Giants join rest of competition in Queensland

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Hopes of completing the Super Netball season on time received a boost late on Wednesday when the Giants were permitted to leave a locked down South Australia to join the competition’s other seven teams in Queensland.

The news came just hours after Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan said she had “no answers” in trying to relocate the Giants, as well as Swifts coach Briony Akle, from Adelaide to south-east Queensland to continue the campaign.

Unable to train in Adelaide due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Giants were not able to leave the no longer tenable South Australian Super Netball hub on Tuesday with four other teams after players, coaches and staff were linked to exposure sites in Melbourne.

But the Giants were finally given the all clear to fly a day later after the Victorian and Queensland governments revised the exposure site.

“We are delighted to have all eight Suncorp Super Netball clubs in Queensland to complete the season,” Ryan said.

“The league is closely monitoring exposure sites and working with state governments to protect the health and wellbeing of all players, staff and umpires, as well as the broader community.”

Akle, who was also forced to stay in Adelaide on Tuesday after being identified as a close contact of people who last week attended a Melbourne tier one exposure site, remains in South Australia.

Ryan on Wednesday said she didn’t have a playing schedule prepared for this weekend and beyond, but with three rounds of the regular season, plus finals, remaining, there is renewed hope the season could be completed, as schedule, on the current grand final date of August 29.

Ryan said all options were on the table, but was she was wary of a delayed season encroaching on the Diamonds’ playing commitments starting in October.

“We’re really conscious that we have a Diamonds campaign that we also need to prepare for, and we need to give our players the space to return home, have a rest before they can even consider entering into the Diamonds campaign and squad.,” Ryan said.

“We have some commitments that we want to be able to continue to execute on an international (level), so we do have time constraints without a doubt, so that’s what again will be one of our really clear considerations as we continue to discuss the scenarios for the remaining fixture.

“It’s so challenging. I don’t think anybody would ever have expected this would be the case and the scenarios that we’re facing in 2021.

“Everyone had to work through it in various situations and scenarios last year and that was really tough, and we all thought we would be through it and that elite sport, and entertainment and all these wonderful things and our lifestyles would certainly have been corrected again for the course of this year, so it hasn’t been that way.”

Super Netball officials announced on Wednesday night that West Coast Fever would meet the Melbourne Vixens in a rescheduled match behind closed doors at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena on Thursday night.

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