The Victorian Fury and Victorian Flames will meet in Melbourne this Sunday afternoon at Waverley Netball Centre in the first intrastate showdown of the 2014 Australian Netball League season.
Defending champions the Fury made the perfect start to their title defence last round, winning both matches over in Perth to stretch their winning streak to 14 games.
Fury coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said two wins in Perth was a great starting point for the season.
“What was most pleasing was that we had great depth in all areas of the court to produce numerous outstanding combinations to change up a game,” Keppich-Birrell said.
“This weekend is a great opportunity to lift our intensity from the beginning of each game and we are looking to stick to our plan no matter what is thrown at us.”
Looking towards Sunday’s match against the Flames, Keppich-Birrell is excited for another close contest, last year it was the Fury who triumphed over the Flames by one goal 48-47.
“It will be a great battle for each player individually. To step out on the home court against opponents who are your mates off the court and is a big mental challenge.”
“You can expect to see a hard fought game with both coaches throwing everything out there for the pride of the team and State.”
Flames split their results in Perth last weekend with one win and one loss, and the team are gearing up for some big matches to get back on the winners list.
“Obviously, I was very happy with some aspects of last weekend, especially the Flames biggest win in ANL against NT Storm, but we are still looking to improve and build on our other performances,” Flames head coach Cathy Fellows said.
“We had so many positive turnovers due to great defensive pressure but we did not treasure the ball enough and that has been a strong focus for the group this week in training in preparation for the weekend.”
“Last year was a fantastic spectacle and because the players all know each so well, the unknown factor is gone but the challenge of playing in front of their home crowd and performing well at this level will hopefully bring out their best.”
Week Three Fixtures: Waverley Netball Centre, Melbourne
Victorian Flames v Southern Force
Friday 18 July, 5.00pm
Victorian Fury v Netball NSW Blues
Friday 18 July, 7.00pm
Victorian Flames v Netball NSW Blues
Saturday 19 July, 7.00pm
Victorian Fury v Southern Force
Saturday 19 July, 8.30pm
Victorian Fury v Victorian Flames
Sunday 20 July, 12.00pm