley and Shae Brown were in Perth since defecting to the new franchise – Collingwood – at the end of last season. Obviously, even for netball, one doesn’t cross from one side of the country to the other for no reason. And when one joins Collingwood, it’s love. Or hate.


The Magpies sat fourth on the ladder; while only the Adelaide Thunderbirds were behind Fever in the eight team competition.

“We face a Magpies team high on confidence,” Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich, who was surpasssing legendary world netball figure Norma Plummer (39 games) as the longest serving head coach in the club’s history, said pre-game.


“They bring a very athletic, fast-paced style of play, approaching every contest with aggression.”

Collingwood. Aggression. Often they go hand in hand, always so off the field, or court.

It was 12-all at the first break, as the Fever wanted to show the defectors, and their detractors, that they were wrong.


Then the slicker and skilled Pies put the pedal to the metal and put some space between themselves and their rivals – until midway through the third term when Fever levelled the scores again.


It was left to Collingwood’s national goalshooter Caitlin Thwaites to be the difference, she shooting 45 baskets (from 48 shots, following a 50 goals from 54 attempts the last time the sides played) in the Pies 49-42 win.


Heartbreak for some, but hugs for all come final whistle time, with the Magpie players photographed with countless local girls wanting to one day follow in their footsteps. And maybe colours.


This weekend, as in the Australian Football League, there is an Indigenous Round, which will incorporate a celebration of the 1967 Referendum, to complete the home and away season in the Super Netball League.


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