Kiwi-born player sent off in 'disgraceful' Australian netball clash

Kristiana Manu'a. Photo: Getty Images
Kristiana Manu'a. Photo: Getty Images
The controversial sending off of a player has marred the 200th Super Netball match in Australia, with commentators labeling it as "disgraceful".

Kiwi-born Giants defender Kristiana Manu'a was sent of twice on Wednesday night's clash against the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Australia's domestic netball competition, helping the Lightning fight back from six goals down to claim a 58-57 win.

The goal defence was suspended for two minutes after a third quarter challenge on Lightning shooter Cara Koenen, before getting sent off for a second penalty for rough play.

With substitutions not allowed, the Lightning took advantage of their player advantage to claim the victory.

Manu'a's sending off dominated post-game discussions with two Australian netball greats slamming the "disgraceful" decisions, saying both penalties were harsh.

"We're here to have an opinion on things. I'm going to give you one: as far as I'm concerned I think it's disgraceful," Gaudion said. "It shouldn't have happened. I believe Kristiana Manu'a's intent was for the ball only. It was the same in the moment before."

Catherine Cox added: "We were all dumbfounded because it's not happened before in a game, let alone happen twice — and the end result complete shift because of what happened. One hundred per cent there was nothing wrong with either of those contests. She was going for the ball and she's not that kind of player."

Silver Fern and Lightning captain Laura Langman said the end of the match was "unfortunate".

"It was definitely interesting, I don't think we wanted to finish the game like that," Langman said.

"I felt at the time it was probably setting up for a really nice battle in that last nine minutes.

"We had to create something and we certainly didn't want to finish the game playing on six players.

"I thought we did pretty well but we certainly got out of jail."

Giants captain Jo Harten, who missed two chances to win the match with a super shot but missed both, was livid with the end to the game and said more "clarity" could've been given by the umpires.

"That was quite a tricky game to play in, I don't think I've been in anything quite like it professionally but we gave it our all," she said.

"I think it was just a confusing match, there could have been more clarity throughout.

"We had a player sent off and that's the bread and butter of it. If you've not got your goal defence, it's going to be tricky from that point.

"We could have won that game twice, I missed the shot twice."

 

 

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