Northern Hawks captain Ashton Whiley has dismissed the notion that an Arrows tag of “invincibility” ever existed.
The fighting words are set to add extra fuel for the third straight grand final meeting on Saturday between the State League’s top two teams.
Arrows had won 64 games in a row from 2015 until the Hawks ended the run in last year’s semi-final clash.
Hawks lost a fortnight later in the grand final, but won the next 13 games in the new season before the reigning premier returned the favour.
“To a certain extent, I don’t really ever think they really had it,” Whiley said.
“We just had a mindset then that we couldn’t keep up consistency against them.
“If we stick to our gameplan and not really worry who we’re up against, there is no reason why anyone couldn’t beat them.”
Hawks took out the minor premiership, but lost for just a second time to Arrows all year in the major semi-final.
It continued to rekindle the recent rivalry that has extended to Arrows beating the Launceston club in two of their past three grand final triumphs.
Whiley has suggested that breaking the rival’s defensive circle could turn the game around in her side’s favour.
“Arrows have had the same sort of game style for three years running,” she said.
“We’re pretty confident that we’ve established a gameplan that can not only beat them, but any time on the day. Our season so far has been pretty good.”
Whiley cast aside perceptions of a need to overcome a mental hurdle to finally win the club’s first statewide opens title in 23 years.
The Ruth Tuohy-coached side stepped up preparations to unprecedented new levels during the week.
“It’s always there in the back of your mind with a grand final,” Whiley said.
“So we’re just going to stick with the gameplan.
“We’ve had some good training sessions with real high intensity.”
The last two appearances at the Hobart Netball and Sports Centre – this year’s grand final venue – to face Arrows earned Hawks’ invaluable back-to-back victories.