THERE’S pressure on both teams for today’s Orange Netball Association division one preliminary final.
Robin Hood and Royal Hawks will square off in today’s game with the winner to take on Life Studio in next week’s grand final.
The two teams have pressure on them for different reasons.
For Robin Hood, it’s the pressure of defending five consecutive grand final victories.
For Royal Hawks, it’s scoring their first win against Robin Hood this season.
Robin Hood won this year’s minor premiership but coach Cindy Gilchrist said her players knew not to get ahead of themselves.
“You can never count your chickens,” Gilchrist said.
“We’ve got to show respect to Hawks because they’re playing well. They’re bringing it more and more each week.”
Robin Hood was edged out by Life Studio (formerly Westoil) 54-53 in last week’s major semi-final.
Gilchrist said her players could only see positives in last week’s game even though they lost and they’re keen to get back on court today.
Royal Hawks were able to beat High A 51-50 in another tight game, and that win has done a lot for the Hawks players.
“That was a massive confidence boost for us,” Hawks captain Amanda Rouse said.
“The last couple of games that have been close we haven’t won, so it was nice to play a close game and come out on top.”
Robin Hood have had the wood on Royal Hawks in their two encounters this season with a 66-42 win in round six, and a 58-40 victory in round 13.
“I think experience does count,” Rouse said.
“You need to play a patient game and we’ve spoken about just playing our game and playing to what we know our strengths are. You also have to play out the four quarters. You can’t have a lapse.”
Gilchrist said in these games, the little things counted.
“It’s always going to be tight,” Gilchrist explained.
“It will come down to making the most of errors. You need to force errors and them make the most of it.”
Both teams are at full strength for today’s preliminary final, which will start at 2.50pm at the Orange PCYC.