Isolation period takes toll on Giants in derby loss

Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald has conceded her side’s isolation period in Perth played a part in today’s 51-63 loss to the NSW Swifts.

Shooter Sam Wallace was the star for the Swifts during the derby, nailing all 58 of her attempts as Sydney finished the match with a perfect 63/63 goal accuracy.

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In front of 8,158 fans at Ken Rosewall Arena, the Swifts outscored the Giants in every quarter to comfortably claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

While the Giants, who have now lost two on the trot, admit their recent trip to Perth last week to face the West Coast Fever may have taken its toll.

The team last week was forced to undergo a five-day hotel quarantine period as part of Western Australia’s COVID-19 protocols after having previously played the Vixens in Melbourne, which Fitzgerald admitted was part of what contributed to a mentally tough week in the lead-up to the derby.

“We’ve all had a huge week. We didn’t get home until Tuesday,” Fitzgerald said.

“There is a lot of things that contributed to it, but if you’re going to be a professional you’ve got to be over that.

“You can’t afford for that sort of thing to affect you. You’ve got to get over it.

“We are in a pandemic, anything can happen to us, we’ve got to be prepared for it.”

Giants captain Jo Harten last week even admitted that her side felt like “caged animals” during the isolation period.

Meanwhile, Swifts coach Briony Akle said she was left impressed with her side’s ability to continue improving.

“It was about playing a really good brand of Swifts netball and I think we did it,” Akle said.

“We took the focus off the opposition and put the onus on us to be better.

“I think for us, moving forward, it will be exactly the same.

“We needed to nail the basics a lot more than we had been and I think the result of nailing those basics was that scoreline and getting back-to-back wins.”

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