IT’S the oldest rivalry in the Orange Netball Association division one competition.
But when four-time defending premiers Robin Hood and the side they’ve beaten in the last three grand finals, Westoil, go head-to-head today at Anzac Park, there will be a number of new faces leading the charge for both sides.
Leighanne Ward, Em Callaway (formerly Keegan) and Karena Stowers (formerly Slattery) will take the court for Westoil today.
“They’re all Westoilies. I’d like to say they bring youth to the team but I think I’ll go with experience,” Aplin laughed.
“It’s good they’re back because we only have six (players).”
For Robin Hood, Leigh Florence is back.
Teigan Colley will play for the defending champs again in 2012, but will miss today’s round one clash.
Of last year’s side that won the ONA division one title, Sophie Beer is taking a year off to recover from injury while Amanda Rouse and Kellie Watson have both moved across to new club Hawks.
Robin Hood captain Tegan Dray was looking forward to the clash with Westoil.
“It will be tough but I wouldn’t say our team has changed too much,” Dray said.
“It’s only our first hit-out. We’re missing a few players and Mardi said they’re missing a few of their players. It’s nearly a practice match. You won’t really know how either side is going until both sides are at full strength.”
But despite both being understrength, Aplin was adamant it would still be a hard fought contest.
“It’s always a tough match against them no matter when you play them,” Aplin said.
“They’ve got a new shooter. Colley is back, so they’ve got some massive height in the circle but they may have lost some agility with Kellie going to Hawks. But they’ve gained as good as they’ve lost. And us, we haven’t lost anyone. “Fingers crossed every time you play this year it’s an even contest.”
In other division one matches, Hawks play KWS Kellys, CYMS Gladiators take on High A and CYMS Sheeradiance face off against Hawks Zoom Zoom.