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Severn Stars lose shine as Rhinos continue charge

Leeds Rhinos are on the charge with the top 4 in their sights following a comprehensive performance winning 63-36 against Severn Stars.

Leeds Rhinos were keen to bounce back from their loss last week to Team Bath as part of their fight to be part of the top 4 going into semi finals of the Vitality Netball Super League. Severn Stars were looking to maintain the better form they showed in their match against Loughborough Lightning.

Donnell Wallam at GS, started the game with great intent helping Leeds immediately open up a 4-0 lead. The attacking line up of Leeds Rhinos was lightning quick and as soon as Severn Stars had a centre pass the pressure on them was great resulting in turnover ball for Leeds. Stars were already 7 goals down before Georgia Rowe even had a shot at goal. Stars found themselves needing to go backwards on their centre passes but this patience and possession worked to bring the score back to 4-9. Errors keeper into the game with an attacking contact, offside and held ball all going against Stars. Immy Thomas came on at GD and Malysha Kelly at GK for Stars to try and holt the Leeds Rhinos flow. The quarter finished 18-8 to Leeds. 

Kyra Jones came to C for Stars. Newly named England Roses Rhea Dixon and Brie Grierson continued to work together effectively and link with their Leeds shooter Wallam. Stars GA Paige Reed went down with an ankle injury and was replaced by Jane Taylor. Jones at C was able to take an athletic intercept which was converted by Taylor. More errors on Stars centre passes continued to be punished by Leeds shooter Wallam under the post bringing the lead out to 15 goals. Short one two passes by Dixon at GA resulting in more goals and the quarter finished 34-18.

A brighter start to the second half for stars with Jane Taylor scoring at range in the GA bib. Herdman re entered at GK and was able to gain a rebound and an intercept. Leeds Rhinos continued to control the midcourt effectively able to mix up between short ball side passes between players and the long ball into Wallam at the post. Leota at WA for Stars was able to link well with Taylor at GA who could distract the Leeds defenders to provide Rowe with space under the post. The 3rd quarter finished 29-47 to Leeds Rhinos.

With Leeds in complete control of the game it gave their Head Coach Dan Ryan the chance to bring Sienna Rushton on at GA. Jones at WD and Herdman at GK continued to win turnover ball for Stars but the errors still plagued their game. A merry go round of changes for stars throughout the last quarter, with Kelly at GK, Bolakoro at GD, Harris / Jones at C and Eaton at GA did nothing to stop Leeds Rhinos reaching the 60 mark. The game finished 63-36 as a convincing victory for Leeds Rhinos. 

After the match, Head Coach for Severn Stars Melissa Bessell commented that “for us it’s about making sure we understand why we lost that game, we did not turn up today. We played too much in isolation but no excuse for that performance today.” 

She added, “But they know they can do better than that and I know they can too.”

IPro Hydrate Player of the match went to Leeds Rhinos GD Vicki Oyesola.