Image: Ben Southall
Victorian Fury claimed a record-breaking 25th consecutive win and continued their unbeaten run from 2013 into the new season.
Competing against Netball NSW Waratahs on Saturday in the opening round of the 2015 Australian Netball League, the defending champions fought to the finish with a 52-51 win.
The Fury coaches made their intentions clear early, starting five of their six athletes with ANZ Championship experience in Kelsey Browne, Emily Mannix, Alice Teague-Neeld, Chloe Watson and Jo Weston. The defending Champions flew out of the starting blocks, scoring the first four consecutive goals.
The Victorian Fury paced themselves on Sunday against Canberra Darters, stepping up the intensity in the final quarters to win 59-43 at AIS Arena.
Stephanie Puopolo, Emma Ryde and Alice Teague-Neeld certainly performed with some accurate shooting 80%, 90% and 100% respectively.
Fury Head Coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said the opening round against Waratahs was a great start to the season, “Whilst it wasn’t a pretty win and far from a consistent four quarter performance, the group were able to show the competition that they have that belief in the plan and one another.”
“To keep their composure and pull out that win when Waratahs were throwing everything at them was a sign of what they could be capable of producing by season end.”
The debut performance of Emma Ryde in Goal Shooter was a highlight of the Waratah match.
“It was a wonderful performance withstanding the physical and mental pressure at the next level, taking the shot and using an emerging variety of moves to get herself free,” said Keppich-Birrell.
The Fury Head Coach has also reflected on Sunday’s match against Darters, “The defensive pressure we exerted to produce so many opportunities was excellent.”
“Unfortunately we couldn’t capitalise on as many as we needed to. However, in the second half our conversion rate and shooting accuracy allowed us to get the run that we needed to put the game in no doubt.”
The team are looking forward to traveling to Darwin next weekend, “An extra day travel provides our team with the best opportunity to physically and mentally prepare for some tough encounters,” Keppich-Birrell said.
“We will have to produce a much more consistent brand of netball to overcome both Storm and Sting. Each opponent will be physically tough and we are going to have to be prepared to do the hard work off the ball to make sure we offer a number of viable leads across the whole court.”
“Our decision making and the unit relationships across the court have already begun to improve and we look forward to the opportunity to see further development as we push towards a finals berth,” Head Coach Keppich-Birrell concluded.
Quarter by Quarter Scores
Victorian Fury v Netball NSW Waratahs | Q1: 12-7, Q2: 29-20, Q3: 43-35, Q4: 52-51
Victorian Fury v Canberra Darters│ Q1: 9-9, Q2: 20-22, Q3: 39-28, Q4: 59-43
Week Two Fixtures
Territory Storm v Victorian Fury
Saturday 27 June, 6.30pm
Marrara Indoor Stadium
Victorian Fury v Western Sting
Sunday 28 June, 11.00am
Marrara Indoor Stadium