The Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs have secured their place in the 2014 Australian Netball League Finals with a 60-42 win over the Victorian Flames in the final round of the regular season at Victoria’s Waverley Netball Centre today.
The NNSW Waratahs will return to the Waverley Netball Centre next Saturday 23 August for a rematch of last night’s epic Double Extra Time battle, drawn to face Victorian Fury from 5:00pm after the teams finished first (Fury) and fourth (NNSW Waratahs) on the ladder.
Western Sting (second) and Queensland Fusion (third) will playoff in the second semi final. The winner of both matches will advance to the Grand Final while the losers will play for third place next Sunday 24 August. With plenty to play for today the NNSW Waratahs bounced back from last night’s loss to overwhelm the Flames after a close first quarter.
NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Anita Keelan said her team was switched on with the semis spot on the line.
“They came out today very focused, but it was a bit of an arm wrestle in the first quarter, both teams were contesting and it was tight,” Keelan said.
“I think it was our third quarter where we really stamped some authority on the game, settled down, got some rhythm and got out in front.
“I thought the defence did a particularly good job in that third quarter; everybody was fully committed into their full-court man-on-man defence, we starved them of the ball and I thought our attack made good use of the possession and they found some rhythm, and really set us up for that last quarter.”
The NNSW Waratahs led by just three goals at the first break but put their foot down in the second quarter as their midcourt started to control the pace of the match, outscoring the Flames 16-10 to set up a handy nine-goal lead at halftime, 29-20.
The third quarter was where the NSW team did the most damage, with Brooke Miller injected into the match at centre, making an impact both in attack and defence, to help keep the Flames to just seven goals, taking a commanding 46-27 advantage into the final break.
With the result beyond doubt, the NNSW Waratahs held strong in the final quarter to win by 18 goals.
The NNSW Waratahs’ attentions now turn to the Finals.
“We play Fury back down here next week so it’s all systems go,” Keelan said.
“We’ve got a fair bit of work to do to try and fine-tune our line for next week and see what we can do.”
NNSW WARATAHS | 13 – 29 (16) – 46 (17) – 60 (14)
VICTORIAN FLAMES | 10 – 20 (10) – 27 (7) – 42 (15
NNSW WARATAHS: 60/65 @ 93%
Kristina Brice: 50/54 @ 93%
Melissa Tallent: 3/3 @ 100%
Amy Sommerville: 7/8 @ 88%
FLAMES: 42/50 @ 84%
Jane Cook: 15/17 @ 88%
Gabrielle Sinclair: 16/18 @ 89%
Stacey Northey: 11/15 @ 73%
NNSW WARATAHS | GS Kristina Brice, GA Melissa Tallent, WA Kaitlyn Bryce, C Emily Keenan, WD Maddie Hay, GD Jessica Calderara, GK Kristiana Manu’a
FLAMES| GS Jane Cook, GA Gabrielle Sinclair, WA Ella Priestly, C Clare Moylan, WD Holly Anne Wood, GD Chloe Watson, GK Emily Mannix
NNSW WARATAHS | 2Q – GA Amy Sommerville; 3Q – C Brooke Miller; 4Q – WA Miller, C Keenan
FLAMES | 3Q – WD Watson, GD Kaitlyn Black; 3Q timeout – GS Stacey Northey, WA Lauren Tscharke, C Priestly
2014 Australian Netball League – Week 7 Fixture
|Waverley Netball Centre, VIC|
|Sat 16 Aug||Victorian Fury v NNSW Waratahs @ 7:00pm|
|Victorian Flames v QLD Fusion @ 8:30pm|
|Sun 17 Aug||Victorian Fury v QLD Fusion @ 10:00am|
|Victorian Flames v NNSW Waratahs @ 12:00pm|
|Marrara Indoor Stadium, NT|
|Sat 16 Aug||Territory Storm v Tassie Spirit @ 4:30pm|
|Southern Force v Western Sting @ 6:30pm|
|Sun 17 Aug||Territory Storm v Southern Force @ 8:00am|
|Western Sting v Tassie Spirit @ 9:30am|
*all times AEST