25 May 2024

Surrey Storm 55 Rhinos Netball 63

By Tyler-Sue Champan

Rhinos charged to victory in Surrey against a strong Surrey Storm side as they took the win 55-63. Liana Leota made a singular change to her starting seven with Amelia Hall starting in the goal attack (GA) position.

Joyce Mvula started the fixture strong and slotted away the first goal for the away side. Early nerves from both sides saw the ball travel up and down the court before Mvula slotted two in a row to level the scoring at 3 all. Geva Mentor (goal keeper) and Zoe Davies (goal defence) forced Storm off the backline and created opportunity for Michelle Magee (wing defence) to pick up further ball, this saw the away side reach an early four goal lead (5-9). Rhinos defensive trio picked up even more ball and the Rhinos doubled the home sides score. Scrappy play from both sides ended the first quarter but it was the Rhinos who entered the first break with the advantage 12-16.

The home side Surrey Storm got the second half underway, Mentor picked up the rebound. Rhinos defence continued to force errors and their lead reached eight. Surrey Storm slotted away their second goal of the quarter after five minutes of play proving the levels of pressure applied from the Rhinos defence. Forced errors from Surrey Storm and impressive play from Mvula saw the visitors lead reach 10. Storm slotted a shot away on the buzzer for half time which reduced the game to nine with the Rhinos holding the advantage, 22-31.

Leota made one change for the second half with Harriet Jones picking up the goal attack (GA) bib. Jones slotted shots from range and the magic Mvula rebounded well. Defensively the Rhinos continued to win ball and the lead grew and grew until it reached 18 two minutes before the third break. A trio of goals from the home side resulted in the third quarter ending 35-50.

Amelia Hall returned to the game for the final 15 moving into the wing attack position. An impressive turnover from Davies didn’t quite reach the hands of Mvula or Jones as Storm took another run of goals which brought the game back to 10, (43-53). Sarah MacPhail entered the game at the wing defence (WD) position pushing M.Magee into the GD position. Jones confidence increased and the Rhinos found Mvula at ease. Another flurry of goals for the home side halted the charge of the Rhinos but the visitors took the win 55-63.

Leeds Rhinos return home to Huddersfield University (Saturday 1st June, 15:00) for a crucial clash against Severn Stars in the fight for the last remaining spot in the final four. Tickets can be purchased from tickets.rhinosnetball.co.uk

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