Versatility key for netball success
We’ve seen it in the 2017 Super Netball competition, and we must see it more in Wimmera netball. Versatility will win games.
In the inaugural Super Netball competition this year we’ve seen a change in elite netball rules.
A landmark agreement saw 80 athletes contracted to the national league, which brought with it increased salaries, live coverage and a flurry of offseason movement which would turn former team-mates into rivals with the tougher competition for limited elite contracts – oh, and also add the unlimited international athlete import rule. A fans’ delight and exciting netball.
But for the athletes wanting a spot, versatility was the key for selection.
For Wimmera Netball Association action, it’s the only way forward. Change it up: don’t simply train to chase, look to create more versatility from within your own squad – to win. Because when we do, netball wins.
Last week Ararat put on a dominant display under the post to record a powerful push into the second half of the season against Stawell.
Minyip-murtoa consistently kept Nhill at bay, gaining another four points, and Horsham skipped out of the blocks early at Coughlin Park to take Sunday showdown bragging rights over cross-town rivals Horsham Saints.
Warrack Eagles controlled the pace and flow at home, as they ran away with a 19-goal win over the Roos.
When the Eagles head across the paddocks to take on Minyip-murtoa, they must step up a gear in attack.
They will meet their match in defence in reliable Burras duo Stefanie Cooper and Stevie Bibby, who will be relentless in front and over the shot.
Experienced Eagles goalie Megan Werner will need to be a general in attack, and she can cause some damage again this week under the post if she has the support in front of and around her.
The Burras have plenty of firepower of their own in attack with Kirby Knight putting plenty of goals on the scoreboard each week.
She will attract attention from Eagles in-form defensive duo Penny Fisher and Jess Kelly.
They say defence wins games, but the most consistent attacking end will win this one.
In an expected close one, Dimboola will host Horsham Saints and both will be keen to return to the winners list.
There’s plenty to like about the young Saints list – they are young, fit and with the likes of goalie Maggie Caris and versatile Tara Jasper, really pushing it week in, week out by mixing it with the best.
The Roos will rely on experienced heads, particularly consistent defender Carly Werner who is expected to get the nod on Caris and play a huge part in how her side finishes the day.
Horsham could face a slightly changed Ararat line-up in what’s set to be a pearler.
What the Rats could do is pinch a win from the pace-setting Demons.
The continued inclusion of Megan Shea under the post for the Rats adds a steady head and an accurate target in the ring.
Her influence in the front end, plus the speed from team-mates Jessica Williamson and Lauren Armstrong in the middle, suits the style of play they can continue to display. Could Shea be the missing piece?
Before we get carried away, let me just talk about versatility again and the Horsham team. The Demons get it. They are well skilled and drilled. They have plan A, and plan B and probably plan Z too. As always, they are the hunted, and will welcome the challenge.
It will be talented young shooter Emma Buwalda controlling traffic under the attacking post and her consistency this season will continue to put the Demons in good stead. But she has plenty of quality out the front to support her with Sheridan Petering, Paige Lloyd and Abbie Avery doing plenty of hard running through the middle.
An upset result might cause a midseason stir.
Nhill will head down the Western Highway, stopping at Central Park in Stawell in what is an important match for both sides – in fact it could be a shoot out.
For the Tigers, a win will keep them in touch with the top five. A win for the Warriors sees them get that first chip against a side above them. Round-eight results: Ararat d Stawell 71-44, Minyip-murtoa d Nhill 50-32, Warrack Eagles d Dimboola 51-32, Horsham d Horsham Saints 58-44.
PASS: Minyipmurtoa’s Stevie Bibby looks to pass around her Nhill opponent.