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Fresh faces make Ruby Series debut

by Holly Slattery

Fresh faces had a chance to shine in the Ruby Netball Series with sickness sidelining key Bull Sharks players but Bond was unable to hold off the Jets and the Wildcats in this week’s games.

The Bull Sharks went down 33-58 to the Jets on Wednesday and the Wildcats prevailed 39-48 on Saturday after a combination of Covid and influenza took out a chunk of the Bond side.

Georgia Wilson was among three training partners who made their debut on Wednesday and she didn’t waste the opportunity, taking out the Player’s Player award for her impressive drives and blocking in wing defence.

“I wasn’t expecting to get much game time, let alone Player’s Player,” the 18-year-old said.

“We played really well in the first half and we’re just a really new, young team so the other team may have had more experience to carry them through.

“It was really fun to play and it’s always good when you’re a training partner to not feel like you’re a just a training partner.

“A lot of the girls have a fair bit of experience at that level or even higher so I think it’s awesome to go out and play with girls that know how to play well at that level.”

Wilson played in place of Allanah Penny, Bond’s captain who recovered from Covid in time for Saturday’s game against the Wildcats at the Nissan Arena.

Penny received Player’s Player for the game and was pleased with the training partners’ performance, despite the score.

“We started off pretty slow (in the Saturday game) and we just weren't really finding the connections, but in the second half we really started to come back and were getting a lot of tips in defence which we were then converting.

“Personally I was just trying to make it through the game since (recovering from) Covid but I obviously managed to do something right.

“As such a young team, the mental aspect is what’s letting us down at the moment. Last night again was very physical and I think a lot of the girls aren’t used to having a player on them constantly and having to contest the ball, but it’s something we can work on.

“We had a lot of our training partners step up and they did really well.

“They fit seamlessly into the team so we were pretty lucky to have the extra six girls that we could use in situations like this, but I think everyone’s pretty keen to get the full team up and running and have everyone fit and healthy again.”

The 25-year-old, who relocated from Victoria to study and play netball at Bond, is anticipating a positive turnaround when the team is in good health for the coming weekend.

“Hopefully we can get back into the groove of the way we were playing in the practice match and in round 1 when we beat the Thunder.

“We just really need to get back to basics and trust each other and play the way that I know we can.”

The Bull Sharks have a bye for Round 7 so will play just one game this week against the Cougars on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

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