Fever’s season started with the arrival of their Jamaican goal shooting sensation, Jhaniele Fowler, who would go on to break all kinds of records in her first season in Suncorp Super Netball. Fowler replaced Kate Beveridge who departed the Club for New Zealand.
Fever’s first challenge was the Thunderbirds in Adelaide. Fever were simply dominant from start to finish, opening up an eight goal lead at quarter time, before extending that to 12 goals at half time. Jhaniele Fowler was unstoppable, breaking the record for the most goals by an individual in a single game, a feat she achieved before three quarter time. Fowler would go on to finish with 66 goals from 68 attempts, as Fever took all four bonus points in a dominant 22 goal win. Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis were also outstanding combining for eight intercepts. Fever then returned home to face the Magpies in their first game at RAC Arena for the season. After a back and forth opening term, Fever asserted their authority in the second stanza, opening up an eight goal lead at half time. A small fightback from the visitors in the second term was quelled by Fever in the fourth term, as Fever recorded their first victory against the Magpies by 11 goals. Jhaniele Fowler again cracked the 60-goal mark, while Stacey Francis delivered one of her best performances in the green dress with three interceptions, forcing a number of positional changes along the way.
Fever hit the road in Round 3 for a clash against reigning champions the Sunshine Coast Lightning. A tight tussle between both sides saw the Lightning take a one goal lead into the first break, before Fever drew level at the major break. The home side again took a one goal lead into the final change, before Fever dug deep, scoring a goal on the siren to record a history-making one goal victory. Courtney Bruce was simply unstoppable against Caitlin Bassett, finishing with six interceptions, while Fever cracked 100 feeds in the game, thanks to the hard work of Nat Medhurst, Ingrid Colyer and Verity Charles. Round 4 shaped to be a fiery one, following some interesting comments from Swifts Captain Abbey McCulloch, in which she alluded to Fever having no bench. Fever let their netball do the talking, opening up a 12 goal buffer at three quarter time, with Kaylia Stanton and Shannon Eagland also earning court time, as Fever recorded their fourth victory from as many matches.
Fever ventured to Brisbane in Round 5, where they fell short to the Firebirds. A commanding opening half from the home side saw them lead by five goals at half time, before Fever cut the margin to four goals at the final change. Buoyed by a parochial home crowd, the Firebirds ran out 10 goal victors, handing Fever their first loss of 2018. Fever returned home in Round 6, in what was a special match for the Club. For the second time in history, the game aligned with the Smarter than Smoking Association Championships, which resulted in more than 8,000 fans packing RAC Arena. They didn’t walk away disappointed, with a finals-like contest on the court. Fever led by three goals at half time, before the Giants levelled things out at three quarter time. A frantic final stanza, in which Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis were dominant, saw Fever walk away with a two goal win. The victory meant it was the first time in the Club’s history that it had beaten the three expansion sides.
Round 7 saw Fever travel to Melbourne for a meeting with the Vixens. The home side was simply unstoppable, with a 26-13 second term setting the tone for the remainder of the game. Fever fought hard in the third term, cutting the margin to 13 goals, however the damage was already done as the Vixens ran out 14 goal victors, handing Fever their second defeat of 2018. Fever returned home in Round 8, for their annual Shooting Stars Round, where they played in their Indigenous Dress. Fever were dominant against the Thunderbirds, leading by 10 goals at half time, before extending that to 20 goals at three quarter time. Fever couldn’t take all four bonus points, however. Jhaniele Fowler flexed her muscles again, with 66 goals from 73 attempts. Fever returned to Melbourne in Round 9 for a meeting with the Magpies. The visitors could do no wrong, with Jess Anstiss, Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis turning over plenty of ball, as Fever ran out 13 goal winners. Jhaniele Fowler finished with 62 goals, while Verity Charles was dominant against a number of opponents.
