Mustangs facing tough opener
WHAT an introduction to the Rockhampton Netball Association A-grade competition for Peter Reaburn's Frenchville Mustangs, who face the daunting task of trying to knock champions Brothers Crimson off their perch.
Crimson breezed through the grading rounds, while the Mustangs were adjusting to the pace of the senior competition.
Brothers Crimson coach Tanya Shuker will be looking to her team to play its own game rather than working out strategies to defeat Mustangs.
"We should be all right," she said.
"At this stage we don't know much about the Mustangs and so we will be looking at how they play for our future strategies."
Shuker said Brothers met the Mustangs in the grading rounds and put on a mixed display.
"In the first quarter the players went well but not in the second," she said.
Crimson will be without Wendy Evans, who is playing touch football, but nevertheless Shuker still has a core of experienced players, which should prove too much for the young Mustangs.
One such player is Tracy Upton, who still has the enthusiasm and ability to control play in the centre of the court.
Amee Brown is preferred again at goal attack rather than goal shoot, where she played with devastating effect last year.
"It takes a little getting used to it, as there is far more running," Shuker said.
Brown, also a basketball player with the Cyclones, has to adjust to some of the subtleties expected in a running position in netball.
"They (basketballers) have the ability to adjust," Shuker said.
Match of the night will be the clash between Colts and Capricorn Coast Marlins.
Both teams believe they have the players to make the finals and who could doubt that prediction, with both having Claws players in their line-ups.
Tanya Burnett agrees the competition opener couldn't be tougher for her Cap Coast Seaspray Marlins team.
"There is nothing like kicking you over the head," she joked.
The Marlins' problems are compounded with the loss of attacking circle player Maddy Ryan, who is overseas.
"We'll be floating up a junior," Burnett said.
The junior getting her chance in A-grade is Maddison Steedman, who is a promising youngster.
"She is playing in the Junior A competition," the coach said.
"We'll give her a shot. However, playing against a full-strength Colts will be tough, as they are a quality side."
Burnett said she expected Colts to have their full team available for tonight's match.
"They are always at full strength for us," she said.
Burnett is aware it is a long season for her team and therefore will not be looking too closely at the score but rather the Marlins playing to their strengths, to the game plan and getting their combinations right.