Stand up and be counted: Hurford urging all her troops to make a difference | Poll

CENTRE STAGE: Tash Rudd's influence in Hawks' middle third will play a big role in Saturday's grand final. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
CENTRE STAGE: Tash Rudd's influence in Hawks' middle third will play a big role in Saturday's grand final. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

Hawks Royal player-coach Amanda Hurford says she won’t be looking to any specific players to stand up and make a difference in Saturday’s Orange Netball Association Toyota Cup grand final against Orange City.

She wants all her troops to do that.

Although she did say centre-court star Tash Rudd has been outstanding in her first season with the club, Hurford explained the reason the two blues bested Orange City in the major semi-final was because they worked so well as a unit.

Rudd will have a big job though, squaring off with Orange City centre Tegan Dray.

“That’s the most important thing for us, working together on the day,” she said.

“Tash has been outstanding for us this year, she’s really worked that mid-court well for us but we probably don’t really have too many key players as such, it’s more about each of our units working together – defence, mid-court and then in attack.”

Although all of Orange City’s thirds are formidable, in the Lions’ preliminary final victory over Vipers last week their defensive end was phenomenal – Sammie Spicer in particular.

As a result Hawks’ attacking end needs to be on, in a big way, Hurford said.

“Orange City stepped up a lot on Saturday (compared to the major semi-final), they were absolutely outstanding,” she explained.

“We need to be ready for that this weekend, they were great defensively so we’ll have to make sure we’re working hard in that attacking end to have plenty of options available.”

Although there has been some player turnover from last year’s grand final side, the fact eight of her 12-strong squad tasted that defeat puts the side in good stead.

“The experience of last year’s grand final will definitely help us,” Hurford said.

“Even this year too, we’ve had so many close encounters where we’ve had to dig in and keep going right to the end to get the win.”

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