The Netball NSW Waratahs were narrowly defeated by the Southern Force, 45-44, at Netball SA Stadium in Week 4 of the Australian Netball League on Saturday night.
The rematch of the 2012 Grand Final lived up to the billing with only one goal separating the two teams at the final whistle, but the NNSW Waratahs were unable to complete the ultimate fightback after trailing by 10 goals early on.
The NNSW Waratahs had their opportunities to win the game with a four-goal lead late in the final quarter, but the Force staged their own comeback in the dying minutes to claim victory.
NNSW Waratahs coach Sue Hawkins said after the opening quarter, when the team trailed 5-15, her charges came to life.
“We looked at our placing of the ball, the attack end really started to get their flow going and we started to get back in touch,” Hawkins said.
“We did the job on their Goal Shooter in the opening quarter but opened up the door to their Goal Attack. We closed her down to four out of five goals in the second quarter so our defenders certainly changed their mind set and switched on. I was really pleased with (Goal Keeper) Kristiana (Manu’a), I thought she took a step forward tonight.”
The injection of Mel Tallent at GS and Taylah Davies at WA sparked the team into a dominant second quarter performance, cutting the margin to just five goals at the main break, 19-24.
In touch at halftime, the NNSW Waratahs carried the momentum into the third quarter with sharpness of movement and ball placement, reducing the margin to only one goal with the fourth quarter to come, 32-33.
The visitors rattled off five consecutive goals to lead by four with three minutes to play before the Force called a time out. The Force introduced a moving shooter out of the timeout and the change-up helped them to go on their own scoring run and steal a narrow victory.
The NNSW Waratahs have a short turn around before taking on the Tassie Spirit at 10:30am tomorrow (Sunday) AEST.
The New South Wales team returns to their home court on Wednesday night (July 31) for a local derby against the Netball NSW Blues from 7:00pm at Anne Clark Centre.
You can secure your tickets TODAY to watch the best NSW talent head-to-head in the ANL Derby by phoning the Netball NSW Office on 02 9951 5000*. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day, with doors opening at 6pm.
Tickets start at just $3 for Child/Concession and $6 for Adults, while a Family Pass is also available for $15 (2x Adults + 2 Child OR 1x Adult + 3 Child).
NNSW Waratahs: 5 – 19 (14) – 32 (13) – 42 (12)
Force: 15 – 24 (9) – 33 (9) – 45 (12)
Amy Sommerville 2/4 50%
Leah Shoard 19/25 76%
Melissa Tallent 23/26 88%
Georgie Virgo 21/26 81%
Stephanie Puopolo 15/21 71%
Chelsea Lemke 5/8 63%
Laura Packard 4/5 80%