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Win essential to keep Thunderbirds in touch with leaders

Just how hot - and hard - the inaugural ANZ Championship will be has been spelt out very clearly by results up to the midpoint of Round 8.

New Zealand`s ColourPlus Magic and the Queensland Firebirds sit atop the ladder with 6-1 records and everyone else is battling to clinch third and fourth spots as a springboard into the second half of the season.

Including the Adelaide Thunderbirds, who complete their four-game home series tonight against the NSW Swifts.

In their previous incarnation the Swifts proved the nemesis of Adelaide in the national domestic competition.

But how times have changed.

The Thunderbirds have a 4:2 record and have played one less game than the Swifts, who are 4:3.

NSW Swifts have been gutted by the loss of team and Australian captain Liz Ellis to retirement and her fellow defender, and Australian team-mate, Mo`onia Gerrard signing with Adelaide Thunderbirds.

Which will add some special sting to Monday`s game - it is the first time the sides have met since Gerrard moved south to the City of Churches.

Spearheaded by Australian shooter Catherine Cox, the NSW Swifts are still a formidable unit, and Gerrard has no doubt the rest of the squad has stepped up to ensure the side remains more than competitive.

"Cath has always been full on every time she steps on the court, and we always had a rivalry when we trained together so it will finally be our chance to really play against each other," Gerrard says.

"I am looking forward to the game, at this level I had only ever played for Sydney so it will be a new experience for me as well."

A win is essential for Adelaide Thunderbirds. Next weekend they are on the road to play the league leading Queensland Firebirds, a side that has not dropped a home game and showed their home court advantage in Round 8 with a convincing win against the Melbourne Vixens.

With a full squad to choose from and shooter Natalie Medhurst still the most accurate goalie in the competition, Adelaide Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands will be focusing on her match ups to make the most of her exciting combination of speed, experience and height.

Thunderbirds (47) burn Firebirds (41)

The final match of the round lived up to all expectations as the Queensland Firebirds were finally beaten on home soil for the first time by the hungry Adelaide Thunderbirds, 47-41.With the competitio

Swifts (50) def Thunderbirds (44)

Round 8 was an important one for the Adelaide Thunderbirds and the NSW Swifts. Both teams needed the win to gain a spot in the coveted final four. The match also marked the first time ex-Swift Moo

Win essential to keep Thunderbirds in touch with leaders

Just how hot - and hard - the inaugural ANZ Championship will be has been spelt out very clearly by results up to the midpoint of Round 8.New Zealand`s ColourPlus Magic and the Queensland Firebirds si

Hiccups no cause for panic

The Adelaide Thunderbirds suffered their first home defeat of the ANZ Championships last week but coach Jane Woodlands sees it as a hiccup rather than a disaster.She also sees it as a game of two halv

18/5/2008 - Thunderbirds (46) fall prey to Vixens (52)

12/5/2008 - Thunderbirds (66) defeat Fever (50)

9/5/2008 - Thunderbirds are going for three in a row

27/4/2008 - Thunderbirds (54) def Steel (41)

24/4/2008 - Sparks to fly with Southern Steel

20/4/2008 - Thunderbirds 39, pip Vixens 38

18/4/2008 - New name, new look, new competition but same old foe

15/4/2008 - Thunderbirds (54) def Fever (41)

11/4/2008 - Magic 46 def Thunderbirds 42

4/4/2008 - Bound for the land of the Long White Cloud

ANZ Championship Fan Club


The Power SGIC ANZ Holden

Hon Mike Rann MP

Hon Mike Rann MP