CLAWING AHEAD: Claws player Bridget Fletcher is ready to prove her worth in the Suncorp Super Netball Ruby Series.
CLAWING AHEAD: Claws player Bridget Fletcher is ready to prove her worth in the Suncorp Super Netball Ruby Series. Allan Reinikka ROK310519aclaws1

Capricornia netball sinks its Claws into Super Series bid

NETBALL: The Frenchville Sports Club Capricorn Claws have something to prove - that not only are they tearing shreds off the competition but that they are good enough to be included in the Suncorp Super Netball Ruby Series.

Coach Zoe Seibold said being welcomed into the series was a goal for the team and they had already taken steps towards playing at a higher level of competition.

"We're actually playing in a different competition this year,” Seibold said.

This year the team will be playing in the Queensland Premier League, a multi-division state-wide competition designed to determine the best association teams in Queensland.

"Last year we were a regional team and we played in division two of the Country State League competition from Rockhampton and up north,” Seibold said.

"Netball Queensland changed the structure at the end of last year, with a Sapphire and Ruby Series that underpins the Suncorp Super Netball and we put our hand up for a licence.

"We were declined so Netball Queensland said to us that QPL competition is the pathway for our players to show Netball Queensland we are competitive.

"Hopefully we can get the Ruby Series licence next year.”

This weekend the Claws will play a triple-header in round two of the QPL zone three series, with two games on Saturday against Hervey Bay's under-19 team and Bundaberg opens and against Hervey Bay opens on Sunday.

The Claws under-17s squad will also be playing in the QPL and will take on their opponents on Saturday.

"We'll be looking to pick up from where we left off after round one,” Seibold said.

"We went to Bundaberg and got three wins. Obviously we picked up some confidence.

"All the hard work done in the pre-season paid off - the girls' fitness, timing and they came together as a group really well.

"We (capitalised on opportunities) really well in round one and that helped us get those three wins. We'll look to do that again this weekend.”

CLAWS: (Back row, from left) Leizel Viljoen, Taylor Wark, Rebecca Hall, Kira-Lee Nicol, Lily Bartlem, Bec Thompson and Hayley Smith, and (front from left) coach Zoe Seibold, Talia Hopkins, Holly Newton, Bridget Fletcher, Adrianne Greenhalugh, Dana Sherwood and assistant coach Toni Robson. Absent: Emily Bleney and Yasmin Ramsay.
CLAWS: (Back row, from left) Leizel Viljoen, Taylor Wark, Rebecca Hall, Kira-Lee Nicol, Lily Bartlem, Bec Thompson and Hayley Smith, and (front from left) coach Zoe Seibold, Talia Hopkins, Holly Newton, Bridget Fletcher, Adrianne Greenhalugh, Dana Sherwood and assistant coach Toni Robson. Absent: Emily Bleney and Yasmin Ramsay. CONTRIBUTED

Sizing up the competition at the weekend, Seibold said the two regions would be dark horses, considering they had not played in the series yet.

"We don't have any form on them so we're not really sure what to expect,” she said.

"We'll just stay focused on our game.

"We've fine-tuned a couple of things, like breaking down a little bit more court specifics, looking at our timing of our leads and our set plays, where we actually should be making our drives to and trying to get a consistent attacking play.

"We will keep doing what we're doing and continue to focus on strong defence and looking after our possession.”

Two players that impressed Seibold in round one were Yeppoon's Holly Newton in the wing attack position and specialised goal keeper Hayley Smith.

"Both were impressive in round one,” she said.

"Hayley has the most amazing elevation I have ever seen on a netball court and it will be really exciting to show it off a bit at a home game.”

Seibold said playing at home would give the Claws an advantage this weekend and she hoped a sizeable home crowd would come out to support the girls.

"They work hard to get these wins,” she said.

"We want to be on the Netball Queensland map and keep those pathways open for our regional players, which is so important.”

After round three in Gladstone, the winning teams will play off in a final series for each zone in August-September.

The winners from each zone will then head to Brisbane to play in the QPL final series at the first weekend of October.

Round Two

Saturday

1pm: Claws v Hervey Bay U19 at CQUniversity.

3.20pm: Claws U17s

4.30pm: Claws v Bundaberg Opens at CQUniversity.

6.50pm: Claws U17s

Sunday

9am: Claws v Hervey Bay Opens at CQUniversity.

Free entry all weekend.

Claws will head to Gladstone in round three. Dates to be determined.



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