Coach Ruth Tuohy is now convinced Northern Hawks are much better prepared at one more crack towards a breakthrough Tasmanian netball premiership win.
After two fruitless returns against traditional powerhouse AYC-Friends Arrows in both recent State League grand finals, the Hawks will enter yet another re-match.
“We’re trying to do things a little differently to the last two years,” Tuohy said.
“We’ve got quite a few of us that have come through it.
“We’ve just focused on what is important to us: the consistency of the gameplan and always keeping our heads in the game.
“I think that’s what going to get us the win in the end.”
Arrows first outclassed the rookie Hawks 77-46 in the 2016 decider before inflicting further pain in a 67-56 repeat a year later at the Silverdome.
The Hawks do carry an impressive 16-2 win/loss record this year – both defeats to the Hobart side – and feel better for a tougher finals run than any stretching back to 2015.
“I remember the first time when we had gone through to the grand final and the finals weren’t as challenging,” Tuohy said, “whereas this year has set us up to know we can take on Arrows for sure.”
Doubts arose over their title favouritism after Arrows’ nine-goal win in the major semi-final at Ulverstone just a fortnight earlier.
But a stirring preliminary final victory last week – in a season-record margin over Cavaliers by 16 goals – has reignited the minor premier’s drive for the trip to Hobart.
“We were able to stamp our foot down because we found our rhythm again and stuck to our consistency – it just felt good,” Tuohy said.
Facing Arrows on their home court holds no fears for the Hawks, having won the last two times against the three-time reigning premiers at the Hobart Netball and Sports Centre. But being weighed down by the burden of history is something else.
Tuohy admitted her side is acutely aware that it’s been 23 years since the once Dominant Northerners (Hawks) won the club’s only state title.
“We do touch on it, but we don’t need to add any extra any pressure,” Tuohy said.
“They definitely represent the club with all the pride of representing the uniform.
“It will probably be more celebrated after the fact.”
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