Thwaites stars in Swifts win against former club

BENDIGO netball star Caitlin Thwaites was most valuable player as NSW Swifts scored an 18-goal win against Haier Pulse in round five of the trans-Tasman netball championship.

Playing against her former club for the first time, Thwaites scored 30 goals from 36 attempts in the Swifts fourth victory of the season.

Her third quarter was superb and forced Pulse to make the unusual change of Katrina Grant from goalkeeper to wing defence.

The 63-45 victory was the Swifts biggest of the season.

Thwaites and Susan Pratley, 27 from 30, capitalised on the slick passes from centre and captain Kimberlee Green and replacement player Sarah Wall.

Off-season recruit Gretel Tippett made her Swifts debut as a final quarter substitute for Thwaites and scored six goals from 11 attempts.

The Pulse, who have never won in Australia, turned the ball over too many times, resulting in 27 fewer shots for veteran shooters Irene van Dyk, 32/34, and Donna Wilkins, 13/16.

Swifts led 16-15 at the first break and won the second term, 17-12.

The lead was 14 goals by the final change.

Tippett, the younger sister of Sydney Swans AFL forward Kurt Tippett, became a competition record 15th player to turn out for the injury-hit Swifts this season.

Thwaites said knowledge of the Pulse defenders had come in handy.

‘‘Having played over there, I know what they are trying to achieve and the spaces where you can go,’’ Thwaites said.

The netball and volleyball ace is a multiple monthly winner in the Bendigo Bank-backed Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year award. 

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