Netball NSW will host six teams from around the country for the final regular season round of the 2013 Australian Netball League (ANL) starting tonight at the Anne Clark Centre, Lidcombe.
Territory Storm, Tassie Spirit, Victorian Fury, Western Sting, Canberra Darters and defending champions the Southern Force will all make the trip to Sydney to contest Week 7 of the competition, with both NSW ANL sides also featuring; the Netball NSW Blues and Netball NSW Waratahs.
The NNSW Waratahs will kick-start proceedings tonight, Friday 16 August, when they meet the Territory Storm at 6.45pm.
In their final regular season hit-out, a win against the Storm would see the NNSW Waratahs go into the Finals Series in third place and likely contest the Semi Final 2 against 2013 ANL newcomers, the Victorian Flames.
NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Sue Hawkins said she expects a tough contest from the Storm as her side looks to consolidate their combinations ahead of finals.
“I’m looking for a big win from the girls this weekend – we won’t [be taking] Storm lightly. They have some experienced players as well as some youth, so it will be a good game,” Hawkins said.
“We will be looking to expose a couple of our younger players this weekend … but will mainly be focussing on what we need to do leading into the finals. [We need to start] stepping up and making sure that we are consistent for the four 15 minutes.”
While the NNSW Waratahs prepare for their final regular season match, Hawkins said they are excited about playing in front of their home crowd.
“The atmosphere will be terrific – we will have the [NNSW] Blues playing after us, so will have their fans and our fans, so between the two groups it will be a great audience and atmosphere.”
The NNSW Blues will take the court at 8.30pm following the NNSW Waratahs v Storm clash. This weekend will be the NNSW Blues final appearance in the 2013 competition, and Head Coach Moira Gaha said the side will be looking to go out on a high.
“We’ve had some great games over the competition, so the girls are looking forward to again put out four consistent quarters and stick to our plans and come up with a win,” Gaha said.
“We’ve found that when we play our own game at our own pace that’s when we are at our best, and it’s also going to take the defensive pressure to shut down the speed of attack that they may have.”
Now at the end of their 2013 season, Gaha said she was incredibly proud of the team the NNSW Blues has become.
“We’ve pulled together and formed a really strong team. There’s been great team spirit, great work ethic and the girls have all supported each other. It will be great to see them all out there over the weekend just enjoying that experience,” Gaha said.
In addition to the ANL teams, a third NSW team will be in action over the weekend at the Anne Clark Centre – the 2013 Netball NSW Marie Little OAM Shield team.
NSW, Victoria and South Australia will contest the 2013 Marie Little OAM Shield on Sunday, alongside three ANL matches.
The 2013 Marie Little OAM Shield is a one-day round robin tournament for People With a Disability (PWD).
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
2013 AUSTRALIAN NETBALL LEAGUE – WEEK 7 FIXTURE (AEST)
Friday 16 August
Territory Storm v NNSW Waratahs @ 6.45pm
NNSW Blues v Tassie Spirit @ 8.30pm
Saturday 17 August
Southern Force v NNSW Blues @ 6.45pm
Territory Storm v Tassie Spirit @ 8.30pm
Victorian Fury v Western Sting @ 8.30pm
Sunday 18 August
Victorian Fury v Canberra Darters @ 12pm
Western Sting v Tassie Spirit @ 12pm
Southern Force v Territory Storm @ 2pm
Netball NSW Blues – Week 7
Jessica Calderara (c)
Georgia M. Marshall^
Vanessa Mullampy (vc)
^will be replaced by Billie Gurr and Tanisha Stanton for match against Southern Force
Netball NSW Waratahs – Week 7
Kristie Guthrie (vc)
Samantha May (c)
*Previous Marie Little OAM Shield Winners; 2012 – Victoria (Both Mixed & Women’s Competitions), 2011 – South Australia