Canberra coach Tara Steel looks to ‘get one back’ against rival Arawang

15/01/2019 // by admin

Canberra coach Tara Steel insists the team is ”not putting too much weight” on a win over arch rival Arawang on Friday night.
Nanjing Night Net

But she admitted their recent grand final history and a chance to ”get one back” for the loss in last year’s decider will spur her side on.

The top two sides in the ACT State League will do battle on Friday, with the victor taking a giant step towards the minor premiership.

They have clashed in the past three grand finals, with Canberra victorious in 2011 and 2012 before Arawang turned the tables last year.

Having initially billed this season as a rebuilding year, Steel said her side was relishing turning from the hunted to the hunter.

“Every game we go out in we treat with the same level of respect and intensity, [but] the history between the two teams does add that extra bit of motivation,” she said.

“Definitely, coming off the grand final loss last year, we’re still looking to get that one back. When we played them earlier this year [45-35 loss] we were fairly depleted.

“I’m not putting too much weight on the game in regards to the outcome, but it gives us a good indication of where we’re at.”

Canberra boasts the best attacking record in the competition, but Arawang is the defensive benchmark, led by Melina Saunders and Nat Jones.

Arawang coach Kim Symons admitted it would be a handy psychological blow if it was to beat Canberra for the second time this season before finals begin in a fortnight.

“I’d love to be able to walk into the finals with two wins to nothing against them – we’ll be going in with guns blazing,” Symons said.

“Last year Canberra had that advantage over us and come finals time we turned it around. It’s an advantage but you don’t rest on that.”

In other matches Belconnen and South Canberra will continue their dogfight for the fourth and final playoff spot, against Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong respectively.

All matches begin at 9pm at the Netball ACT Centre in Lyneham.

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