NSW Swifts coach Briony Akle has resisted the temptation to build a game plan around Jamaican giant Jhaniele Fowler as her side plots to end West Coast's unbeaten start to the Super Netball season on Sunday in Perth.
New recruit Fowler has set the competition alight since joining the Fever, her 198-centimetre frame leading the league in scoring this year with a staggering 167 goals at better than 93 per cent accuracy over the opening three rounds, which has the perennial strugglers from the west sitting clear atop the early standings.
Rich vein of form: West Coast Fever goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler.
Her efforts included a monstrous round-one return of 66 goals from 68 attempts – a Super Netball record.
Young goal keeper Sarah Klau will have the job on Fowler for the majority of Sunday's match, but Akle said controlling the towering shooter would begin much further up the court.
"We haven't actually said, 'Right, we'll go one on one with Fowler', we've put a focus on defence every week," Akle said.
"For us it's not in the game plan really. It's probably just sticking to what we do well and strengthening that, and obviously fixing our unforced errors.
"We've got a lot that we need to fix, let alone focusing on them. We haven't played our best netball yet, through the mid court and connection with our shooters, so we've done a lot on that, and just our full-court defence.
"We're giving away too much ball, so our focus has been on getting that right. It's no secret we've definitely put focus on valuing the ball; in a game where you get it back every second centre pass, you can't afford to be giving the opposition easy ball.
"That has been a major focus in staying connected and having faith in each other, we've got the options there to be able to have a good option rather than throwing it out the base line or the sideline."
West Coast were one of only two sides the Swifts notched a win against in 2017, along with Adelaide, and they lost this fixture in Perth by five points in a low-scoring affair last year.
Akle is yet to settle on a starting seven for the Fever clash, and likely won't pick her side until the last possible moment.
Last week against the Giants she started Maddy Proud on the bench in favour of Claire O'Brien at centre, before making an early switch via a time-out midway through the first quarter.
"We're still exploring that; every week if you asked me if I had a set seven I'd say no," Akle said.
"It just depends on who we play and where we're at. That's the beauty of the 10, which is nice.
"For us the good thing is you can always call that tactical time-out and change it and know that you've got players that can come on and play; it doesn't really matter if they don't start."
Source: Read Full Article