The Netball NSW Waratahs have gone down 62-47 in their second Round 2 Australian Netball League game against an experienced Southern Force.
The crowds flocked to Genea Netball Centre for the second day in a row to cheer on some of the State’s best up and coming talent.
Force lead from the start to finish, but that didn’t stop a determined Waratahs outfit from putting out a competitive contest for the full 60 minutes.
Goal shooter Mikaela Vaughan got the scoreboard rolling, but Force soon retaliated to take an early lead.
The opening quarter was fierce and strong and Waratahs looked to be in control until Adelaide Thunderbirds’ replacement player Gia Abernethy put Force in front with some crucial intercepts.
The visitors began to find some rhythm towards the end of the first quarter where they piled on the goals, gaining a handy five goal lead at the first break.
Force picked up right where they left off, with the Waratahs guilty of losing direction at crucial times which ultimately led to the 15-goal loss.
NSW Captain Sophie Halpin said despite the experience within the Force outfit, the Waratahs still made a good impression at times throughout the contest.
“I thought the team played well today, but we did lack a bit of communication in the final stages of the second quarter and throughout the third, so that is something we can work on so it doesn’t happen again,” she said.
“We may not have got the result we were after but when you look at Force they have experienced players across the court, so for us to stay with them and stick to our game in that opening quarter it was great.”
Head Coach Briony Akle looked for improvement in the third quarter, trialling some new combinations and fresh legs in ANL rookie Tayla Fraser, who made an immediate impact on the game.
Fraser helped drive the ball down the court while Halpin and young Lili Gorman–Brown stepped up with the momentum, both in defence and attack.
Halpin believes the tenacity of her younger teammates and their determination was what helped get the team back in the game.
“The younger players in our team are just so enthusiastic and energetic they give 110% every week as does everyone else in this team,” the captain said.
“To be fair our whole team is extremely talented we just need some more time together to gel and we have already improved massively in the last two weeks so that’s exciting.”
“We need to just keep working hard, playing our game and not getting flustered when we make little mistakes.
We definitely had some good moments in today’s game but there are still a lot of areas we need to focus on a bit more.
“When you look at our stats from today we worked extremely hard and we did come back in that last quarter and we won, we just need to go away and watch the game back and discuss where we can work harder for next week.”
The Waratahs will now head to Melbourne to take on the reigning champions Victorian Fury in their home State next weekend, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March, for Round 3.
WARATAHS: Q1: 11 – Q2: 20 (9) – Q3: 33 (13) – Q4: 47 (14)
FORCE: Q1: 16 – Q2: 33 (17) – Q3: 49 (33) – Q4: 62 (13)
WARATAHS: GS Mikaela Vaughan, GA Vanessa Mullamphy, WA Georgia M Marshall, C Lili Gorman-Brown, WD Sophie Halpin, GD Nicole Styles, GK Rudi Ellis.
FORCE: GS Jane Cook, GA Charlee Hodges , WA Kelly Altman, C Gia Abernethy, WD Emily Burgess, GD Malysha Kelly, GK Lucy Armfield.
WARATAHS: Q2: Georgia Marshall GA, Hayley Mulheron GK, Q3: Georgia Marshall GS, Vanessa Mullampy GA, Tayla Fraser WA.
FORCE: Q3: Amehlia Schmidt GD, Malaysha Kelly GK.
WARATAHS: 47/64 @ 73%
M. Vaughan: 11/17 @ 65%
V. Mullampy: 12/17 @ 71%
G. Marshall: 24/30 @ 80%
FORCE: 62/78 @ 79%
J. Cook: 48/54 @ 89%
C. Hodges: 11/18 @ 61%
S. Glasgow: 3/6 @ 50%