Aplin's Darters need consistency after slow start to ANL campaign

GAME ON: Mardi Aplin, pictured during the 2013 season, will be back on deck with the Canberra Darters this weekend in the Australian Netball League. 			             Photo: NETBALL ACT

GAME ON: Mardi Aplin, pictured during the 2013 season, will be back on deck with the Canberra Darters this weekend in the Australian Netball League. Photo: NETBALL ACT

MARDI Aplin and her Canberra Darters will search for consistency after suffering back-to-back losses in the Australian Netball League’s opening round in Tasmania over the weekend.

After an encouraging 2014 pre-season, Orange’s Aplin said the Darters headed into the weekend’s games confident, but lost out to the Tassie Spirit and Queensland Fusion.

Playing their first game on Saturday night the Darters went down 53-28 to the Spirit, before being forced to back up on Sunday despite not leaving the court until after 10pm the previous night.

As a result, the Darters lost 67-41 to the Fusion, but Darters coach Melinda Clarke refused to blame the scheduling for the loss.

“We showed in patches what we could do, especially in the game against Tasmania,’’ Clarke said.

“It’s just about being consistent over all four quarters and being able to make the right decisions under pressure.

“We were guilty of some simple errors, but there’s a lot of good things to take into next week.’’

Aplin labelled the second performance “tired”, and chose to focus on the positives from the weekend.

“It was a short turn around, but there was plenty of good stuff to come from the games,” she said.

“We only lost the second half against the Fusion by one goal, and they are a very good side. They’ll be right up there this season.

“We have plenty to improve on, and hopefully we can do that against New South (Wales) this weekend.”

Despite the losses Aplin performed well individually, netting seven goals against the Spirit and eight against the Fusion, shooting at around 80 per cent.

The Darters travel to Sydney this weekend to take on NSW Waratahs on Saturday, and NSW Blues on Sunday at Anne Clark Netball Centre.

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