One must fall

ONE side boasts both wins during the 2016 North Gippsland Football Netball League home and away season.

But the other holds the bragging rights as reigning premier.

Woodside and Rosedale will face off on Saturday in the A grade netball grand final, and neither coach is pulling any punches.

“I’m confident they can do it,” Rosedale mentor Staci Scott said of her team.

“They’re all exceptional players in their own right.

“It’s just a matter of rising to the top in terms of what’s required at that level on the day.

“They need to control their nerves, any form of anxiety, you just need to play netball, really and not let those factors influence you.

“If they do that, they’re more than capable of winning.”

Rosedale takes with it experience from last year’s decider when it defeated Churchill by four goals to take the flag.

But it was unable to overcome Woodside in rounds nine and 18 of this season, losing by six goals in each match.

“The girls have had a bit of a disrupted season (and they’ve been) quite resilient with the changes being made,” Scott said.

“In terms of the losses against Woodside… I don’t see a loss as a negative. At times it can be quite positive, you learn from failure and that’s a key in this instance.

“We know what we need to do – we know the boxes we need to tick, it’s just a matter of ticking them.”

Woodside coach Kristy Lucas attributed the season’s wins to consistency across four quarters of netball with “plenty of defensive pressure”.

“Pressure situations tend to bring the best out of the Woodside team,” Lucas said.

The Wildcats lost key defender Jacqui Irving in their final match of the home and away season against the Blues, which Lucas said “devastated” the minor premier.

But the loss opened the door for two B grade defenders, with the final team to be selected tonight.

Lucas said a key match up on Saturday would be this year’s NGFNL best and fairest netballer, goal attack Andrea Foat, taking on Blues goal defender Bronwyn Tebb.

She also highlighted Blues’ Megan Harrison and Wildcats’ Megan Barnes as another contest to watch.

“Megan Harrison provides massive drive into Rosedale’s attack, while Megan Barnes thrives on the fast pace of the attack,” Lucas said.

“Our focus will be around playing our own game and setting the pace early, with plenty of pressure over the ball.”

Rosedale will take its seven key players to the court with under 17 players Allie Lipscombe and Emma Grunwald providing backup on the day.

Scott said even if the youngsters did not get court-time, the experience and seeing what was required during a grand final would be invaluable.

“They’re up and coming players and if necessary they will hold their own on the court,” she said.

Lucas said the Wildcats felt pumped for the match with experienced campaigners and “plenty of local, home grown talent” making up the team.

She is looking forward to what Saturday’s game brings after a “fantastic season” in which the players overcame injuries to hold onto top position.

The first centre pass for the A grade grand final is scheduled for 3pm on Saturday at the Traralgon Recreation Reserve.

“I just think it’s going to be a strong game on the day and there will be some fantastic netball played by both sides,” Scott said.

“They match up really well together, (it’ll be a) good competition either way.”