The Netball NSW Waratahs move into the 2011 Australian Netball League finals with a clean sheet after defeating the Netball NSW Blues 57-39 at the Anne Clark Centre on Wednesday night to complete the regular season undefeated.
Netball NSW Waratahs coach Rob Wright was happy with the result but will be aiming for improvement before the finals.
“The bits I was happy with was we were able to play all 11 players, we changed combinations quite a bit and it wasn’t too disruptive,” Wright said.
“I thought we were just a little bit sloppy at the start which was probably also due to the pressure the NNSW Blues put on us there, so I think we’ll need to improve our start for the finals. Overall though I’m pretty pleased to get the result.”
In a topsy-turvy opening quarter, rushed passages of play were contrasted with brilliance from the Netball NSW Waratahs. Getting away by four goals midway through the quarter, the NNSW Waratahs were matched by the NNSW Blues for the remainder of the quarter and the margin remained four goals at the first break, NNSW Waratahs leading 13-9.
The NNSW Blues struggled to combat the speed of NNSW Waratahs shooter Amorette Wild in the second quarter and as the NNSW Waratahs stepped up in defence they delivered plenty of ball to Wild and shooting partner Nicola Gray, scoring six unanswered goals late in the period to go to the halftime break with a handy seven-goal lead, 25-18.
Both coaches made a number of changes at halftime and although the NNSW Waratahs were first to settle, the NNSW Blues came back from 12 goals down to get back within 10 at the final break, 38-28.
In the fourth quarter the NNSW Waratahs showed why they are the team to beat this season as they ran away with the victory.
The NNSW Blues finish the season in fifth place while the NNSW Waratahs will travel to Victoria in a fortnight to contest the finals series where they will be joined by Western Sting, Victorian Fury and Queensland Fusion.
Quarter by quarter:
Netball NSW Waratahs: 13, 25 (12), 38 (13), 57 (19)
Netball NSW Blues: 9, 18 (9), 28 (10), 39 (11)
Netball NSW Waratahs:
Amorette Wild 28/38 @ 88%
Nicola Gray 14/18 @ 78%
Joanne Day 15/16 @ 94%
Netball NSW Blues:
Amy Sommerville 9/12 @ 75%
Vanessa Mullampy 8/11 @ 73%
Kimberly Borger 8/12 @ 67%
Anita Blanco 14/18 @ 78%
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