Millman keen to deliver Fury another stinging blow

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August 18, 2012 is a date Lisa Millman remembers well.

That night Millman, pictured above, was part of the Western Sting line-up which defeated Victorian Fury 55-50 in Perth – the only occasion that’s happened in the history of the Australian Netball League.

Fury have dominated ANL meetings against the Sting, winning eight of the nine contests by an average margin of 13 goals.

The two sides face off in Week 4 action at Perth’s State Netball Centre this weekend but it’s unfamiliar territory for Fury.

They head west coming off their first defeat since 2012, a nine-goal loss to NNSW Waratahs that ended their 35-game winning streak, and haven’t lost consecutive matches in four seasons.

Sting also heads into the weekend coming off a loss, going down by 10 goals to QLD Fusion last round and Millman is expecting two hard-fought matches on Saturday night and on Sunday as both sides look to bounce back.

“Victoria and New South Wales are the benchmarks of the competition when you look at the results from the last couple of years,” Millman said.

“Fury are a very smart and experienced side. We have to be matching them in those areas and let the scoreboard take care of itself.

“We can only do our homework on them and concentrate on what we need to do and have that fire in our belly to go out and try and get the two wins on the weekend.

“We’ll concentrate on Saturday night first and be prepared and ready to take them on.”

Millman said the pressure put on their opponents by the Sting’s centre court group of Lindal Rhode, Jess Anstiss, pictured right, Ashleigh Neal and Jessica Eales will be critical over both matches.

Millman, who spent a season playing in the ANZ Championship for West Coast Fever in 2013, has taken on the Sting captaincy this season and is enjoying leading the young group.

“There’s so much potential in the group,” Millman said. “But it’s not just me (showing leadership). Everyone has their input and we work hard at having honest, open communication in the group.”

This weekend is the half-way mark of the 2016 season with all of last year’s semi-finalists involved in crucial contests on both sides of the continent.

QLD Fusion host Southern Force on the Sunshine Coast at Caloundra on Saturday night and Sunday with both sides keen to consolidate their spots around the top of the ladder after making solid starts.

Their overall head-to-head meetings have been split at four wins a piece.

Fusion coach Jenny Brazel will lead her side on Saturday night before handing the reigns – temporarily – to Kylee Byrne for Sunday’s contest while she completes her ANZ Championship commitments with the Queensland Firebirds.

The Waratahs and Canberra Darters have the bye this weekend.

Week Four Fixtures

Western Sting v Victorian Fury
Saturday, May 21
State Netball Centre, Perth
6.30pm (local time)
Sunday, May 22
State Netball Centre, Perth
1.30pm (local time)

 

QLD Fusion v Southern Force
Saturday, May 21
Caloundra Indoor Sports Centre, Caloundra
7.00pm

Sunday, May 22
Caloundra Indoor Sports Centre, Caloundra
12.00pm