Newcastle goal keeper Sam Poolman won her individual battle with Melbourne Vixens sharpshooter Mwai Kumwenda to help the Giants to a 56-52 win and the top of the Super Netball ladder in Canberra on Sunday.
Kumwenda had scored 83 goals from 87 attempts in her past two games. But the Malawian was not as effective against Poolman and player of the match Bec Bulley and spent time on the bench in the third quarter before finishing with 34 goals.
The four-point win lifted the Giants to first on the ladder on 20 points, one in front of the Vixens and Sunshine Coast Lightning, with home games against the fifth-placed Queensland Firebirds then Lightning to finish the season.
Their win over the Vixens reversed a series of below-par performances, when it seemed the loss of Kim Green to a knee injury after five weeks would ruin the Giants’ season.
"I won't pretend – it's a massive confidence boost," coach Julie Fitzgerald said.
In the Newcastle Open Championship, Wests continued their perfect start to the season with a 46-33 win over 2016 grand finalists Forsythes.
Defending champions Souths Lions beat Junction Stella 57-33, BNC downed Souths Pride 48-37 and Maryville Tavern cruised past Nova Thunder 53-33.