Round 10 saw the League host its inaugural League-wide Indigenous Round, as Fever hosted the Sunshine Coast Lightning. It was always going to be another close match, and the visitors settled better, opening up a four goal buffer at quarter time. Fever dug deep in the second term, cutting the deficit to two goals. The home side came out firing in the third stanza, swinging the momentum in front of a loud home crowd, as they took a two goal lead into the final change. Another frenetic final stanza ensued, with Fever holding on for a one goal victory, for the second time this year. Fever hit the road for the first of their two Sydney trips in Round 11, as they faced the NSW Swifts. The home side started the match well, leading by four goals at half time, before Fever clicked into gear in the second half. Fever’s defensive combinations were seamless, as they outscored the Swifts 20-13 in the third term to take the momentum, eventually running out 74-68 winners.
Round 12 saw Fever return home to host the Firebirds, which turned out to be Fever’s first home loss of 2018. Fever started the match well, opening up a three goal lead at half time, however the visitors found their momentum in the second half, restricting Fever to just 10 goals in the third term to take a two goal lead into the final stanza. Fever were gallant in defeat, falling just six goals short at the final siren. Fever hosted their second match in as many weeks in Round 13, with the Vixens rolling into RAC Arena. Keen to rectify their Round 7 performance, Fever started in sensational fashion, opening up an 11 goal lead at half time. The visitors didn’t throw the towel in, however, winning the third term, before Fever settled in the final stanza to run out 13 goal winners. Jhaniele Fowler scored 62 goals, while Nat Medhurst provided 48 feeds and Ingrid Colyer ended with two interceptions. The final round of the season saw Fever return to Sydney for a meeting with the Giants, with the game to decide who would win the minor premiership. The home side dominated the early proceedings, leading by five goals at quarter time, before extending that to 10 goals at half time and 14 goals at three quarter time. However, in typical fashion, Fever threw everything at the Giants in the final term, getting within two goals of the Giants late in the game, before a knee injury to Verity Charles stopped the game. Fever didn’t recover, as the Giants recorded a three goal win.
The Major Semi Final saw Fever return to Sydney for the second time in as many weeks, again meeting with the Giants. Fever didn’t let the previous week’s performance have any bearing on the game, as they came out of the blocks firing, opening up an eight goal lead at quarter time. Courtney Bruce was simply sensational against Susan Pettitt, recording six interceptions for the game. A knee injury to Jhaniele Fowler forced the Jamaican shooter from the court in the first term, with Kaylia Stanton entering the game. The youngster was sensational; scoring six goals from seven attempts, before the Jamaican returned in the second stanza. The home side took advantage of Fowler’s time off the court, cutting the margin to three goals at half time, and one goal at three quarter time. With the winner to host the Grand Final, Fever threw everything at the contest in the final term to record an emphatic six goal win, setting up an historic Grand Final berth.
Fever hosted the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the 2018 Grand Final at RAC Arena. The City of Perth was sensational in their support, with numerous landmarks around Perth lighting up green in support of the Club, while the media exposure was second to none. In front of a National League record crowd of 13,722, Fever threw everything they had at the Lightning, but fell short in the end. A frenetic opening term saw a number of lead changes, however both sides went into the first break locked at 14 goals apiece. Fever settled well in the second term to lead by three goals at half time, before the Lightning came out of the break firing to take a three goal lead into the final break. Fever hit the front with six minutes to go, before the Lightning regained momentum to run out three goal winners. Jhaniele Fowler finished with 53 goals, while Ingrid Colyer recorded 25 centre pass receives and 30 feeds. Verity Charles had 34 feeds and Nat Medhurst 29.
Finished: 2nd (10 wins, 4 losses)
Captain: Courtney Bruce
Most Valuable Player: Courtney Bruce
Player's Player of the Season: Jhaniele Fowler
PerthNow Player of the Season: Courtney Bruce
Coaches Award: Verity Charles
Club Person of the Year: Jerome Gillbard
Suncorp Super Netball Player of the Year: Jhaniele Fowler