Hunter Netball have dropped to a 0-2 record in the Netball NSW Metro League after a 77-35 loss at the hands of Sydney veterans Manly Warringah, but it isn’t panic stations just yet for the young squad.
Coming up against of the strongest rosters in the league, stacked with high-level talent, coach Natarlia Bridges admits she always knew it was going to be a tough battle for her girls. While the 42-goal defeat may have been “a bit messy” at times for Hunter, there were “plenty of positives” for the side nonetheless.
“The girls really tried, and there were definitely positives, but the main problem at the moment for team is just that everyone is bringing individual talents to the team, and we have to instead bring those talents into a cohesive gameplan,” Bridges said.
“It’s hard for the girls, coming from a team where you are the best all the time, to being just a part of the unit that’s looking to achieve this goal. Everyone has amazing talent, we just need to it to click. When that happens, we will be unstoppable.”
Bridges believes the team is progressing in terms of the basics, and it’s clear they’re accelerating their learning when they return to their Saturday teams. It’s just a matter of finding that form together on Thursday evenings for the Hunter representatives.
“The girls have taken everything that we’ve been putting out on board, so that’s all that I can ask for off them for the moment,” she said. “They’ve all be telling me after they go back to their weekend teams they put what they’ve learned into practice and it wins them games. That puts a smile on my face for sure.”
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As development continues to improve for the squad results will come, Bridges said. The Hunter boss revealed the roster continued their work over the Easter break, and are coming back into the Sydney league “ready to fire” on Thursday night.
“It’s not always about winning, but that’s a big bonus, and it’d be nice to get some points on the board, and take this week away,” she said. “This week I’ve got a good feeling that we can get something out of the match, so we’re going to go out there looking to get that crucial first win.”
To achieve those key first points off a win, Bridges pointed to her defensive outfit. For the Hunter mentor, getting them clicking as a single entity will be important. Even more than that, however, just slowing the attacking balls into the circle will be the most vital part of their game plan against third-placed Northern Suburbs this Thursday.
“One key thing that keeps bitting us is defence on the wings that give them an opening straight to our post,” she said.
“If we can focus on that, and then have Emma and Annie on their game in the circle we’ll do well. We want to walk away with a win now, which is important because we’ve had a rought start. We’ve been training hard and the results will come.”
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Hunter Netball face Northern Suburbs at 8.30pm on Court 1 on Thursday evening at Sydney Olympic Park in the third round.