Super Netball: Giants demand answers over Kristiana Manu’a send off


Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald has revealed that her “shattered” side will seek clarification from Super Netball officials, after defender Kristiana Manu’a was controversially sent off twice during Wednesday’s clash against the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Umpires first suspended Manu’a for two minutes in the third quarter, for a late challenge on Lightning shooter Cara Koenen.

Then, with just nine minutes to go, the Giants vice-captain was penalised for rough play and suspended for the rest of the match.

After reviewing the tape, Fitzgerald said she is still bamboozled by the decisions.

“We obviously are very, very disappointed that that is the action they took. Upon reflection, it seems difficult to understand why such drastic action was taken,” Fitzgerald said.

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“We will definitely seek clarification, but certainly not (make) a complaint, I understand that once a game is over the score stands, that’s the result and it’s time to move on.”

The Giants had a dominant six-point lead when Manu’a was sent in the fourth quarter.

But without the goal defence, Lightning were able to claw their way back and won 58-57.

Fitzgerald said the officiating left her side devastated.

“We were shattered, it was a game we could have won, it was a game we desperately needed to win,” Fitzgerald said.

“Kris was distraught and that obviously affects her teammates as well.”

Manu’a is the first player to be sent off in Super Netball history.

media_cameraGiants defender Kristiana Manu’a was controversially sent off not once, but twice, in their clash against the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Picture: Getty Images.

Veteran commentator Sue Gaudion called the decision “disgraceful” and Australian Diamonds legend Liz Ellis argued that Manu‘a was simply contesting the ball.

“I think it’s disgraceful, it shouldn’t have happened, I believe Kristiana Manu’a’s intent was for the ball only and it was the same in the moment before” Gaudion said during the broadcast.

“I feel like Andrea Booth, the umpire on the far side, got caught up in the moment, felt she had to make an example of Manu’a, when really it was a challenge for the ball” Ellis said.

Fans and players took to social media to vent their frustration and confusion.

At this stage, it is understood that Super Netball will not be issuing any statement regarding the officiating.

After the heartbreaking loss, Fitzgerald said her side showed great courage – particularly goalkeeper Sam Poolman, who defended the goal circle alone.

“She tried and tried and tried, down there. She was smart in what she did. I really feel sorry for Sam that we couldn’t pull it off for her because in that last five minutes, she was excellent,” Fitzgerald said.

“I am also enormously proud of how well our girls fought, the composure they kept and the effort they put in. We played 10 minutes with six players against one of the best teams in the league.”

Giants goal keeper Sam Poolman was left to defend the goal circle alone whille Kristiana Manu'a was sent off. (Screenshot: Live Telstra)
media_cameraGiants goal keeper Sam Poolman was left to defend the goal circle alone whille Kristiana Manu’a was sent off. (Screenshot: Live Telstra)

The Giants now have three days to prepare for their clash against ladder leaders the Melbourne Vixens.

Fitzgerald is confident her team can pull off the upset and notch a much-needed win.

“It was undoubtedly one of the best games we’ve played this season, it was great to see we were finding the form that we’re capable of,” Fitzgerald said.

“I think we’ll be fine, we’ll be able to bury what happened last night and move on to Sunday.”


—Emma Greenwood

The 200th Super Netball match has been marred by the controversial send-off of Giants player Kristiana Manu’a, with the Sunshine Coast Lightning fighting back from six goals down to win 58-57.

The Giants were forced to play the last nine minutes of the match at the University of Sunshine Coast on Wednesday night with just six players after defender Manu’a was sent off for her second incident of rough play.

The goal defence was suspended for two minutes in the third quarter after a challenge on Lightning shooter Cara Koenen, before being penalised a second time for rough play, the umpires then having no option but to send her off.

Kristiana Manu’a was sent off for this challenge.
media_cameraKristiana Manu’a was sent off for this challenge.

With no substitution allowed, goalkeeper Sam Poolman was left to defend two shooters in the circle, with the Lightning clawing back the six-goal buffer to take a bittersweet win.

Giants captain Jo Harten had two chances to win the match with a super shot but missed both opportunities.

It was Manu’a’s send off that dominated post-match conversation though, with commentators deeming it “disgraceful”, saying she had eyes only for the ball on both challenges.

Lightning captain Laura Langman was also uncomfortable at the end of the match, saying it was an “unfortunate way to finish”.

“It was definitely interesting, I don’t think we wanted to finish the game like that,” Langman said.

“I felt at the time it was probably setting up for a really nice battle in that last nine minutes.

Jo Harden lamented missing two late chances.
media_cameraJo Harden lamented missing two late chances.

“We had to create something and we certainly didn’t want to finish the game playing on six players.

“I thought we did pretty well but we certainly got out of jail.”

The Giants clawed their way back into the match after the Lightning bolted from the blocks but were in control late in the match.

Harten, who started the match at goal attack before a switch to shooter and a game-swinging combination with Kiera Austin from the second quarter, was livid in the final stages but careful not to be overtly critical of the umpires after the match.

“That was quite a tricky game to play in, I don’t think I’ve been in anything quite like it professionally but we gave it our all,” she said.

“I think it was just a confusing match, there could have been more clarity throughout.

Jamie-Lee Price looks to get in front of Laura Langman.
media_cameraJamie-Lee Price looks to get in front of Laura Langman.

“We had a player sent off and that’s the bread and butter of it. If you’ve not got your goal defence, it’s going to be tricky from that point.

“We could have won that game twice, I missed the shot twice.”

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING 58 (Koenen 32, Wood 15, Proscovia 8, Hunt 3)

GIANTS NETBALL 57 (Harten 27, Austin 21, Bassett 9)

Originally published as Shattered Giants demand answers over ‘ridiculous’ send off

Author: ApnayOnline is an oline news portal which aims to provide latest trendy news around the Asia

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