Bright start for Aussie teams in ANZ Championship

2014 Round 1 ANZ Championship game - Swifts v Fever

The opening ANZ Championship round of 2014 was a successful one for Australian teams, with four of five teams kicking off their campaigns with a win.

Highlight of the round was Adelaide Thunderbirds last-gasp win over Central Pulse in Porirua last night.

Adelaide’s Jamaican import shooter Carla Borrego was in superb form as she shot 32 goals from 37 attempts, but her final shot was the most important.

With no time left on the clock, she missed her first two attempts after rebounding the ball twice before finally scoring to hand her team a 45-44 win.

“Coming into this game, we know it was going to be a 60 minute game plan and regardless of whether things were going well or not, we really wanted to stick to that,” Thunderbirds captain Renae Hallinan said after the match.

“I’m so pleased that at the very end, we were able to come over the line because we did stick to the game plan.”

Last night’s win puts the Thunderbirds within one win of equalling the league’s record of 15 consecutive victories, held by the Queensland Firebirds. Ironically, the Thunderbirds travel to Brisbane to face the Firebirds in Brisbane on Sunday it what is tipped to be an enthralling clash.

NSW Swifts were never able to get things going last season, but with the signing of a new coach and two players with Australian Diamonds experience it looked like things would be on the up this year.

Coach Rob Wright and defender Sharni Layton masterminded the Swifts come-from-behind against West Coast Fever in Sydney on Sunday.

Behind for much of the first half, the Swifts triumphed 54-51 against a Fever team that many have tipped to be big improvers in 2014.

In a clash featuring another two teams tipped to figure come finals time, it was the Melbourne Vixens that came out winners over New Zealand side the Northern Mystics 58-34 in Melbourne.

Boasting a new look midcourt including debutant Liz Watson, Vixens controlled proceedings from first to last whistle in a dominant performance.

Showing off a group of new and talented youngsters, the Queensland Firebirds completely outclassed the Southern Steel 60-44 across in Invercargill.

Queensland’s win featured four quarter a high tempo style of netball and accuracy across the court.

The loss of goal attack Natalie Medhurst was a big blow for them in the off-season, but it proved to be minimal as exciting new recruit Amorette Wild performed strongly in her first hit-out.