Rams ready for pre­lim. clash

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - SPORT - By JAMIE LOWE

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.

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