ANL FINALS ON THE LINE FOR DEFENDING CHAMPIONS

Defending champions Southern Force know the task which confronts them in Week 7 of the Australian Netball League if they are to secure a finals berth.

packard

The sixth-placed Force is one of several sides vying for a spot in next weekend’s finals when the ANL regular season wraps up in Sydney this weekend.

The AIS, which currently sits in second spot on the table, will vacate its place in the finals after heading to Scotland this week for the World Youth Netball Championships.

The NNSW Waratahs (fifth) are on 12 points with a match to come against the Storm while the QLD Fusion, who have a bye this weekend, are also on 12 points.

The Force, currently on eight points, finish the regular season with matches against the Netball New South Wales Blues and Territory Storm. The Fusion are 10.3 percentage points ahead of the Force.

To give themselves any chance of making the finals, they will need to have two convincing wins and Force coach Dan Ryan said they know the equation ahead of them.

“We’re heading to Sydney very clear in what we need to do to make finals” Ryan said.

“It’s going to be a difficult task but we’re certainly up to the challenge. A huge focus of our efforts will be on restricting the number of goals our opponents score while trying to pile on as many goals as we can to make up the gap in percentage.

“But we’re not trying to get caught up too much in that. We need to still play a good quality style of netball.

“We won’t be satisfied with anything less than a top four finish and having a crack at the finals. So we’ll be seeing what we can do.”

The Force will be without three of their up-and-coming young players for this weekend in Sarah Klau, Chelsea Lemke and Amelia Schmidt, who are currently in Scotland as training partners for the Australian Institute of Sport team.

Ryan said he’s confident his squad can cover their absence.

“First and foremost on focus will be on making sure we get the two points,” he said.

“The Blues have had some good performances in this year’s competition. So by no means will they be an easy beat – and neither will be the Northern Territory.

“It’s going to take a full team performance and making sure everyone’s doing their job for us to come away with two wins.”

The final round of matches will be played at the Anne Clarke Centre in Sydney, starting with tonight’s game between the Waratahs and Storm.

Top side the Victorian Fury will be looking to complete the regular season undefeated, but come up against the Western String – which is also contesting for a finals berth – and the Canberra Darters.

The AIS, QLD Fusion and Victorian Flames have the bye.

 

WEEK 7 FIXTURE:

Friday 16 August

Territory Storm v NNSW Waratahs
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
6.45PM

 

NNSW Blues v Tassie Spirit
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
8.30PM

 

Saturday 17 August

Southern Force v NNSW Blues
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
6.45PM

 

Territory Storm v Tassie Spirit
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
8.30PM

 

Victory Fury v Western Sting
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
8.30PM

 

Sunday 18 August

Victorian Fury v Canberra Darters
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
12.00PM

 

Western Sting v Tassie Spirit
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
12.00PM

 

Southern Force v Territory Storm
Anne Clarke Centre, Sydney
2.00PM

 

Byes

AIS
QLD Fusion
Victorian Flames