A shooting star has illuminated Super Netball while another was cruelly cut down by injury as the NSW Swifts thumped the Queensland Firebirds 68-46 in their interstate showdown.
Less than 24 hours after her arrival in the country, South African import Lenize Potgieter made a stunning Firebirds debut, shooting 24 goals at 100 per cent accuracy at the Queensland State Netball Centre but could not prevent a mauling from the competition leaders.
The win came at a cost for the Swifts, who will be shaken by a serious knee injury to captain Maddy Proud.
Proud was the most influential player on the court until her right knee buckled beneath her in the third term.
Coach Briony Akle wasn't ready to put a line through Proud for the season but the post-match tears in her teammates' eyes suggested they feared the worst.
"We'll wait for the official scans to come back. She's a tough cookie but this one's not good," Akle said.
"She's the glue but we're not going to lose that. She'll always be around, depending on how long she's out.
"She's brought great leadership to the team but the good thing is she's allowed others to lead."
The injury had little impact on the Swifts' domination.
Recent Diamonds World Cup selection Sarah Klau's outstanding season continued as she led a shutdown of Queensland's forward line.
Shooters Sam Wallace (41 goals) and Helen Housby (27) did the rest as the competition's top attacking unit rammed home their dominance.
"We thought we'd be able to compete today. But the Swifts play a very clinical game," Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson said.
South African imports Potgieter and Erin Burger were parachuted in as cover for injured pair Mahalia Cassidy and Tippah Dwan, and both were injected into the game in the second quarter as Queensland fought to keep in touch with the ladder leaders.
Potgieter made an immediate impact, shooting eight-from-eight in a seamless opening stint in the Australian national league.
Simpson praised the recruits who only arrived in Australia over the weekend.
"They bring energy; they're exciting and I think they're only going to get better and better," she said.
"When I say it would be nice to get some training sessions with them I mean it literally."
The trouble for the Firebirds was elsewhere. They couldn't lay a hand on Swifts attackers Proud and Housby, who sliced through the home side's defensive lines with ease.
Meanwhile, whether a potential time-keeping error cost her Giants a Super Netball victory in Perth or not, coach Julie Fitzgerald was more frustrated her team didn't put away West Coast Fever before that.
The Giants were on top of the Fever for virtually the entire game on Saturday evening at RAC Arena, and still led by four goals with about three minutes remaining.
However, they wouldn't score again - although it did appear Caitlin Bassett got her shot off in time which would have been the match-winner.
It wasn't to be and the Giants had to accept a 62-62 draw which left them in fourth place with three wins, three losses and a draw from seven matches.
Fitzgerald was left agitated that the Giants didn't fully take advantage of their control of the game earlier.
"That last quarter or the last three or four minutes cost us three points virtually, two points for the win and the bonus point, so I can't be too happy about it," she said.
"We don't know whether that was an error or not but the fact that we let them back into the game was the frustrating thing. We had ample opportunities to win that game and we didn't finish it off. Converting our possession game is something we really have to get a lot better at."
There were still a number of positives for Fitzgerald to take from the game.
Bassett scored 42 goals from 46 attempts while Jamie-Lee Price was especially strong through midcourt.
Kristiana Manu'a and Sam Poolman did what they could defensively to make it tough for Jhaniele Fowler, although the Jamaican goal shooter finished with 61 goals from 65 attempts.
"I do think we're getting better every week," Fitzgerald said.
"Our defensive effort, especially from our two defenders, was the best that we've seen this year, so that's a positive to take away from the game. I still think we make silly errors at crucial times and that we don't have the ability to build on leads. That's what we will be concentrating on."
The Giants return to Sydney to take on the league-leading NSW Swifts on Sunday, seeking revenge for a round one loss.
"Every game's a big one now, this competition is so close. I just feel every game you play now is almost like a grand final," Fitzgerald said.