Rams ready for prelim. clash
The Deni Rams A grade side will face their second Murray League preliminary final in as many years tomorrow when they travel to Cobram to take on Tongala.
The last time these sides met was in round 10 when the Blues stood tall over the Rams by 12 goals.
That game was Deni’s last loss, and their only minor hiccup since was a round 16 draw against premiership favourite Moama.
The Rams can take confidence into tomorrow’s match in the knowledge they were missing star shooter Bec White for the Tongala loss.
And now with a settled line-up that’s in excellent form, Rams coach Jodie Sefton believes her side has the talent to turn around the past result.
‘‘We’re a different side to the one that played against Tongala last time,’’ she said.
‘‘We have more balance across the court and for us to knock off Echuca United, who were chasing a three-peat, was a big feather in the cap.
‘‘It’ll be a tough match against Tongala though.’’
Abby and Sara Pettifer both missed the Blues’ semi final against Moama last week and are both set to return, which Sefton said will boost Tongala’s attacking power.
‘‘They’re both such good netballers so it will be tough to stop them,’’ she said.
‘‘Our defensive combination of Eliza Eastman and Emily Mildren can play on tall or short shooters and are able to shut down attacking plays quite well.
‘‘Tongala’s playing coach Alicia White has been a strong defender for a long time so our shooters will have to be on their game.
‘‘We’ll be looking to have a strong start and try and get ourselves into a position where we don’t let Tongala back into the game.’’
In last year’s preliminary final the Rams fell to eventual premier Echuca United.
Sefton said her side wants to prove they have improved on last year with a strong performance tomorrow.
‘‘We’re in a great position again this year,’’ she said.
‘‘The best part is that we can have a few younger girls on the bench to give them some experience of finals netball.
‘‘We’ve been playing some fantastic netball and I don’t expect anything different on Saturday.’’
Deni’s match against the Blues starts about 1.30pm, with the winner earning a spot in the grand final against Moama.
Also competing for the Rams will be the Under 15s, who also come up against Tongala tomorrow at 9am.
This match is expected to be a close one, with the Blues edging out the Rams by just three goals the last time they met.
The winner will go on to meet Echuca United in the grand final.
In the Under 13s, the Rams go head to head with Echuca United for a chance to face Tongala in the grand final.
The two sides have met just once this season, with Deni going down to the Eagles by 28 goals. This match will start at 10am.
Deni’s Under 12s will also come up against Echuca United in an effort to book their place in this year’s grand final.
The Rams lost their only encounter with the Eagles by seven goals, but have improved a lot since then.
Tomorrow’s match starts at 9am and should be a close battle throughout. The winner will face Tongala in the decider the following week.