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Bull Sharks entrenched in Sapphire Series top 4 after the first round

Sapphire team in huddle

The Bull Sharks finished the first round of Hart Series netball with a double header. They were tough physical clashes against the Tigers and Wildcats. The Sapphire Series girls went one from one while Ruby lost both games in the final moment. 

Sapphire Series 

Bull Sharks V Tigers.

Bull Sharks won 61-56.

Where it was won: 

This game is what I would call an ugly win. To the girls’ credit they dug deep and finished the game on top.

The highlight: 

It was Hannah Le Sage’s first full game in GA replacing Mia Stower who will miss two weeks with a hamstring injury. Our captain stepped up and played a very controlled game, with pinpoint feeds into Kaylin van Greunen.

What made you happy:   

These girls know how to play for one another. There were times when we had the opportunity to run away with the game, but Tigers were tenacious in their efforts and kept themselves in the game. When the momentum swung, the girls just dug deep, refocused onto the game plan, and finished it.    

Bull Sharks Netball: 

The fact that these girls know their role at any given time, whether on or off court, and are genuinely happy to see each other succeed and share in the successes of the team’s efforts.

The work to do: 

We need to ensure we treasure the ball in clutch moments. Maintaining possession is how we start to build momentum and keep the pressure on the opponents.

Trademark Player: 

Dakota Newson had a dogged game. The Tigers put three WD’s on her to try shut her down. They were all tough, physical match ups for her, but she kept adjusting to win the battle. Georgia Bodle came on into C and made immediate impact with her tough one-on-one defence and ability to take them on in attack.

Bull Sharks v Wildcats. 

Bull Sharks lost 65-58.

Where it was lost: 

We struggled to get momentum in this game until the final quarter when we had a late surge. By then it was too late. 

 The highlight: 

Under tough, physical conditions our girls held their heads high and played our brand – with class and integrity.

What made you happy:  

We made numerous changes throughout the game, and to the girls’ credit they adjusted very quickly, and each player made their own impact on the game.  

Bull Sharks Netball: 

The Wildcats employed some very physical tactics on the court that weren’t well controlled. That kind of pressure can cause the slightest bit of doubt when in a contest. The girls had to protect themselves and one another, and I am proud to say they just kept playing without entering into any of the antics.

The work to do:  

Now we are at the end of Rd 1, and holding a top 4 place on the ladder, we can really look at how our game strategy can apply to each team. Every game at Sapphire level is tough. We have been without Jayden Molo for a number of weeks and were without Mia Stower for the last 2 games due to injury, but I am confident with our full roster consistently available each week we can continue our strong drive towards a top four finish at the end of the regular season and play finals.

Trademark Player: 

Sasha-May Flegler was a game changer in C for this game. Starting in WD, I moved her into C just before half time. She made immediate impact both in attack and defence with her athleticism and ability to be hard at the ball. She had amazing vision of the circle and fed the ball beautifully at crucial times.

With Bec Stower. 

Ruby Series 

Bull Sharks v Tigers.

Bull Sharks lost 59-57

Where it was won: 

We unfortunately lost this game with only seconds remaining on the clock. Hats off to the Tigers shooters who successfully scored 14 Super Shots to our 2 to win this game.

The highlight:

It was our ability to stay connected throughout the game. It was also pleasing to see all 10 players step up, no matter their role during this game.

What made you happy: 

 Although it was a loss this game really showcased our ability to match it with the top team. Tigers are undefeated so far this season and our girls pushed them right to the final whistle.

Bull Sharks Netball: 

Again, we stuck to our style and brand of netball under the tough, physical conditions.

The work to do:  

We need to look at the moments in the game where we didn’t value possession of the turnover ball and continue to look at our decision making in these clutch moments where we are not finishing it off.

Trademark Player: 

Charli Pearse had an outstanding game and had multiple WD’s put on her to try and shut her down. She was patient with ball in attack and was tenacious in defence. This was Charli’s first full game at this level, and she had amazing vision of the circle and fed the ball beautifully.

Bull Sharks v Wildcats.  

Bull Sharks lost 47-45

Where it was lost: 

We struggled to get momentum in this game and when we did, our unforced errors really let us down. Once again, the game was lost in the remaining minute. 

The highlight: 

Abby Boland was elevated this week to play Sapphire as Mia Stower was out due to injury. It was very pleasing to see our young training partner Evie Stower come into the game as Abby’s replacement. She executed what I asked of her and made an immediate impact.

What made you happy:  

Honestly, it’s hard to look at this game and see what made me happy.  It was just one of those games that nothing seemed to go our way.   

Bull Sharks Netball: 

Under tough and physical conditions our girls held their heads high and played our brand – with class and integrity.

The work to do: 

We are now at the end of Rd 1 and sitting in 5th position on the ladder. However, we still have one less game than most teams in the competition and will play that this weekend.  Every game from now on is going to be tough but I am confident that now we have our full team back and at full capacity to play full games, we can recover from these last few games and continue to build towards finishing in the top 4.

Trademark Player: 

Jorja Gisinger was outstanding under the post again this week. Under immense physical pressure, she shot 37 from 37 at 100 per cent.

With Kim Boland  

 

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