There’s only one round left to play in the 17/U National Netball Championships at the Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre, Queensland, before our attention turns to the finals.
After a disappointing loss to competition leaders Victoria on day two, the NSW 17/U team has consolidated their spot on the ladder with two impressive victories over Northern Territory (53-20) and Western Australia (40-24) on day three.
NSW 17/U coach Briony Akle tested the versatility of her team on day three, throwing a number of players in different combinations out on court.
“Today we threw a different line up out on court with a few girls playing in different positions. They did a great job adjusting to playing those different positions and sticking to the game plan which was fabulous and made all the difference,” Akle said.
“We thought we’d mix it up and keep the other States guessing as to what we’d do heading towards the finals. We took a gamble and it paid off for us which was good.
“They’re now playing the way they can play which is exciting particularly at this stage of the competition.”
Looking back on the 11-goal loss to Victoria on day two, Akle points to straying away from their game plan as being a key factor in the loss.
“We lost yesterday because we didn’t stick to the game plan basically. It’s all easily fixed – and if we stick to the game plan we’ll be able to take it right up to Victoria in the finals,” she said.
With the last round game looming on day four against Tasmania, NSW will be looking to finish the rounds with a win and enter the finals full of confidence.
Their likely opponent in the two versus three play-off, should they defeat Tasmania, appears to be hometown favourite Queensland who have the tough task of taking on an undefeated Victorian team in the final round game.
“I want to get everyone out on the court in our final round game. We’ve basically done that in every game and everyone has had a good run. We need to make sure that our confidence is up heading into the finals,” Akle said.
“Victoria is really strong and has performed well in every game. They are really setting the benchmark at the moment but hopefully we’ll be able to match them if the chance arises in the finals.”
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