Monday, 27 May 2013

Round 12 Preview: MUC v City West Falcons

Monash University Central v City West Falcons
State Netball & Hockey Centre, Court 5
Championship (7pm); Division 1 (8.20pm); Under 19s (9.40pm)

Central's Lil O'Sullivan (right) wins possession against a
City West Falcons opponent. Photo: Michael Copp
There’s nothing quite like a good old fashion rivalry and the State Netball and Hockey Centre provides a great platform for two very proud clubs to do battle.

Both Central and Falcons have their squads up and about at the moment, particularly the Falcons, who have all three age groups in the top three of their respective competition.

Monash have two, meaning that two of these matches are sure to provide some mouth-watering netball that could very well shape the finals series as the second half of the season gets well and truly underway.

LADDER: Central 4th (7-4, 118.8%); Falcons 3rd (7-2-2, 113.4%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LLWWW; Falcons WWDLW
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 4 (March 27, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 41 def. by Falcons 46

The long-standing rivalry between Central and Falcons continues with Monash keen to get one back at their nemesis after the Round 4 clash went the way of City West.

Missed opportunities were one of the deciding factors in Central’s eventual defeat, shooting just 66% for the night, yet the recent form of goalers Stacey Northey, Stephanie Tyrell and Sarah Main should lay to rest a repeat performance.

Whilst Monash are gunning for their fourth win on the trot, the Falcons are in a mid-season stumble, with a win, a draw and a loss their last three results.

Yet with City West goalers Julia Knott and Maggie Lind on song in recent weeks leading the Falcons to key win over VU Western Lightning last weekw, MUC defenders Helen Barclay and Georgie Davenport will need to be at their defensive best.

Yet coach Leesa Maxfield told that her side’s focus was purely internal.

“For us it’s all about cutting down our error rate and full-court pressure,” Maxfield said.

“We didn’t take our opportunities and didn’t play anywhere near our capabilities last time around, but we got within five goals.

“Our defence ahs been scarily good and our goalers have form so there’s no reason why we can’t knock off another top-four team.”

LADDER: Central 3rd (7-1-3, 113.7%); Falcons 2nd (8--3, 120.1%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LWWLW; Falcons LWWWW
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 4 (March 27, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre;
Central 51 def. Falcons 44

The Monash Division 1 side is riding high on confidence after a ruthless comeback win over Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels last week, yet for the second week running, they face another top 2 prospect in City West Falcons.

Prolific shooting from Gabrielle Henderson and Shae Gee, coupled with the defensive intensity of Kate Slattery, Ebony Fietz and Melissa Wardle proved the difference in last week’s win.

Looking to turn around some indifferent form in the previous six weeks, Monash come up against the Falcons, who – like the Ariels the previous week – are chasing their fifth consecutive win.

It’s a statistic that Monash coach Jacqui Hansen is certainly familiar with and welcomes the challenge.

“It certainly doesn’t get any easier for us, but at the same time, it’s a really key stretch for us,” Hansen told

“It’ll be another physical game and we’ll look to take the positives from this game and try implement them against the Falcons.

“We had some tired girls at the end of last week, but we’ll be ready to go for this one.”

LADDER: Central 8th (3-8, 88.4%); Falcons 1st (10-1, 153.5%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LLLWL; Falcons WWWWW
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 4 (March 27, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 47 def. Falcons 44

For Monash’s youngsters, the pending game against City West Falcons is one of intimidation if you were to look at the match-up on paper.

With a 10-1 record and comfortably on top of the table, the Falcons will certainly pose a tall order for Monash. However, it will be Monash taking an even amount of confidence into the clash, knowing that they are the only side to have knocked off the Falcons in season 2013.

Both sides will be different when they match up against each other on Wednesday night.

Despite a 32-goal loss at the ends of the Ariels last week, Monash will take some heart that their best play can match it with the top sides, evidenced by an even third-quarter.

Even through player availability, coach Robynn Pym told said her girls wouldn’t be hiding behind excuses and simply getting through to the end of the season.

“The girls have had the chance to look at themselves and see we’re going right and wrong and get that feedback,” Pym said.

“We want to be improving week by week, but not be considered the also-rans of the competition.

“No opposition is going to be too big for us from hereon in, there’ll all big, but they’re also human.”

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