Heading into both the penultimate and final rounds of competition with a Southern road trip this weekend, the Cavaliers and Northern Hawks are ready to enter the Tasmanian Netball League finals series with a bang.
The Northern duo take on Karana and Cripps Waratah to finish off their season, which barring a heavy double Waratahs win and Cavaliers loss, will see them complete the roster sitting first and second.
The reigning premiers have been dealt a heavy blow to the title hopes with leading goal defence Dana Lester ruled out for the remainder of the season.
The multi-sport talent, who has also relinquished the coaching reins at Mowbray Cricket Club, ruptured her achilles tendon against Devon, ruling her out for the foreseeable future.
Coming into their Southern double-header following the bye, the second-placed side come up against Zanna Jodlowska's Karana on Saturday, who director of coaching Dannie Carstens described as a young side.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
"They will be trying to secure some wins towards the end of the season, so for a team like that it's just making them accountable for each and every ball and putting them under pressure all the time," she said.
"When you're a younger team that doesn't necessarily have a whole heap of experience, that's when you can force them into errors."
Their second match-up pits them against Cripps Waratah, who they defeated 41-38 in their closest game of the season in round seven.
"It's really making sure that we don't enter into a style of play that is too fast, we've got to make sure that we are prepared to play possession netball and that we are patient when we need to be but use our strength of speed when we need to as well."
While motivation can be tough to maintain with some undefeated sides, the nature of the 2020 season has kept the Northern Hawks as hungry as ever.
Playing two matches in March before COVID-19 hit the season with a four-month hiatus, co-coach Ruth Tuohy has had no issues keeping her group motivated.
"We reflected on Wednesday that we can't believe we are in our final two games of the season and because we've had quite a few double-headers and our first week travelling was last week, it just hasn't really sunk on us that this is the last couple of games," she said.
"Because we are continually learning, we've been having some great wins and we haven't necessarily been happy with all our games, so the girls still strive for a little bit more."
Missing several top-flight players as they scored 100 points for the second time this season against Devon, Tuohy and Kellie Woolnough's group will be at full strength this weekend.
Tuohy says the game plan that they were working on in their previous clash against Cripps is now fully embedded in the side and she is interested in the difference it will make to their August game.
'They had some really quick ball movement and some accurate shooters, so once they were getting that ball in, we weren't given a lot of opportunity so I think we have worked on some structures where we are looking to stop that ball being delivered in quite quickly.
"In our attacking end, it's making sure we are being patient and not forcing the ball in to our circle so that we can get it to one of our shooters to hopefully fill it out."
The girls still strive for a little bit moreRuth Tuohy