Launceston Tornadoes meet Hobart in do-or-die semi-final

LIVE ACTION: The Examiner will live blog the Tornadoes clash with Hobart on Friday night.
LIVE ACTION: The Examiner will live blog the Tornadoes clash with Hobart on Friday night.

Hobart may have won both Tasmanian derbies this season but Launceston coach Richard Dickel says it will be a “new season” when the two sides meet in a knockout semi-final on Friday night.

The Tornadoes enter the do-or-die clash having lost four of their last five matches but will take a full-strength side to Hobart as they chase another finals appointment in Victoria next week.  

“The girls are really locked in on the playoffs and training’s been good and hopefully it transpires into the game on Friday night,” Dickel said.

“It’s just about going out there and playing harder than the opposition. 

“In the two games they’ve played against us this year they’ve probably played harder than us and better than us, so we have to come out there and play better than them on Friday night.”

GAME PLAN: Richard Dickel fires up his troops.

GAME PLAN: Richard Dickel fires up his troops.

The Chargers will enter the game full of confidence having won five of their last six games, including a 26-point win at Elphin Sports Centre in round 15.

But the Tornadoes will take plenty of heart from Tayla Roberts’ return to form in the round 18 loss to Dandenong as well as the impact young gun Ellie Collins made in her first game back from injury.

Dickel said his troops held no fears about playing in front of a Hobart crowd. 

“If we have everybody firing and everybody plays to the best of their ability, I don’t think there’s any team in the league that can beat us when we play well.

“Every time you play at home it’s an advantage but it’s an ideal opportunity for us to go on the road and pick up a win.

“Nothing could be better than silencing a crowd in the opposition venue.”

INJURY FREE: Tornadoes 19-year-old Ellie Collins.

INJURY FREE: Tornadoes 19-year-old Ellie Collins.

Dickel said that despite a few tough results in recent weeks his side was primed to peak at the right time of year. 

“Probably subconsciously after we made the playoffs the girls were like ‘yeah we’re in’ and we’ve had so much change over the season with players coming and going and a new coach coming on and all the rest of it, that we’re finally starting to get some consistency with things. 

“I think those things didn’t help us but the girls know if we play well on any given day we can beat anybody in this league and they’ve come in with a really good focus at training this week which we haven’t had for a long time and hopefully that carries into the game.” 

The all-Tasmanian semi-final will be held at the Derwent Entertainment Centre in Glenorchy.

Tip-off is at 7.30pm.