Hawks not buying into Lions’ mind games in ‘really positive’ decider lead-up

TWO BLUES' TIME: Hawks Royal have had a positive lead-up, and are all set to avenge last year's grand final loss in Saturday's 2017 decider. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

TWO BLUES' TIME: Hawks Royal have had a positive lead-up, and are all set to avenge last year's grand final loss in Saturday's 2017 decider. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

Mind games.

That’s how Hawks Royal player-coach Amanda Hurford jovially described this week’s suggestion that her side heads into the Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup grand final as favourites.

Even though her side defeated Orange City in the major semi-final a fortnight ago Hurford said the two blues still consider themselves underdogs, despite Lions mentor Cindy Gilchrist handing them favouritism.

“I think Cindy is definitely trying to play a few mind games with us,” Hurford laughed.

“Orange City have been an outstanding cast for a long period of time so I still definitely consider us to be the underdogs, I think we’re happy to go in with that approach too.”

Hawks will be at full-strength in Saturday’s decider and looking to build on their performance from the major semi-final a fortnight ago, in which they handed the Lions their first defeat of the season.

“We were really happy with the way we played against City [in the major semi-final] but we’re going to have bring that and more on Saturday if we’re going to get there,” Hurford said.

“The biggest thing we took from the major semi-final is that we all did our jobs, and that made it a lot easier to get the job done as a team.

“We need to build on that major semi-final performance, continue to trust each other at both ends of the court and use the momentum we have from it.”

Hurford said her side’s lead-up to the big dance, which included having last weekend off, has been “really positive”.

With a somewhat new side, she said the two blues have made a point of enjoying grand final week too.

Of the 12 named in Hawks’ squad for the grand final, there’s four who didn’t play in last year’s biggest game.

“We’re all super excited, everyone’s enjoyed the experience so far and I’m sure we’ll enjoy Saturday’s game too,” Hurford said.

“We’ve had a few great training sessions over the last two weeks and done a lot of team bonding stuff, so I think we’re ready to go. We’re very positive.”

Saturday’s decider kicks off at 3.15pm, on Sir Neville Howse Stadium’s show court.

  • HAWKS ROYAL: Amanda Hurford, Kirstin McIntyre, Alice Maier, Amanda Jones, Gabrielle Simmons, Tash Rudd, Erin Naden, Elise Woods, Annalise Maier, Taylah Duncan, Danielle Turner, Kellie Watson. Coach: Amanda Hurford, Marion Rouse
  • ORANGE CITY LIONS: Sarah Thorley, Tegan Dray, Kristy Sullivan, Erin Johnstone, Kristin Zinga, Caitlyn Harvey, Sammie Spicer, Lauren Williams, Cheynoah Merchant, Milly Wilcox. Coach: Cindy Gilchrist
Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop