Back-to-back wins for NNSW Waratahs in Canberra

The Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs have made it two from two in Week 5 of the 2013 Australian Netball League (ANL), posting a nine goal victory over the Canberra Darters, 58-49, at the AIS Arena.

In the final match of the weekend, the NNSW Waratahs held out a fast finishing Darters in front of a vocal home side to claim their second win of the weekend after defeating Western Sting yesterday.

Captain Samantha May said it was a terrific effort from the NNSW Waratahs to come away with two wins.

“We are very happy to get two wins this weekend – we knew the Darters would be solid and hard work, especially in front of their massive home crowd which were really behind their side,” May said.

“Our first quarter wasn’t our best performance, so it was good to be able to come out hard and strong for the second and maintain that intensity for the rest of the match.  We needed to fight for every ball and we did that.”

“One of our team goals was to get everyone out on court this weekend, so it was really pleasing to see we can rotate our combinations and not lose any of our intensity.  Looking forward to getting back out on the training track this week to prepare for Week 6 in Tasmania next weekend,” May concluded.

The match began on equal footing as both the Waratahs and Darters traded goals. With both teams adopting a tight man-on defence neither side could find the free space to transition the ball quickly.  NNSW Waratahs defenders had their hands full with GS Jo Pivac who was the clear target for the Darters in their shooting circle.

Despite Pivac shooting a perfect 11 goals from as many attempts, it was the NNSW Waratahs who had the lead at the first break, 13-12.

The NNSW Waratahs made three changes for the second quarter, bringing on Leah Shoard and Ashlee Weir to GA and WD, respectively, while moving Alix McDermott to GS.  The NSW side flew out of the starting blocks, putting on six unanswered goals to extend their lead before the Darters called a timeout to halt play.

 It was the Darters who shuffled around positions after the short break in play, changing up their midcourt by bringing on Georgia Claydon and Bec Collis to C and WD, while shifting Captain Megan Kelly to WA.  The changes brought the Darters their first goal after almost seven minutes of play.

Despite a resurgence from the Darters they couldn’t narrow the scoreboard deficit with the NNSW Waratahs holding onto a five goal lead at half time, 28-23.

Once again acting in the role of Head Coach in the absence of sue Hawkins, Maria Lynch made two changes to the NNSW Waratahs for the start of the second half, with Mel Tallent back at GS while bringing on 2012 ANL Player of the Year Kristy Guthrie to C.

The changes did little to disrupt the Waratahs flow, with the teams continuing to trade goals as the NSW side held onto their comfortable lead.  GK Madeleine Smith put on an aerial display as she flew for the Darters high ball into Pivac.

Smith’s acrobatics lifted her side as the NNSW Waratahs extended their lead to 13 goals heading into the final 15 minutes, 47-34.

The momentum swung towards the hosts for the start of the final quarter, with the darters putting on five goals to two to close the gap on the scoreboard.  However the NNSW Waratahs continued to push with the same intensity from the previous two quarters to maintain a 12 goal advantage.

The Darters began to find gear, working overtime to put pressure on every pass and shot on goal, and soon began closing the gap on the scoreboard.  Despite the hosts fightback the NNSW Waratahs held on to post a nine goal victory, 58-49.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NNSW WARATAHS Q1: 13 – Q2: 28 (15) – Q3: 47 (19) – Q4: 58 (11)
CANBERRA DARTERS Q1: 12 – Q2: 23 (11) – Q3: 34 (11) – Q4: 49 (15)

Shooting Statistics
NNSW WARATAHS: 58/74 @ 78%
Mel Tallent: 16/20 @ 80%
Alix McDermott: 12/18 @ 67%
Leah Shoard: 30/36 @ 83%

Jo Pivac: 39/50 @ 78%
Sepi Langi: 4/5 @ 80%
Mardi Aplin: 6/8 @ 75%

Teams Starting Positions
NNSW WARATAHS: GS Mel Tallent, GA Alix McDermott, WA Taylah Davies, C Emily Keenan, WD Nadja Kundrus-Little, GD Samantha May (c), GK Madeleine Smith

CANBERRA DARTERS: GS Jo Pivac, GA Sepi Langi, WA Leigh Kalsbeek, C Megan Kelly (c), WD Bec Collis, GD Keely Rodrigo, GK Nat Jones

Positional Changes
Q2 – GS McDermott, GA Leah Shoard, WD Ashlee Weir; Q3 – GS Tallent, C Kristy Guthrie (vc).

Q2 Timeout – WA Kelly, C Georgia Claydon, WD Bec Collis; Q3 – GA Mardi Aplin; Q4 – WA Collis, WD Megan Clowry, GD Lara Bowyer, GK Rodrigo.