Recap of last season

Last year, the Giants fought through a difficult start to the season, after COVID-19 struck down almost half the team in the first month of the season. They bounced back, booking eight wins for the year and sealing third spot on the ladder.

In the first week of the finals, the Giants held off a storming Collingwood side with a calm and mature performance, fitting of a team that had been to a grand final the year before.

In the preliminary final, they came up against the Melbourne Vixens in a see-sawing match, eventually losing by a single goal as time beat them from the last centre pass, leaving the Giants with finals heartbreak in back to back years.

How they can improve

At times last year, the Giants struggled to wrestle momentum in games. With coach Julie Fitzgerald almost exclusively using seven players each week, and the same seven players, there were momentum swings in games that the team was unable to stop at times.

If Fitzgerald has greater trust in Lauren Moore, Amy Sligar and Matisse Letherbarrow, and the trio sees extended court time this year, the different looks that the Giants can offer may help them challenge and surprise opponents in new ways.

Last year, the philosophy of the Giants was to do what the Giants do best, and see if other teams could stop them. With the ability to alter the game plan and show something different at times, there is another level that the Giants can go to.


In: None.

Out: None.

Squad: Jo Harten (c), April Brandley, Sophie Dwyer, Maddie Hay, Matisse Letherbarrow, Matilda McDonell, Lauren Moore, Amy Parmenter, Jamie-Lee Price, Amy Sligar.

Training Partners: Jemma Donoghue, Charli Fidler, Angelina Frketic, Erin O'Brien.

Biggest Strength

Long-range shooting has been the Giants bread and butter for years. The Giants have led the league in Super Shots attempted and made multiple years in a row, and Jo Harten in particular has been the league leader since the rule was introduced.

The ability to sink long-range shots has kept the Giants in games, and kept pressure on their opponents, knowing that they can pile on the volume quickly, and no lead is safe.

Sophie Dwyer has become a growing exponent, and perhaps most excitingly, in limited opportunities, Letherbarrow has been unafraid to shoot the long range shot, and has been very effective in doing it. If she is given an extended run this year, the Giants won't face a drop off in scoring as a result.

Sophie Dwyer has become a star for the Giants. Image: Raheemah Bolkiah.

Sophie Dwyer has become a star for the Giants. Image: Raheemah Bolkiah.

Biggest Weakness

The Giants have relied on a starting seven, and the same starting seven for the best part of two years (Tilly McDonell replacing Sam Poolman aside). The bench players, and particularly Amy Sligar and Letherbarrow have had very limited exposure to Super Netball at full speed.

If an injury pops up for a midcourter or a defender, or if Jo Harten is out for an extended period, can the Giants trust their bench to step up? Can the players who haven't seen lots of court time fit seamlessly into the lineup and the pace of the game?

The big question marks will be there until they are proven, and there is every chance that they will need to be answered, particularly in the shooting circle as Jo Harten nurses a long-run knee injury.

Rising Star

This is the year that Matisse Letherbarrow breaks out. She has had two years as part of the contract squad, and a few opportunities to test herself at the Super Netball level.

Few Vixens fans will forget her performance last season to almost-singlehandedly force extra time, as she shot the lights out from distance. With Jo Harten managing an injury (with the thought of the Netball World Cup hanging in the back of her mind), this could be the year that Letherbarrow gets an extended run of games.

From what we have seen, the young shooter will have no trouble adapting to the moment, and is happy to launch her shots from anywhere in the shooting circle with minimum fuss. Defenders, look out.


The Giants are one of the teams that stood pat after last season, alongside the Vixens and Fever. Just a goal from the grand final, the logic is understandable.

The Giants have bonded as a team together, with lots of stability the last two years. Image: Raheemah Bolkiah

The Giants have bonded as a team together, with lots of stability the last two years. Image: Raheemah Bolkiah

However, the sides just below them made changes to boost their lineups, and the Giants don't come into the season as a picture of health, with Harten under a cloud, Maddie Hay out for the first week or two, the Giants may get off to a slow start.

In a year as competitive as this year is expected to be, just a couple of games could be the difference between finals and not. With no changes for improvement, and a few injuries early, the Giants may find themselves on the wrong side of that fine margin, and out of finals this year.

Ladder Prediction: 5th

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