Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Round 11 Preview: MUC v Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels

Wednesday night sees Monash return to the State Netball and Hockey to do battle against an old foe in the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.

Round 3 was the last time the two clubs met with all age groups looking to either exact revenge, build upon the early season momentum gained for the last result or even forge a result.

LADDER: Central 8th (3-7, 93.8%); Ariels 4th (7-3, 124.7%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LLLLW; Ariels LWLWL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 2 (March 6, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Ariels 47 def. Central 31

Ramayer Gourley in action earlier in
It took nearly two months but the young Monash side finally reminded themselves of a winning feeling, when they trounced Swisse Southern Saints by 15 points on Sunday afternoon.

The win – their third of the season – should give some confidence to the girls coming up against a very up-and-down Ariels, sitting in fourth position but lacking consistency of a top four team.

A lot will rest on the shoulders of Ramayer Gourley who shot brilliantly against the Saints in Round 10, whilst there’ll be hope that Alice Ditchfield can repeat her mature performance from last round on Wednesday night.

Coach Robynn Pym told monashuniversitycentral.com.au that it’ll be about capitalising opportunities when her side forces turnovers.

“We were poor in our conversion last game and were probably lucky that the opposition made so many mistakes,” Pym said.

“The girls know if they can tidy that up, then we’ll be in with a chance.”

LADDER: Central 5th (6-4, 118.3%); Ariels 8th (3-7, 86.2%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central WLLWW; Ariels LLLLW
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 2 (March 6, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 58 def. Ariels 46

Following two nail-biting losses, the Championship girls are now starting to show some ominous form as they meet a Ariels side desperate for to build on their win that followed four consecutive losses.

Considered to have one of the best defensive records in the competition, the defensive trio that is Natalie Tommasini, Helen Barclay and Georgie Davenport will once again play a pivotal result in determining the Wednesday outcome.

Having a history of conceding big scores, the recent shooting form of Steph Tyrell, plus last week’s positive return of Sarah Main, should prove a tall order for the Ariels’ defence.

Coach Leesa Maxfield told monashuniversitycentral.com.au the positive shooting output from her goalers was a major catalyst for the recent turnaround of results.

“It just gives the girls a lift when we convert our shots,” Maxfield said.

“Our focus this week will be keeping our error rate down. It nearly cost us in the third quarter (against Swisse last round), but then we kept it down in the last and eventually won the game.”

LADDER: Central 4th (6-1-3, 113.4%); Ariels 2nd (7-1-2, 114.8%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LLWWL; Ariels LWWWW
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 2 (March 6, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 38 drew with Ariels 38

It was only the result of the Division 1 girls that prevented Monash from clean sweeping Swisse Southern Saints last Sunday afternoon, as they went down to the Saints by seven goals.

Notoriously slow starters, Monash will be looking to eradicate that aspect of their match as they come up against a high-flying Ariels outfit looking to consolidate a fifth consecutive win.

The upcoming fixture claims match of the round status, with two top four titans looking toward firming up specific positions in the second half of the season. Both sides will want to prove points after four quarters could not split them back in Round 3.

Clare Pettyfor’s return to the defensive third was a welcome one, providing a lot of assurance and support for both Ebony Fietz and Melissa Wardle. Sophie Knights recent run of form will give the Ariels plenty to think about after promising showings both at Wing Attack and Centre.

Coach Jacqui Hansen told monashuniversitycentral.com.au that her side implemented much of what they set out to do against Swisse, yet just couldn’t sustain their patches of dominance for long enough.

“It came down to the fact that we shot accurately enough, but turned the ball over when we could’ve gone ahead,” Hansen said.

“We probably got away with a draw against them last time after being up for nearly the entire match.

“It’ll be another physical game, their defenders like to sit off and attack the ball mid-air, we’ve got to be prepared for that and adjust.”