NSW Swiftswill continue to go through their paces. Pic: AAP
NSW Swiftswill continue to go through their paces. Pic: AAP

Swifts copping unfair bonus point system

THE Swifts might be winning games, but they're not winning the bonus point game.

The NSW side have a 5-2 record at the halfway point of the Super Netball season, the same record as competition leaders West Coast Fever and Giants Netball.

But they haven't been able to climb above fourth place with Queensland Firebirds now sitting above them having won four games and lost three.

It was the same for two rounds before that, but with Sunshine Coast Lightning above Swifts despite having won one game less.

Lightning dropped to sixth after last weekend's 59-56 loss to Swifts.

Coach Briony Akle said the system had added excitement to the league, but also meant teams weren't being adequately rewarded for actually winning games.

 

Swifts hope if they get their game spot on, bonus points will come for them too. Pic: AAP
Swifts hope if they get their game spot on, bonus points will come for them too. Pic: AAP

"I don't think that a team should be above you that hasn't won as many games, but it is what it is," Akle said.

"We've obviously got to get better at it and if we don't address it, probably sooner rather than later, then that will come into play.

"I don't think it's fair, to be honest, but the other teams above us probably do think it's fair! It probably depends where you're sitting on the ladder and where you're at.

"As I said to our girls, there's nothing we can do about it. At the end of the day we can only control us so let's start doing that better."

Fever and Giants have been the form teams to date and have held firm in their spots at the top of the ladder. Below them there has been plenty of movement, though.

 

An eight-competition-point win over Adelaide put Firebirds into third spot. Pic: AAP
An eight-competition-point win over Adelaide put Firebirds into third spot. Pic: AAP

In such a close season, the bonus points are proving critical in the push for a top-four finals place.

Akle felt the Super Netball powers-that-be would be pleased with the unpredictability of 2018, but maybe they hadn't planned on teams ending up higher on the ladder with fewer wins on the board.

"I think this is exactly probably what they were after in terms of fan engagement and interest in the game. They've obviously got that," she said.

"But probably when you're in the heat of the battle and you're looking at the points and score, it's probably unique to other sports that a team can have less wins and be above you.

"It will be interesting to see what they decide at the end of the season in how it went."

Akle says Swifts have improved and can keep doing so. Pic: Dominic O'Brien
Akle says Swifts have improved and can keep doing so. Pic: Dominic O'Brien

For now, the Swifts will focus on their own processes.

Akle said the team had improved out of sight to last season and if they could keep improving then results, and bonuses, should go their way.

"I kind of look at the fact that we weren't even winning games last year, so the fact that we're in that top four and we may not be leading the bonus points, but we are in the top," she said.

"We're hoping if we keep winning and addressing our problems in each quarter then the bonus points will follow."



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