Netball NSW Waratahs tested by Aussie 21s

The Australian Institute of Sport have put on a solid 60 minute performance to take honours over the Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs during Week 6 of the 2013 Australian Netball League (ANL) in Tasmania.

Made up of the Australian 21/U World Youth Cup team, this weekend will be the final round the AIS will contest before they depart for Glasgow during the week.

NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Sue Hawkins said the side were expecting a tough contest against the AIS when they hit the court this afternoon.

“They’re preparing for the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships – which is just three weeks away – so we were expecting a really polished performance, and they did that today.  They tested every one of our combinations, so credit to them for the win,” Hawkins said.

“When we let the ball go, our timing was on and our game really flowed, we were able to keep with them.  Unfortunately our first quarter really cost us; we were on the back foot and chasing from the start, which is never a great position to be in.  We did well by putting together a run of goals, but we didn’t do it on enough occasions.”

“We will look at the video tonight and pick up a few key points as we prepare for tomorrow. But when we do the basics, and we do them well, we are as good as any team in the competition.  It was great to get all our players on court tonight and do well, so we have plenty of stating options looking ahead to tomorrow’s game against Queensland Fusion,” Hawkins concluded.

It took less than 10 seconds for the AIS to open the score, with 2014 NSW Swift Gretel Tippett taking in a high ball feed under the post.  It set the tone for the opening quarter, with the AIS opening out to a 10 goal lead.

NNSW Waratahs Captain Samantha May led from the front to lift her side into the match, creating two vital turnovers to gift possession to her side.  After finding their rhythm the NSW side went goal for goal before a timeout from AIS WD Gabi Simpson.

However the AIS finished off the quarter just as they started, taking a 13 goal lead into the first break 19-6.

The NNSW Waratahs were fired up for the start of the second quarter looking to close the gap on the scoreboard.  The long-time attacking combination of Mel Tallent (GS), Leah Shoard (GA) and Taylah Davies (WA) put their DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup experience on show, with Shoard coming on for the second 15 minute period.

Despite a bigger quarter form the NNSW Waratahs the AIS were able to outscore them by four goals (16 goals to 12) to extend their lead at half time, 35-18.

AIS Head Coach Carol Byers made a wrath of changes for the second half including bringing on NSW Swift and newly-selected Australian Diamond Paige Hadley at WA, while 2012 ANL Player of the Year Kristy Guthrie came onto to C for NNSW Waratahs.

The two sides picked up where they left off for the second half, with the NNSW Waratahs putting together the first four goals before the AIS responded with fresh-on-the-court GS Kristina Brice finding the post.

The NNSW Waratahs used a mixture of patience and speed to close the deficit, working the ball into their shooters to capitalise on the scoreboard.  However the experience of the AIS players found another gear, winning their second consecutive quarter (16 goals to 12) to once extend their lead into the final 15 minutes; AIS leading 51-30.

All 12 NNSW Waratahs had court time with Amy Sommerville coming onto GA for the fourth quarter.  With height and movement in the shooting circle, the NNSW Waratahs looked to close the gap on the scoreboard and finish the match strongly.

The defensive pairing of GK Madeleine Smith and GD May did their best to stem the influence of 194cm GS Brice, who was a clear target in the circle having a 10cm advantage over NNSW Waratahs.

Despite the valiant effort from the NSW side, with the NNSW Waratahs putting together four goals to one in the final minute, the AIS posted a 25 goal victory to take honours.

The NNSW Waratahs will be back on court tomorrow morning, Sunday 11 August, at 10am when they take on hosts Tassie Spirit.  Keep up-to-date with all the ANL action this weekend by following Netball NSW social media channels.  We will be posting live score updates, photos, plus post-match interviews – www.facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW, www.twitter.com/Netball_NSW, www.youtube.com/NetballNSWTV, and Instagram @netballnsw using #ANL #GoNSW

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NNSW WARATAHS Q1: 6 – Q2: 18 (12) – Q3: 30 (12) – Q4: 41 (11)
AIS Q1: 19 – Q2: 35 (16) – Q3: 51 (16) – Q4: 66 (15)

Shooting Statistics
NNSW WARATAHS: 41/58 @ 71%
Mel Tallent: 22/31 @ 71%
Alix McDermott: 4/6 @ 67%
Leah Shoard: 9/12 @ 75%
Amy Sommerville: 6/9 @ 97%

AIS: 66/79 @ 84%
Cody Lange: 18/24 @ 75%
Gretel Tippett: 24/27 @ 89%
Kristina Brice: 24/28 @ 86%

Teams Starting Positions
NNSW WARATAHS: GS Mel Tallent*, GA Alix McDermott*, WA Taylah Davies*, C Emily Keenan*, WD Ashlee Weir*, GD Samantha May* (c), GK Elly Willan*

AIS: GS Cody Lange, GA Gretel Tippett, WA Maddy Proud (c), C Kimberley Ravaillion*, WD Gabi Simpson*, GD Jo Weston, GK Micaela Wilson

Positional Changes
NNSW WARATAHS
Q1 Timeout – WD Nadja Kundrus-Little; Q2 – GA Leah Shoard, GK Madeleine Smith; Q3 – WA Keenan, C Kristy Guthrie (vc); Q4 – GA Amy Sommerville, WA Shoard.

AIS
Q3 – GS Kristina Brice*, GA Lange, WA Paige Hadley*, GD Kate Shimmin (vc), GK Weston.
*denotes NSW junior