Howard back for grudge match

THE Launceston Tornadoes will regain local talent Olivia Howard for their state rivalry SEABL clash against the Hobart Lady Chargers at the Elphin Stadium tonight.

The Torns most valuable player in 2013, the 21-year-old Howard has missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury but is set to return for her first game of the season.

Last season she had a breakout year as a post player, averaging 13.4 points and 7.2 rebounds and stepping into a major role on the team. 

Her efforts have seen her rewarded with the vice-captaincy this year.

``Liv has been working hard with her rehab and is hoping to get the all-clear to play,'' Tornadoes coach Peta Sinclair said.

``It will be great to have her back in the line-up. She is an exciting player and she brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the team.''

The Tornadoes will be keen to record their first win over Hobart since 2012 after losing both clashes last season in the local derby.

The Lady Chargers remain winless after three games after being hit by injuries early in the season but Sinclair remained wary of their Southern rival which still boasts some talented players.

``Things have not gone to plan for them as yet, but this does not mean it will be a run in the park for us,'' she said.

`` They  have retained three of their five starters from 2013, and have added key import Emma Langford to the mix, which makes them again a very difficult match-up for us. 

``Izzy Chilcott and Kathleen Scheer have started off strong individually averaging over 15 points per game.''

The Tornadoes will  look to their athletic imports Ally Wilson and Nadeen Payne to slow down that combination.

``Hobart are known as a great possession team, they have quality local players on their roster, and are well coached by Dan Krebs,'' Sinclair said. 

``This will be a huge test for the Tornadoes, and one where we are itching to get back on top after 2013.

``The North-South rivalry match means so much more to everyone, especially in front of our home crowd. 

``We're not just playing for the SEABL flag, were playing for Northern Tassie pride, the whole community is behind our team and we want to give them this win.''

FAST FACTS

WHO: Launceston Tornadoes v Hobart.

WHEN: Tonight, 6.30.

WHERE: Elphin Stadium.

WHAT: SEABL.

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