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Bull Sharks prevail in one-point thriller

By far the biggest and most anticipated fixture of the regular season is when we host the Titans in a derby at Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium and the weekend's action lived up to the hype. 

Kaylin van Greunen v Titans
Kaylin van Greunen on the attack against the Titans.  

A huge pro Bull Sharks crowd were on hand to see the Sapphire Series side consolidate their position in the top four with a nail biting one-point win.

We didn't get things all our way though as the Titans squared the ledger in the Ruby Series match.

Sapphire Series 

Bull Sharks won 53-52

Where it was won:

I would say we were quite fortunate this time. We seemed to have control of the game, taking a 13-point lead early in the third quarter. However, we let them back into the game during the super shot period, which put us under pressure. To the girls' credit, they didn't make any panicked decisions and just kept the scoreboard ticking over.

The highlight:

This was a crucial win for us. Both teams, along with others in the Sapphire Series, were missing key players due to representative duties. Given the results, this could significantly impact the ladder heading into the finals, with mixed outcomes and uneven scores affecting percentages. I'm just relieved to secure the 4 points to keep us firmly in the top 4 for now.

What made you happy: 

The passion and excitement in the crowd really brought us home. It was heart warming to see so many Bull Sharks cubs’ singlets in the stands and our Bond flags waving proudly. The atmosphere had a great community feel, celebrating the rivalry between the two clubs and showcasing the talent on the Gold Coast.

Bull Sharks Netball: 

In the game preview, I emphasised the importance of not getting physically engaged with the Titans, a point I am very firm on. We play a skilled, clinical, and clean brand of netball, and it's crucial for all the young players to see that this style will lead to success. There were moments when it seemed like our girls might retaliate, but to their credit, they refocused and adjusted their preparation movements to change the dialogue.

The work to do: 

Continue improving our decision-making during pressured moments in the game. Maintain control when we have momentum and avoid playing at the frantic pace of the opposition when we're in control.

Trademark Player: 

Lauren Aubrey was once again a powerhouse in the defensive circle, preventing any shooter from gaining momentum. The Titans rotated three GS, but her footwork, which improves with each game, along with her ball deflection and rebounding skills, have been game-changers for the Sapphire team this year. Sasha-May Flegler also had an outstanding game in WD, not only with her defensive pressure but also in her transition to attack through a physical and clumsy zone that was difficult to navigate at times.

With Rebecca Stower. 

Ruby Series 

Bull Sharks lost 61-43

Where it was Lost:

Unfortunately, we were not at full strength for this game with a number of the athletes sick and our captain Harriet Nicholson out with an injury. Going into the game we knew it was going to be a challenge, however the girls played well in the first half and were only down by three at half time. We had a lapse in the third quarter where to the credit of the Titans they gained momentum, and we just couldn’t recover.

The highlight: 

Although the second half of the game was not our best, I was proud of the girls as they continue to play for each other and never give up. And after a tough loss, to see them all stay and support our Sapphire girls like they did demonstrates the culture we are building here at the club.

What made you happy:  

Bull Sharks signing autographs
The Bull Sharks' young fans had a great day. 

To play in front of our home crowd of 800 spectators was just so exciting. It was really amazing to see our cubs players as our ball kids across both games and to see all the young players wanting to get photos and get their flags signed by our athletes was an absolute highlight for me. 

The work to do: 

We need to continue to work on staying focused for the entire game and not allow errors and poor decisions creep into our game when we are under pressure. 

Trademark Player: 

Abi Houston was great in the circle in only her second game back from injury. She was able to turnover over some really good ball for us and rebounded strongly. 

With Kim Boland. 

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