Match Report: Sapphire Series
Round 3 – 07/07/2019
Words By Cameron Tenardi. Image By ADFX
USC Thunder played their first ever Sapphire Series home game on Sunday July 7th, delivering a promising performance against a polished Brisbane North Cougars side.
Thunder were slow out of the gates in the first quarter as they conceded 3 early points before scoring one of their own, falling to 2-10 after only seven and a half minutes. They steadied the ship from there, rallying to remain in contact at the close of the first quarter, finishing 10 points to 17 and setting the groundwork for an enjoyable game.
The second quarter was a much closer affair with both teams going point for point. They scored 17 apiece, sharing the bonus points for the quarter with the overall gap remaining 7 in favour of the Cougars.
Thunder came out firing in the third, opening the quarter with four consecutive points to close the gap to three after only three minutes. Cougars continued to feel the pressure as Thunder multiple turnovers to outscore the Brisbane side by 7 and picked up the bonus points for the quarter. Thunder had the crowd roaring as their impressive ball movement and defensive efforts allowed them to draw even on points with the Cougars heading into the 3-quarter time break.
A couple of early turnovers in the 4th quarter saw Thunder gift opportunities to the Cougars who took full advantage of them, taking a two-point lead after five minutes. Thunder tried their best to gain those points back, but a few more errors under pressure saw the Cougars take the quarter by seven points, claiming the game by the same margin.
Despite losing the game, Thunder should take plenty of positives from this performance. They really took the fight to visiting side through the middle of the game and had the healthy home crowd on the edge of their seats entering the fourth quarter.
Thanks to a draw in the second quarter and a win the third, Thunder also picked up 3 bonus points which may come in handy towards finals time.
Q1: Thunder 10 – Cougars 17
Q2: Thunder 27 (17) – Cougars 34 (17)
Q3: Thunder 44 (17) – 44 (10)
Q4: Thunder 53 (9) – Cougars 60 (16)
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Sapphire Series or its clubs