Tasmanian Netball League preview

STANDING TALL: Northern Hawks' Gemma Poke defends against Arrows in March. The two sides will face off again this week.
STANDING TALL: Northern Hawks' Gemma Poke defends against Arrows in March. The two sides will face off again this week.

The Northern Hawks will have the momentum when they take to the court against the high-flying Arrows in round 11 of the Tasmanian Netball League on Saturday.

Coming into the game on the back of a 41-point thrashing of Devon the week before the bye, the side will again need to be at its best if it is going to topple the flag favourites.

Defensive pressure will be at the centre of the Hawks’ game plan, with Nikea Lapham and Dani Devlin set to have a key role in delaying the Arrows’ drive through the middle of the court.

Coach Ruth Touhy said her side has been working hard to prepare for the attacking prowess of Arrows.

“The team have been training well with a key focus on decision making and consistent defensive pressure,” she said.

“Ashton Whiley and Zoe Claridge have been dynamic in providing our goalies with opportunities and will play important roles this weekend in a game full of big match-ups.”

Like the Hawks, the Cavaliers also went into last week’s bye on the back of a win, defeating Burnie 57-31.

The team returns home to the Silverdome on Saturday, hosting the southern-based Kingston Netball Club.

It will be without the experience of Estelle Margetts in the goal circle, who will be interstate attending a wedding.

Far from dwelling on the loss, coach Dannie Carstens said Margetts’ absence was a chance for some of the younger players to step up.

“We see this as an opportunity for the rest of the team to cement their positions on court and an opportunity to bring some of our younger players from our under-19 team into the mix,” Carstens said.

“We are expecting an extremely different game from the previous encounter.

“Last time we met Kingston, they valued the ball so much better than us so that will be a continued focus for our team.”

“They have strength right throughout the court, especially with Lucy Bosker in the mid court combining with the very fast Brooke Jones.”

Both teams will play from 6.15pm.