The Tasmanian Magpies continued with their sizzling start to 2018 with weekend of victories over the Waratahs.
The Tasmanian Magpies continued with their dominant start to the 2018 Australian Netball League (ANL) season, securing yet another weekend of victories against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney.
Having only dropped one match for the season to date, Head Coach Kate Upton credited the Tasmanian Magpies’ early success to a strong team culture.
“Every player understands their role in the team and we have a really supportive nature throughout the staff, coaches and players,” Upton told Magpies Netball.
Game one against the Waratahs was played for the most-part on the Magpies’ terms.
However, a spirited fightback from the Sydney-siders had Upton’s side challenged in the final term.
With some slight tweaks made, the Pies stepped into another gear, claiming a 58-54 victory.
“Overall, we executed the basic skills well throughout the contest.”
“We were able to create opposition turnovers and capitalise on those in our attacking third.”
The Tasmanian Magpies were without one of their premier defenders in game one, with Mel Bragg being called into the SSN squad to replace April Brandley against the Swifts.
In her absence, the defensive-minded trio of Sharni Lambden, Zanna Jodlowska and Mary Livesey made strong contributions, adding a tough, defensive edge to the Magpies’ line-up.
201cm goaler Jane Cook starred in attack, converting 51/56 goal attempts, with 11/11 in the crucial final quarter.
The second clash on Sunday proved to be a tougher hit-out for the Magpies, with both sides battling for the momentum and the lead throughout the 60 minutes.
Despite a 21-goal opening quarter from the Magpies, it was the Waratahs who went into the major break with the two-point lead, largely thanks to a strong performance from the 2017 ANL MVP, Sophie Garbin.
But the Magpies had some weapons at their disposal, with SSN players Alice Teague-Neeld and Shae Brown lining for the Tasmanian Magpies in game two.
With the game played at a fierce and fast pace, the experienced duo were able to steady the pace for the Magpies.
"Both Shae and Alice lifted their work rate and their intensity in the second half, and that really had a rippling affect on their teammates who all lifted."
When the final buzzer sounded, the Magpies were four goals ahead of the Waratahs, and secured the 66-62 victory and the round four sweep.
Upton said she was pleased her team were able to execute in the key stages of the game.
“There was a real dynamic style of netball played and that was the difference between our first and third quarters.”
“We really controlled the play and executed well. We played smart netball.”
The Magpies will now look ahead to round five, when they head across the bass trait for their first home game in Tasmania.
There, they’ll meet the Queensland Fusion at the Silverdome in Launceston.
“Firstly, it’s an exciting opportunity to showcase our girls from Tassie. We look forward to a home game with a big home crowd”, Upton said.
“And secondly, it’s great that our Tasmanian players do not have to travel this weekend, which means they’ll be well-rested.
“We’re really excited to host the Fusion in Launceston. It will be a great weekend of netball.”
GAME 1 - Tasmanian Magpies 58 defeated NSW Waratahs 54
GAME 2 - Tasmanian Magpies 66 defeated NSW Waratahs 62
GAME 1 - Saturday 2 June, 5pm Silverdome Launceston (FREE ENTRY)
GAME 2 - Sunday 3 June, 1pm Silverdome Launceston (CURTAIN-RAISER)