Welcome to southcoastblaze

Match Report – Round 4: South Coast Blaze v Manly Warringah Sapphires

Match Report – Round 4: South Coast Blaze v Manly Warringah Sapphires

Pictured: U23 GA Mia Evans fights hard to take a high ball


With their percentage the only thing keeping the Blaze from the top four, they were looking for a strong win this game to keep their momentum going. The game was highlighted by the defensive efforts of both teams, as it remained tightly contested for the full sixty minutes. Physicality was key to the Blaze’s success as they took home a clutch win to secure their spot as serious premiership contenders.

Both teams got off to a nervous start, but control from McFadden and Davies in the mid-court helped to settle the whole team as the girl’s defensive efforts began to pay off. After the Sapphires sent a few loose balls over the sidelines the Blaze were able to draw their lead to three before a late resurgence from the Sapphires narrowed the difference as the quarter finished 10-9 in favour of the Blaze.

The Blaze’s defensive pressure meant the Sapphires struggled with their transitions from defense to attack. Although, the Sapphires were able to settle quickly, finding their timing to take a two-goal lead early in the quarter. Despite this, the Blaze remained unfazed as they kept in the contest. The Blaze’s defensive end shined as they were able to work together fluently bringing up any loose balls. On the other end, Mallon and Brice showed off their skills with a strong shooter-to-shooter connection. Davies provided a reliable option for the center pass using her strong drives and prelims to receive confident balls. Turnovers from both teams led to a back-and-forth game before the Blaze were able to settle it with a goal. Despite being behind on the scoreboard, the Blaze didn’t let the pressure show as they were able to bring back a five-goal lead to within three by the end of the quarter. The Sapphires lead going into halftime, 19-21.

The Sapphires opened the third quarter strong, slotting the first two goals of the term. An impressive intercept from Holland helped Blaze regain momentum, leading them to level the scores. Mallon continued to shine, showing her dominance in the attacking circle through her strong drives and receives. The Blaze were led by Mallon, Davies, and Brice as they worked seamlessly together, helping the team draw out their lead to three goals. This time it was a tip from Bower which helped the Blaze to further regain momentum as they continued to apply pressure on the Sapphire’s attacking end. Both teams were able to settle into combinations leading to a thrilling championship quarter as they finished tied on 34 goals apiece.

The Blaze were fast to start the final quarter, putting the first three goals on the board. Tegan Holland’s closing speed was on display last night as she came through with a crucial intercept for the team. As the scores were drawn 43 all, a costly missed shot from the Sapphires and a crucial intercept from the Blaze defenders allowed the team to regain possession. The game remained even as it continued goal for goal with just over two minutes to go. The ball was passed back and forth until the Blaze were able to gain a two-goal lead in the final seconds. The Blaze’s strong finish meant they won the game 47-44 despite valiant efforts from the Sapphires.

Final Score: Blaze 47 – Sapphires 44

Opens Round 4 Gallery


Blaze v Sapphires

Blaze 47 – Panthers 44

Blaze 42 – Panthers 38

Match report by
Emily Wright

Photos by
Clusterpix Photography


With the U23s sitting second on the ladder they were eyeing off top spot heading into this game. The Blaze girls provided a dominant performance, showing everyone why they are sitting so high on the ladder. The team remained in the lead for the entirety of the game. Strong performances from every player on court secured the win for the girls as they continue to build on their last two wins.

After a slow start from both teams, the Blaze were first to score starting with a two-nil lead. The Blaze started the game with strong defensive pressure, getting hands to everything, and making the Sapphires rethink their options. Hesitation from the feeders of both teams meant the defense was able to get into every ball leading to a defensively exciting game. The Blaze’s attack end struggled to find space as they bunched together in the side channel of the court. However, the scoreboard was reflective of the Blaze’s ability to settle their combinations as they took a 12-8 lead into the break.

The Blaze’s defensive pressure forced the Sapphires to rethink their attacking end, with the coaches making many changes to the Sapphire’s line-up in the first break. The Blaze shooters showed a seamless connection with their passes moving fluently to each other. The Blaze continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, maintaining a steady lead for the quarter. The Blaze maintained a smooth transition between attack and defense as the players worked together seamlessly. The Sapphires’ defense worked tirelessly to stop the shooter to shooter passes, however it was unsuccessful as the Blaze’s goalers dominated the circle. The Blaze were able to hold off a fightback from the Sapphires to finish the quarter 22-18.

The third quarter started with back and forth play between both teams before the Blaze were able to settle through a strong connection between their attacking end. The Blaze defenders did an excellent job in shutting down the Sapphires’ players as they forced long balls down the court. The quarter was dominated by the Blaze girls as they maintained a strong lead for its duration. Any loose balls were quickly regathered by the Blaze as they remained level-headed and in control. The Blaze were able to remain consistent and determined, leading on the scoreboard 34-27 heading into the final break.

Strong defensive pressure from the Blaze forced a held ball from the Sapphires’, as the team provided a full-court defensive effort. The Sapphires’ struggled to get their timing right, a reflection of the pressure applied by the Blaze girls in defense. In attack, the Blaze mid-court hugged the pockets, allowing for effective feeds into the shooters. Halfway through the quarter, the Blaze had extended their lead to nine, a result of their teamwork and skill. Strong hands from the Blaze shooters combined with pinpoint feeds meant the ball was able to find the shooters on many occasions. A late charge by the Sapphires helped them narrow the lead to four before Mete took a fall in the attacking end. Fortunately, it didn’t look serious, however, she was replaced on court by Evans to finish the game off. The Blaze’s defensive end was able to block the shooter-to-shooter pass coming from the Sapphires, forcing them to question themselves. The Blaze were able to finish a strong performance with a 42-38 goal win.

Both Blaze teams will be looking to build on last night’s wins as they take on North Shore United next Wednesday night. Every game of the Origin Premier League is available to stream free on Cluch TV with the Opens game streaming from 7 pm AEST, and the U23s from 8.45.

Final Score: Blaze 42 – Sapphires 38

U23s Round 4 Gallery