NSW prepare for Adelaide before local ANL Derby

Both the Netball NSW (NNSW) Blues and NNSW Waratahs will head to South Australia this weekend to contest Week 6 of the 2014 Australian Netball League (ANL) at Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium.

The teams will feature just once over the weekend, with the NNSW Blues taking the court first when they come up against ANZ Championship talent-laden Western Sting on Saturday 9 August, before the NNSW Waratahs meet hosts Southern Force on Sunday 10 August.

The two sides will then return home to go head-to-head in the NSW ANL Derby on Wednesday 13 August at the Anne Clark Centre – the last time ANL action will be held at the Centre before the move to the new home of Netball Central.

The NNSW Blues are backing up from a double-header in Canberra last round, while the NNSW Waratahs are coming off a bye week, after a gruelling triple-header in Brisbane in Week 4.

View the NNSW Blues in action in Week 5 on NetballNSWTV below:

Despite having to travel two weeks in a row, NNSW Blues Head Coach Briony Akle said the team were buoyed from their strong performances at AIS Arena last weekend.

“The team contested really well against [Territory] Storm and [Queensland] Fusion, and I think it’s really given us a bit of confidence as we prepare for the Sting this weekend,” Akle said.

“The Sting showed in their win against the NNSW Waratahs a couple weeks ago how much talent they have in their line-up, with athletes like [West Coast Fever’s] Ash Brazill, Kate Beveridge and Courtney Bruce leading the way.

“We keep saying this competition is a great development opportunity for our younger players to test themselves against some quality opposition, and this is none more relevant when looking at the Sting.

“We’ve played a few games now, so really it’s about building – we want to continue doing the things we’ve done well, address those we haven’t, and make sure we finish off so it counts on the scoreboard,” Akle concluded.

Akle’s counterpart, NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Anita Keelan, agreed her side is also in for a challenging weekend when they meet the Force on Sunday morning.

The NNSW Waratahs have a slight advantage over their South Australian rivals, enjoying a 4-3 head-to-head record.  However the Force have had the upper hand in recent years, claiming their last three meetings including the 2012 ANL Grand Final.

“SA have looked good so far– they have a good mix of experience as well as promising young athletes in their roster.  However we’re holding on to our spot in the top four by goal differential over the Force, so this really is a must-win game for us,” Keelan said.

“The triple-header in Brisbane really took a lot out of us – many of the players were backing up from their DOOLEYS State League Grand Final during the week – so the bye last weekend was really timely.  But we didn’t take it easy; we trained hard, addressed some of those issues we found when watching back the video, and have been preparing for South Australia.

If we do those things that we are good at, do those basic things really well, then we can go a long way in getting the win,” Keelan concluded.

Showing support for their younger compatriots, the NNSW Waratahs will arrive in South Australia on an earlier flight to cheer the NNSW Blues against the Sting on Saturday evening.  However the niceties will end there, as the two sides prepare to meet in the local ANL Derby next Wednesday 13 August.

Netball NSW Captains Sophie Halpin (NNSW Blues) and Emily Keenan (NNSW Waratahs) are excited to return in front of home fans; the last time ANL action will be contested at the Anne Clark Centre.

“There was a great crowd who came out to support us in Week 1, and it really gives you a lift on court.  Hopefully we can see the same, maybe even more, turn out next Wednesday,” Halpin said.

“I’m really looking forward to the contest next week.  I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen from the NNSW Blues so far, so that means we will be bringing our ‘A’ game,” Keenan concluded.

Make sure you come down to the Anne Clark Centre next Wednesday to cheer on your mighty NSW sides when they go head-to-head, showcasing the best NSW netballing talent in action on one court!

Tickets start from $3, with Family Passes available for purchase at the door.

2014 Australian Netball League – Week 6 Fixture
Netball SA Stadium, Adelaide SA
Sat 9 Aug Southern Force v Canberra Darters @ 4pm*
Western Sting v NNSW Blues @ 6pm
Sun 10 Aug Southern Force v NNSW Waratahs @ 9:30am
Western Sting v Canberra Darters @ 11:30am
Anne Clark Centre, Lidcombe NSW
Wed 13 Aug NNSW Blues v NNSW Waratahs @ 7pm

*all times AEST

Netball NSW Blues – Week 6 Team
Toni Anderson – Sutherland Shire
Keira Austin – Eastwood Ryde
Nikki Deegenaars – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Billie Gurr – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Sophie Halpin – Eastwood Ryde
Georgia Marshall – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Kirra Jones – Illawarra
Lauren Moore – Wyong
Claire O’Brien – St George
Holly Pearce – St George
Tanisha Stanton – Eastwood Ryde
Lauren Yager – Sutherland Shire
Head Coach: Briony Akle
Assistant Coach: Amber Cross
Team Manager: Debra Hanson
Physiotherapist: Justin Walsh

2014 Netball NSW Waratahs
Kristina Brice – Baulkham Hills
Kaitlyn Bryce – St George
Jessica Calderara – Eastwood Ryde
Maddie Hay – Baulkham Hills
Emily Keenan – Eastwood Ryde
Kristiana Manu’a – St George
Brooke Miller – Eastwood Ryde
Leah Shoard – Sutherland Shire
Amy Sommerville – Eastwood Ryde
Nicole Styles – St George
Melissa Tallent – Sutherland Shire
Elly Willan – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Head Coach: Anita Keelan
Assistant Coach: Moira Gaha
Team Manager: Maureen Stephenson
Physiotherapist: Kate MacDermid