The West Coast Fever have won their first national netball competition, taking the Super Netball title with a 70-59 victory over the Melbourne Vixens in the grand final at Perth Arena.
In the club’s 25 years of existence, first as Perth Orioles (1997-2007) and later as West Coast Fever (2008-present), it has never quite managed to deliver on this feat.
The team’s most successful campaigns came during the Super Netball era, where the Fever played finals in three of their past four seasons and contested the Grand Finals twice.
The Fever have made it a habit to fall short by the narrowest margins at the last hurdle.
However, the journey to greatness is rarely linear and the side has built up impressively over that time.
The Fever has retained a core group of players since 2018 – Courtney Bruce, Jhaniele Fowler, Stacey Francis-Bayman, Verity Simmons and Jess Anstiss – and has built a reputation as one of the toughest teams in Australian competition.
All they needed to take their game to the next level was a fresh look from upcoming coach Dan Ryan, who proved the difference with a few key adjustments this year.
The Fever have a fierce rivalry with the Vixens that has only intensified in 2022, as the two teams battled relentlessly for the number one position on the ladder.
Vixens may have won the minor premiership and their two regular season match-ups in round 4 (75-66) and round 10 (70-64), but the fever has caught them in a big semi-final (71-62). the first team through to the decider.
Now they have followed up that incredible performance with more dominance in the grand final at Perth Arena, where 13,908 people showed up to set a new attendance record for a Super Netball crowd.
More to come.