Shepparton News

Stars everywhere, possible finals preview is here

- By Zac Standish

As the old saying goes, premiershi­ps aren’t won in May.

But this round seven Murray League A-grade clash between Nathalia and Deniliquin Rams will carry more weight than your average home-and-away season fixture.

Coming into this match the competitio­n’s top two sides with perfect 6-0 records, netball fans will be treated to the best the Murray League has to offer, with a tirade of stars set to take to the Hardinge Street Oval courts.

And while the clash is being billed as a potential grand final preview, Nathalia coach Emma McDonald said her team was still taking things one week at a time.

“We are super excited to go up and play against the Rams, who have clearly been one of the best teams this year,” McDonald said.

“I think it will give us a good indication of where we are at, obviously grand finals aren’t won in May, but we are still very excited to challenge ourselves against one of the best.”

After finishing the 2021 season atop the A-grade table, the Purples have kept the good form rolling to open the new campaign, easily accounting for all in their path to set themselves up as premiershi­p favourites.

“Our squad is building very well at the moment,” McDonald said.

“I think we have just gradually gotten better over the first six weeks, and with a few new additions to the side, we are really starting to complement each other.

“The timing of this game is really great for us, and we are really keen to get out there and show what we can do.”

The Rams have been just as impressive however, with an eye-catching win over Rumbalara on the road in round four showing their premiershi­p credential­s.

McDonald said she was expecting a tight battle from start to finish.

“I know they are a really talented bunch of girls, they are very good through their mid-court and always make things hard for the opposition,” she said.

“So for us it is going to come down to match-ups on the day, we have certainly been calculated in our approach and feel our versatilit­y will put us in good stead.

“Accuracy and goaling will be the keys to the game I reckon, defensivel­y we are really strong and I feel that will be our trump card.”

Being a split round, there will only be two more A-grade netball fixtures this weekend.

Both Cobram and Numurkah will be desperate to claim a maiden win of the 2022 season, as they do battle at Scott Oval.

Meanwhile Congupna will be looking to bounce back from a poor showing against Rumbalara as it makes the trip north to face Echuca United.

 ?? ?? Excited for the challenge: Nathalia coach Emma McDonald cannot wait to travel to Deniliquin for a clash with the red-hot Rams.
Excited for the challenge: Nathalia coach Emma McDonald cannot wait to travel to Deniliquin for a clash with the red-hot Rams.

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