Tasmanian Netball League: semi-final | Northern Hawks v Arrows

FACING UP: Northern Hawks shooter Danni Pickett keeps her eyes on the prize last start against Arrows at the Silverdome. Pictures: Scott Gelston
FACING UP: Northern Hawks shooter Danni Pickett keeps her eyes on the prize last start against Arrows at the Silverdome. Pictures: Scott Gelston

Northern Hawks know all about the enormity of the tough task ahead.

Beat the unbeaten Arrows in the major semi-final – and then probably do it all again two weeks for the state title.

But Hawks coach Ruth Tuohy believes that scenario is not beyond her side.

“It is a pretty big, tough ask, but we’re going to give it everything we’ve got,” Tuohy said, “and I think we’re ready to take them at the moment.”

HANDS UP: Hawks defender Dannielle Devlin looks to stop the Arrows high pass.

HANDS UP: Hawks defender Dannielle Devlin looks to stop the Arrows high pass.

Tuohy believes her side will be better served by upsetting the Arrows – a first time on Saturday – to gain a psychological edge come the State League grand final a fortnight later.

The Hawks challenged Arrows in their home-and-away clashes this season, but struggled to finish the jobs in a 63-50 loss in March and to the tune of 73-58 in June.

“Being that we haven’t had the chance to beat them or anyone has for sometime, it is something that we have got to contemplate,” she said.

“However, getting that psychological edge if you did get one up, you actually could win that mental game.”

Tuohy is also well aware of the dismay of a 77-46 grand final loss, but is spurred on rather than crestfallen a year on. 

MOVING ON: Hawks midcourter Nikea Ladham gets the ball down court fast.

MOVING ON: Hawks midcourter Nikea Ladham gets the ball down court fast.

“We’ve learned a lot from that grand final and because they haven’t had a lot of changes to their team, we’ve been playing to perfect our game against them and what their strengths are and then build on ours as well to minimise our errors,” she said.

The coach is backing hard-nosed tactics to topple over the raging hot State League premiership fancies.

Arrows have stood heads and shoulders above all comers for a number of years, but Tuohy believed a full-court press would be the only way to pull off the upset win at Hobart on Saturday.

“I think there will be a lot of work on the defensive pressure,” Tuohy said.

THINK QUICK: Zoe Claridge checks out her options towards goal

THINK QUICK: Zoe Claridge checks out her options towards goal

“The ability to turn the ball over as quickly as possible and get the ball into your own control to deliver it to the shooters is the key area.

“The moment we don’t have control of the ball, our aim is to get it back as quickly as possible and that even starts at our goal shooter if it’s a missed shot.”

Tuohy added the side need to “stick to our game plan” to avoid a sudden death final.

“It’s always a big challenge taking on Arrows in Hobart,” she said. “However, we’ve got our full team available this week, which is great because it gives us a lot of depth.”