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Leeds Rhinos

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Manchester Thunder

Match Details

8th May 2022
Round 17
First Direct Arena
Report Stats

Match Results

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First Centre Pass

Jade Clarke
Jade Clarke Leeds Rhinos View profile

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Performance Stats

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Thunder remain top of the Vitality Netball Superleague thanks to victory over Rhinos. Image: Matthew Merrick (@Merrick_marthew)

Manchester Thunder continued their unbeaten season with a 84-49 win over Leeds Rhinos.

Joyce Mvula shot a huge 60 goals as Thunder stayed top of the Vitality Netball Superleague, while Rhinos sit seventh with three games to go.

First Quarter

Jade Clarke took the first centre pass and the umpires quickly saw a relayed ball from Vicki Oyesola. Eleanor Cardwell remained controlled and netted it 1-0.

Thunder then convert their own centre pass and take the first two 2-0. Rhinos remained patient and put their first on the board 2-1. Sigird Burger netted for Rhinos to keep her side in touch as Thunder led 4-2.

Thunder continued to apply defensive pressure which forced Rhinos off the side-line on their centre pass. Burger remained calm and kept the scoreboard ticking, while Brie Grierson combined well with the mid-court which allowed Burger to add another as the deficit was reduced to just one goal.

Grierson found Burger with a bullet pass but Mvula and Cardwell remained strong and clinical for Thunder to keep them ahead.

Rhinos moved the ball around well but it was forced off the backline and into Kerry Almond's hands. Rebekah Airey had a tip but it was a Thunder ball, Cardwell popped another in. Lois Pearson for Thunder made an intercept on the line which saw Cardwell put it through the net.

Cardwelll quickly netted another and Thunder's lead was out to six. Quick hands were on display from Grierson who played herself in. She missed the shot and despite pressure from Almond it was a Rhinos side-line, Burger added one more as Thunder led 12-7.

Clarke was patient from the top and Burger put another through the net. Clarke earned herself an intercept, but an attacking contact was later called within the circle, Airey was unlucky and Mvula added one more for Thunder.

Grierson did well to keep it on court but Thunder picked it up with Cardwell finishing it off. An attacking contact was called on Cardwell due to pressure that Oyesola had applied, Rhinos transitioned with help from crowd but it went off the backline.

Clarke held on to the ball and Hall and Burger combined but footwork was made, Mvula added on to create a nine-point lead, 20-11.

Mvula continued to be clinical in front of goal for Thunder as their lead extended but Burger kept Rhinos ticking over to prevent the lead from extending further as the sides went in 23-14 ahead.

Second Quarter

Quarter two got underway and it was Thunder who took the first goal and added a second through a quick transition to allow Mvula to net.

Grierson moved the ball around and found Burger under the post to get Rhinos' first score of the quater before Oyesola won the ball back for Rhinos and after a quick transition saw Clarke and Grierson combine well but a fumbled ball found its way back with Thunder.

Quick hands from Rhinos saw Grierson pop a goal onto the board to the crowd's delight, despite Thunder's large lead.

Shadine van der Merwe was imperious in defence for Thunder as she stole the ball to set up another score for the visitors.

Grierson and Hall combined well and Grierson added another. Rhinos lost possession but today's captain Clarke regained it for her side, before Hall did well to keep hold of the ball and feed Burger to score.

Thunder turned over another ball but it was Oyesola this time who picked it back up and Burger netted once more to reduce the deficit to 15.

Thunder continued to disturb Rhinos transition, but a long ball found Burger under the post to score. Rhinos then earned possession and quickly took it to goal but Grierson couldn’t quite reach Burger with the next and Thunder regained possession to score once more.

Rhinos were patient but miscommunication saw the ball fly off the side-line. Cardwell popped it through to extend the lead to 17. A long ball went into Burger but it was well intercepted by Almond, before Thunder went long into Mvula who added a final goal of the half with a second remaining to send the sides in 43-24.

Third Quarter

Thunder got the second half underway with three unanswered goals before Sienna Rushton got her first for Rhinos and Burger added two more for the home team.

Amelia Hall is patient and found Rushton to score before Keenan earned the ball but was called for contact.

Mvula added another for Thunder before Rushton added another one onto Rhinos' tally but their next centre pass went off the side-line.

Keenan earned her side possession from a missed shot from Thunder, Rhinos added one more for a 24-point lead.

Rushton went high into Burger but there was too much on it, Emma Magee and Rushton combined well to apply pressure on Thunders' transition to win the ball back but Thunder soon regained the ball and Mvula finished it off.

Thunder continued to dominate but Rhinos took their next centre pass and Burger held off Almond and Rushton finished.

Footwork was called within the Thunder shooting circle but Rhinos just couldn’t successfully transition. Thunder continued to add goals onto the board. Rhinos were patient and built on their own centre pass. Rushton takes the backline and worked the ball round and found Burger to score.

Rushton netted a long shot and the crowd loved it despite the 27-point deficit. Rushton intercepts the ball from a Thunder centre pass and Rhinos take it to goal. Clarke takes the next centre and Hall quickly found Burger who got another.

A missed shot for Rhinos allowed Thunder to transition, Magee made a tip but was called for footwork. Oyesola earned the ball with five seconds remaining but time denied Rhinos of a goal as the sides went in for the final quarter 64-36.

Fourth Quarter

Malcolm got the final quarter underway and Mvula scored the first goal of the quarter.

Burger took the ball to goal to get Rhinos' first and quickly after Keenan earned possession of the ball but Cardwell picked it back up for Thunder.

A call was made within Thunder's circle and Burger pops it through for another goal, before the South African added another two in quick succession.

Rhinos added one more before Rushton put another one through the net but Thunder continued to respond as they moved past the 70 mark.

Rushton combined well with both Clarke and Burger to score before Almond tipped the ball but Magee picked up the loose ball and found Rushton home alone 44-72.

Keenan picked up a rebound but an attacking contact call was made against Rhinos 44-73. Amy Clinton entered the game at goal shooter and Lydia Walker took to court at centre while Paige Kindred picked up the wing defence bib and Magee moved down the court into goal defence.

Cardwell missed the shot and Rhinos transitioned, Rushton ended this passage of play with a goal. Clinton got her first of the game before picking up a rebound to add another onto the board.

Clinton took the penalty shot before Rhinos lost the ball off the backline but quickly regained possession to get the goal.

Rhinos forced Thunder off the backline but couldn’t complete the transition, Mvula added the goal for thunder 49-81. There is too much on the ball for Rhinos and Mvula continued to add for Thunder. Cardwell went long into Mvula who got the final goal to end the game 49-84.

Report provided by Leeds Rhinos

You can also watch the highlights from all the games in the VNSL 2022 season HERE. Buy tickets to support Leeds Rhinos at their home games here and support Manchester Thunder at their home ground by buying tickets here.

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