Claws in prime position for grand final with one game to go
EVERYTHING is falling into place for the Rockhampton Leagues Club Claws.
The powerhouse side notched a huge 66-26 victory over Whitsunday Sharks in the 2014 Mission Queensland State Netball League competition at CQ University on Saturday night.
With just one match left in the regular season, the Claws are in prime position for a grand final appearance and Claws captain Keanna Hopkins said Saturday night's triumph was just what the team needed heading into their finals campaign. "It was really good, we started off a bit shaky but found our groove in the third quarter and just kept building from there," Hopkins said.
"The win will help us because if we finish on the same points as another team, our for and against will keep pushing us up."
Spurred on by a crowd of over 600 Central Queensland supporters, Hopkins said the Claws remained cool, calm and collected against the Sharks.
"We kept our heads on. Lots went wrong and there was a lot of messiness in it like when we were getting called for contact but the girls didn't let it get to them. We kept our heads and learnt from our mistakes," she said.
"Shanita (Smith) was our player of the match. She is always consistent. Kate Lang played out of position in wing attack and was out of her comfort zone and did a really good job.
"Juanita Hill was our goal shooter and she was amazing; she shot really well and stood tall."
Claws centre Simone Forbes was in doubt for the finals after going down in her first match back with the side in four weeks due to an ongoing knee injury.
Hopkins said Forbes' game was devastatingly cut short early in the encounter.
"Simone went down in the first quarter with a bit of a knee twinge," she said.
"It was really sad because she was doing great and it was like she hadn't missed a game. She went out for a catch and landed a bit oddly and gave herself a bit of a scare and shock with her knee."
The Claws face a bye round this weekend but with just one game left to play before the finals, Hopkins said there wasn't going to be any slacking off.
"We're all really excited about it because we haven't had a big weekend group training session for about five weeks. It's a good time to have one so we can be ready for the finals," she said. "We only have Magnetic North Steelcats left to play because Marlin Coast forfeited the last round.
"We did well against them (Steelcats) last time we played them but they are kind of our nemesis. They always bring it. I'm not expecting an easy game."
QLD NETBALL LEAGUE
Rocky Leagues Club Claws 66 def Whitsunday Sharks 26 in Rockhampton on Saturday night