Fusion impress in epic ANL finals

Queensland Fusion coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser was full of praise for her side after they suffered two overtime defeats in the Australian Netball League final series last weekend.

The Fusion lost their preliminary final against Victorian Fury 55-53 before backing up on Sunday against Canberra Giants in the third-place play-off and going down 71-64 in another thriller.

With only five players over 19 years of age in the squad, Jeanes-Fraser said the Fusion’s performances had made the other Australian states stand up and take notice.

“We have left people talking about the future of Queensland netball. Throughout the whole campaign we’ve done a terrific job, but we’re being spoken about due to what those girls produced over the weekend,” Jeanes-Fraser said.

“It was an epic two games. The girls played so well – it’s hard to communicate at just how high a level they played at. The hardest thing for us to grapple with was that we through everything at them and it came down to those little moments – a dropped ball, an umpire’s call. Those one per centers that didn’t go our way.

“The games were both shoot-outs. We had identical amounts of shots up as our opposition. The Giants and us put up 80 each, while the Fury put up 70 to our 71. That’s how close it was. The performances showed we were in the right place and the future of Queensland netball is very bright.”

The finals were ultimately won by Western Sting, who defeated Canberra Giants 72-66 on Saturday before backing up to knock-off the reigning champions Fury 63-47 on Sunday.

The Fusion defeated the Sting twice throughout the regular season and Jeanes-Fraser said the grand final result left her side knowing they has the skills to experience future success.

“It was a little bittersweet, but the Sting played very, very well on the Sunday. I was ecstatic for them. You can’t take anything away from the performances they put out,” she said.

“People may have underestimated what the Fusion could bring to the finals environment being such a young team, but to be able to match it with those teams showed what we were made of.

“I felt extremely privileged to have the head coaching role and coach such an amazing group of young women. I was very thankful they bought into what I bring.”