NSW secure Semi Finals berth

The NSW 17/U and 19/U Teams have defeated Tasmania during their Round Seven matches to secure fourth place in both National Netball Championships.  The 17s finished 27 goals ahead in their match, 46-19, while the 19s were pushed to the final whistle by TAS, 31-25, to book a place in the Semi Finals tomorrow.

The 17/U match was played first, with NSW dominating the scoreboard for the opening quarter.  The understanding between GS Georgia Marshall and GA Lauren Yager was evident as the two leaders worked the circle in tandem.

However down the other end TAS captain Georgie Briggs led from the front as she scored nine goals from 12 attempts, many of them from just inside the circle edge.  NSW moved quickly through the court, with speedy transitions breaking through the TAS defence to deliver the ball to their shooters.  That tactic worked as they went into half-time with a handy 12 goal lead, 24-12.

TAS opened the score for the second half, but the run was short lived with a quick response from fresh-on-court GS Cristy Linaker.  Braeden Quince enjoyed a big game at WA, with her speed and lines cutting through the midcourt, as well as earning a few key intercepts to her name.

Down the defensive end it was GD Toni Anderson’s turn to show off her aerial acrobatics, flying high in the TAS attacking third to cut off the high ball to the shooters. NSW really put their foot down in the third quarter, putting on 10 consecutive goals. In the end the deficit was too large for TAS to chase, with NSW claiming a 27 goal victory.

Head Coach Lenore Blades says it was a great game to finish with before finals.

“Today was a great win and confidence booster … we spoke about it being the last chance to really try out different things and experiment on court, as individuals and as a team, so it was important for us to win,” Blades said.

NSW 17/U now meets Victoria in the Semi Final tomorrow, which Blades says they are excited about.

“We knew we were probably going to meet VIC two days ago … we are quite excited to meet them in the Semis, we had a really good second half against them after a slow start, but we having been working on our start in the last couple games so we are extremely confident we can take it to them tomorrow.”

The 19/U match started on a nervous note, with both teams losing possession early to gift goals to the opposition. Lauren Cantwell was back for NSW at GA after an ankle injury kept her sideline for the last two days and she made her comeback felt.  The 170cm shooter swept across the circle as the defenders double teamed tall GS Claudia Russell, putting up long shots to edge NSW in front.

TAS set up a strong midcourt defensive zone, which slowed NSW speed through the court and put pressure on the pass to create errors.  The tactic worked until late in the quarter when NSW put up four quick goals to finish the first half up, 17-11.

TAS was able to open the scoring for the second half, with their strong defensive zone putting plenty of pressure on the NSW players.  The TAS bench became louder with every minute the clock ticked down, however NSW regathered to finish the third quarter strongly.

TAS put their foot down for the final quarter, scoring the first four goals to close the gap on the scoreboard, and when an injury timeout was called they had come within four goals.  However NSW were able to refocus to claim a six goal victory and book a spot in the Semi Finals against South Australia.

Head Coach Jo Macdermid says the team has worked hard to get into Finals contention.

“Today was a tough game, which is a good way to go into Finals.  Sometimes if you have a softer game you can lose momentum so today was perfect to prepare us for tomorrow’s Semi,” Macdermid said.

“Tassie also used a defensive zone on us, which we know we can expect tomorrow against SA, so we have a few strategies out of what we did today and we are going to put them out on court tomorrow.”

Due to a knee injury sustained in their Round Six loss to Queensland, 19/U shooter Gloria Masiasomua will not participate in the remainder of the Nationals tournament . Gloria will stay with the team and continue to work with Netball NSW medical staff for the rest of the week, before seeking further treatment from specialists upon her arrival home.

NSW is back tomorrow, Friday 12 April, to contest the 2013 National Netball Championship Semi Finals.  The 17/U State Team is first up when they take on Victoria in the first Semi Final at 11.00am (local time), before the 19/U State Team take on SA at 3.00pm. Stay tuned to facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW for quarter score updates and photos.

17/U Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW Q1: 14 – Q2: 24 (10) – Q3: 38 (14) – Q4: 46 (8)
TAS: Q1: 5 – Q2: 12 (7) – Q3: 17 (5) – Q4: 19 (2)

17/U Shooting Statistics
NSW: 46/64 @ 72%
Georgia Marshall: 16/23 @ 70%
Lauren Yager: 16/18 @ 89%
Cristy Linaker: 14/23 @ 61%

TAS: 17/27 @ 70%
Nikki Miller: 4/6 @ 67%
Georgie Briggs: 15/19 @ 79%
Natalia Ayesu: 0/2 @ 0%

17/U Teams Starting Positions
NSW: GS Georgia Marshall (c), GA Lauren Yager (vc), WA Braeden Quince, C Elyssa Pierce, WD Natasha Strachan, GD Toni Anderson, GK Ashley Valeni
TAS: GS Nikki Miller, GA Georgie Briggs (c), WA Shelby Miller, C Ashlee Campbell (vc), WD Dana Lester, GD Kate Percy, GK Gemma Evans

NSW 17/U Position Changes
Q3: Cristy Linaker GS, Jade Riley C, WD Madeleine McCathie, GK Cassandra Radford

19/U Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NSW Q1: 10 – Q2: 17 (7) – Q3: 25 (8) – Q4: 31 (6)
TAS: Q1:  5 – Q2: 11 (6) – Q3: 17 (6) – Q4: 25 (8)

19/U Shooting Statistics
NSW: 32/42 @ 76%
Claudia Russell: 22/28 @ 79%
Lauren Cantwell: 5/7 @ 71%
Stephanie MacGougan: 5/7 @ 71%

TAS: 25/35 @ 71%
Danielle Pickett: 11/16 @ 69%
Briony Payne: 14/19 @ 74%

19/U Teams Starting Positions
NSW: GS Claudia Russell (vc), GA Lauren Cantwell, WA Tanisha Stanton, C Zoe Gilbert, WD Madeline Hay, GD Brooke Lawrence (c), GK Billie Gurr
TAS: GS Danielle Pickett (c), GA Briony Payne, WA Ellie Grace, C Kelsie Rainbow, WD Emily Hunt, GD Laura Elliott, GK Lisa Loubser

NSW 19/U Position Changes
Q2: Gilbert WA, Stanton C; Q3: Stephanie MacGougan GA, Gurr GD, Peti Talanoa GK; Q4 Timeout: Lawrence GD, Gurr GK