The Queensland Fusion is on a six game winning streak after taking out both games in Canberra on the weekend in the Australian Netball League (ANL).
After convincingly defeating NSW Blues 64-53 and the Tassie Spirit 69-58, the Fusion has secured a stranglehold on second place with one loss, behind the undefeated Victorian Fury.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing however for the maroons, forced to work hard for the win against the Spirit.
The Tasmanians led by three at quarter-time and only a goal separated the two sides at the main break before the Fusion showed the spirit exactly that, forging ahead in the third quarter and continuing to take the match.
Now heading into round 6 with a bye before facing both Victorian teams in the final run of the season, Fusion coach Kylee Byrne praised the poise and focus of her team.
“Both the NSW Blues and Tassie Spirit were tough opponents especially coming off the back of the triple-header,” Byrne said.
“The two wins gets us that bit closer to the final, which of course is our goal,” Byrne said.
Byrne complimented her young team on its performance in Canberra with each athlete making the most of any opportunities and her job in the selection process, harder.
“Players like Gretel Tippett, Ameliaranne Wells and Maddie Walsh are building with each game and produced some great netball over the weekend,” Byrne said.
“There have been many sleepless nights trying not only to work out who takes the court but cutting this squad from fifteen to twelve each week is very hard.”
Most of the Fusion squad head back to their respective Queensland Champions Cup (QCC) teams to hit the floor for finals this weekend and Byrne said it is a great opportunity for her to see who is ready for finals netball heading into the business end of the ANL season.
“I will be looking at who can step up under pressure in the QCC and play consistently across all four quarters,” Byrne said.
In what could be a finals showdown in the last round of the season and possibly a chance for the Fusion to finish top of the table, Byrne said she is confident her team can overcome the powerhouse Victorian teams.
“We’ve got two weeks to further build for our important matches against the Victorian teams, I am confident the best is yet to come with this Queensland team,” Byrne said.
QLD Fusion (69) defeated Tassie Spirit (58)
Fusion shooting stats:
Gretel Tippett 52/64 (82%)
Stephanie Wood 8/8 (100%)
Ameliaranne Wells 7/7 (100%)
Beryl Friday 2/3 (67%)
QLD Fusion (64) defeated Netball NSW Blues (53)
Fusion shooting stats:
Gretel Tippett 49/60 (82%)
Ameliaranne Wells 8/11 (73%)
Stephanie Wood 7/12 (59%)