The Queensland Firebirds will have the Australian conference championship on their minds ahead of their clash against a desperate West Coast Fever outfit in the final round of the ANZ Championship on Sunday at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Firebirds can snatch top spot and skip straight through to week two of the finals if they beat the Fever and New South Wales Swifts fall to the undefeated Southern Steel on Saturday.
Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke said her side’s fate at the top of the table was up to the netball gods, but she was determined to build on Monday’s impressive win over the Magic.
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“I’ll probably watch the Swifts match, but sometimes when I do I put the mozz on myself so maybe I’ll turn it off and take the dog for a walk – leave it to the divine powers to sway it our way,” Jencke said.
“We had good passages of momentum throughout the Magic game. We played smart and had lots of options all over the court with the ball in hand. It gave the girls a real boost and it was great to have the leadership of Clare and Laura back.
“We know consistency is the key to good performance and being able to do that heading into this final game and in preparation for the following week – whatever that is for us – was really important.”
The Firebirds are up against a short turnaround for the Fever clash after they endured a three-legged flight home from Hamilton which arrived in Brisbane on Monday evening.
Jencke said the team would focus on recovery in the coming days and aim to come out firing against a physical Fever outfit.
“We need to shut down the Fever across their attacking line before the ball gets into the circle. They’ve got a really good attacking combination in Nat Medhurst and Caitlyn Bassett, so the whole team will need to make sure they’re applying really good defensive pressure for the entire game,” Jencke said.
“They have to win and we know they’ll be desperate and come out strongly. For us it’s about holding our nerve and wanting to gain some momentum moving into the finals. We need to back up the strong performance from the Magic game.”
The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds v West Coast Fever clash is live on Channel 10 and the Netball Live app from 12pm AEST on Sunday 3 July 2016.