Stung into action by Force defeats

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Western Sting coach Michelle Wilkins is confident her side can bounce back from last round’s disappointing trip to Adelaide and seal their place in this season’s Australian Netball League finals.

Sting takes on NNSW Waratahs in the penultimate round this weekend knowing one victory from either of their matches in Newcastle (Saturday) or Sydney (Sunday) will lock away a finals berth for the third straight year.

The fourth-placed Sting are three points ahead of QLD Fusion (fifth) on the ladder. Fusion only have two matches left to play in their season, against Canberra Darters in the final round, while this weekend is Sting’s final appearance.

Wilkins was disappointed by Sting’s performances against Southern Force last round. They conceded the highest score of the season – 70 goals – in the first match and, after a slow start in the second game, fought back to lose by a goal.

“Against Force we went away from some of our team defence that had been a strength – and certainly still is a strength of our game,” Wilkins said.

“The good thing is we still control our own destiny and that’s all we’ve been focusing on this week.

“We just need to make sure we stay focused on what we’ve been doing well and concentrate on putting them into practice this weekend.

“New South Wales have been competition leaders and certainly have got a lot of talented players so we’ll have to turn up with our best game.”

Sting has beaten ladder leaders Victorian Fury and Fusion this season.

“Certainly prior to Adelaide our performances had certainly been building,” Wilkins mused.

“It’s been a really interesting competition. We’ve all challenged each other at some point over the two games.”

The Waratahs-Sting double header are the only games being played in Week 7.

Saturday’s game will be played as a curtain raiser to the ANZ Championship match between the NSW Swifts and West Coast Fever at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

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Picture courtesy of Ben Southall