In their final appearance for Week 4 action of the 2014 Australian Netball League (ANL) the Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs have gone down to the Western Sting, 60-45, in a physically demanding game.
In their last match of a triple-header weekend – including a double Extra Time game on Friday night– the NNSW Waratahs ran out of legs against the fresh bodies of the Sting, struggling against their speed and athleticism.
Head Coach Anita Keelan praised the efforts of her charges, saying despite the end score the NNSW Waratahs played with pride.
“You could definitely see the difference between the two teams today; we looked tired and a lot had to do with half our team backing up from their State League Grand Final during the week, as well as our two previous games this weekend,” Keelan said.
“But full credit to the girls – they really went out there and tried hard against the Sting. As a coach you want to see that effort, so I’m really pleased with that. Not taking anything away from the Sting, they played really well today, but I’m glad we have a decent break before our next game.
“Now it’s just looking forward to training, working on things and preparing for Southern Force in a couple weeks as we consolidate our position ahead of the Finals Series,” Keelan concluded.
A wayward pass gave the Sting an opportunity to hit the lead early; however they couldn’t shake the NNSW Waratahs, who kept in touch by no less than three goals. The West Australians displayed a strong defensive pressure early, putting strong hands over the pass to limit the high ball into NSW GS Kristina Brice.
A timeout late in the quarter gave the NSW outfit an opportunity to reset and proved advantageous, with the NNSW Waratahs pegging back-to-back goals to pull back the deficit on the scoreboard. But the Sting regrouped and finished the quarter strongly to take a seven goal buffer into the first break.
In their third game of a triple-header weekend, the NNSW Waratahs made four changes to their side for the second quarter bringing on 2014 NSW Swifts teammates Brooke Miller and Maddie Hay to C and WD, respectively, while moving Kristiana Manu’a and Leah Shoard to GK and GA.
The changes provided a spark to the NSW outfit, putting up the first couple goals. But once again the Sting put their foot down, led by their Captain and NSW junior Ashleigh Brazill. With Australian 21/U World Youth Cup defender Courtney Bruce all but taking out 196cm Brice from the contest, the Sting slowly began to push out their lead.
A short break allowed NSW to bring on 2014 NSW 21/U Captain Amy Sommerville to GA, moving Shoard back to GS to create a more mobile shooting circle. The tactic worked, with NSW finding the post to close the gap, but the West Australians held out to take a 26-23 lead into half time.
Swapping shooters Sommerville and Shoard to GS and GA, respectively, for the start of the second half the NNSW Waratahs also opened the scoring, but it wouldn’t be long until the Sting answered. The West Aussies really made the NSW outfit work hard, but by halfway through the quarter the NNSW Waratahs had pulled the deficit back to seven goals.
A short break gave the NNSW Waratahs another opportunity to make changes, bringing on Captain Emily Keenan to C while moving Miller out to WA. The Sting capitalised on a couple possession gains to put their lead back out to 10 goals, but the NSW kept at it.
With WA circle defenders Bruce and Heidi Wilson combining well, not letting an easy ball into the NSW shooters, they helped set up their side gaining a 12 goal buffer heading into the final 15 minutes.
Another change to the shooting end saw Tallent come back onto in the GS bib this time, nailing her first attempt to keep her side in the contest. However the game belonged to the Sting whose fresh legs and bodies providing the speed and defensive pressure they needed to claim a 15-goal victory.
The NNSW Waratahs have a bye next round, but will be back in action at Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium to contest Week 6 of the competition where they’ll meet hosts the Southern Force on Sunday 10 August.
The Netball NSW Blues return to ANL competition in Week 5 when they travel to Canberra to meet Queensland Fusion and Territory Storm in a double-header weekend.
Keep up to date with all the action on the road with Netball NSW’s social media channels; www.facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW, Twitter and Instagram @netballnsw #ANL2014 #GoNSW
Quarter-by-Quarter Scores NNSW WARATAHS│ Q1: 13 – Q2: 26 (13) – Q3: 35 (9) – Q4: 45 (10) WA STING│ Q1: 20 – Q2: 33 (13) – Q3: 47 (14) – Q4: 60 (13)
Shooting Statistics NNSW WARATAHS: 45/56 @ 80% Kristina Brice: 10/12 @ 83% Melissa Tallent: 11/15 @ 66% Leah Shoard: 19/22 @ 86% Amy Sommerville: 5/7 @ 71%
WA STING: 60/79 @ 76% Kaylia Stanton: 45/57 @ 79% Kate Beveridge: 12/18 @ 66% Emma Cosh: 3/4 @ 75%
Teams Starting Positions NNSW WARATAHS│ GS Kristina Brice, GA Melissa Tallent, WA Leah Shoard, C Kaitlyn Bryce, WD Kristiana Manu’a, GD Jessica Calderara, GK Elly Willan
WA STING│ GS Kaylia Stanton, GA Kate Beveridge, WA Numi Tupaea, C Lindal Rhode, WD Ashleigh Brazill (c), GD Heidi Wilson, GK Courtney Bruce
Positional Changes NNSW WARATAHS│ Q2 – GA Shoard, WA Bryce, C Brooke Miller, WD Maddie Hay, GK Manu’a; Q2 Timeout – GS Shoard, GA Amy Sommerville; Q3 – GS Sommerville, GA Shoard; Q3 Timeout – WA Miller, C Emily Keenan (c); Q4 – GS Tallent.
WA STING│ Q4 Timeout – GA Emma Cosh, C Jessica Anstiss; Q4 Timeout (2) – WD Jessica Eales.