Aplin's aim: Life Studio determined to be first into grand final

SUPPORT: Robin Hood wing defence Shannen Downer moves the ball forward against Life Studio three weeks ago. The two sides meet in Saturday's Toyota Cup major semi-final. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0809netball5

SUPPORT: Robin Hood wing defence Shannen Downer moves the ball forward against Life Studio three weeks ago. The two sides meet in Saturday's Toyota Cup major semi-final. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0809netball5

AHEAD of Saturday’s opening week of Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup play-offs, Life Studio gun Mardi Aplin said her side is desperate to win a blockbuster major semi-final against Robin Hood Orange Glass.

With little love lost between the two sides - Life Studio, formerly Westoil, has been beaten by Robin Hood in the last five grand finals - a cagey Aplin refused to go into detail about her side’s strategies for victory.

“If I give it away then Robin Hood will know,” she laughed.

“We have been trying to implement a few things over the back end of the season, to try and develop as netball does.

“It’s been working, so we need to keep that going and play to our strengths while attempting to exploit our opposition’s weaknesses.”

Despite sickness plaguing her side in recent weeks, Robin Hood coach Cindy Gilchrist said having won six consecutive titles her side has earned the right to confidence.

“I think we have, we’re hoping our finals experience will get us over the line,” she said.

“The flu has gone through everyone in our team over the past few weeks, but I’m pretty sure everyone will be at full capacity.”

With Robin Hood’s potent inside circle pairing of Erin Johnstone and Sinead Davis, Gilchrist said Life Studio will no doubt be focused on minimising the pair’s impact on the game.

“Defence will be crucial for Life Studio, but we won’t focus too much on what they’re doing,” she said.

“I’d like to think semi-final netball is when we really start turning it on. We’ll be playing our game.”

The winner of the clash will claim the first place in the grand final in two week’s time, while the loser will play the winner of Saturday’s minor semi-final between OHS High A and Royal Hawks.

The two sides met just last week with Hawks scoring a crucial eight-goal win, securing fourth place and all the momentum.

The minor semi-final kicks off at 1pm on Saturday, with the major semi-final starting at 4pm, both at Orange PCYC.

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