Samsung QSNL returns this weekend at the State Netball Centre, with Golden South Jaguars and Suncoast Lynx set to battle it out in a potentially season-defining scrap for a finals berth.
The Lynx currently occupy fourth position – leading the Jags by one point – at the halfway point of the season and a win would give them clear breathing space in the run-in.
On the flipside, the Jaguars feel a title push is on the cards after overcoming a tough start to the season to post a big 54-34 win over Brisbane South Wildcats last game out.
Golden South centre Kristen Oxenford said her side were much more settled heading into round six.
“To get a win will put us where we want to be. Our coach Linda has told us this is do or die and we’ve been preparing to get a big win,” Oxenford said.
“We’re a team that always grows throughout the season and I feel like we’re hitting our straps. Last round we played really well and we’ll take all the positives from that into the rest of the season.
“We had a lot of injuries, a lot of sickness and a lot of people missing games early on. It was inconsistent in the first few weeks with our squad of 10. With everyone back on board it will make a big difference heading into the rest of the season.
“Personally, I feel like I’m playing the best netball I’ve ever played. All my training with the Firebirds is paying off.”
Suncoast Lynx coach Simone Nalatu will return to the QSNL coaching hot seat this weekend after leading Queensland 17/U to a bronze medal at last week’s National Netball Championships.
The former Firebird said the competition break had refreshed her side and given them the chance to refine some key points in their game.
“It’s an important game for us. The two weeks’ break has been good for us and came at the right time,” Nalatu said.
“The win is really important to us both from a ladder point of view and a confidence point of view. If we want to be in this top four we need to make sure we’re doing everything right and a win this weekend would be a big step in the right direction.
“Our attack end has really been building and we’re hoping they can give us a good return coming into the second half of the season. It’s now or never for us and we’ll definitely be seeking improvements across that line.
“The return of Vanessa Augustini back into the group after her Queensland Fusion commitments has been great. Both on-court and off-court she brings such a positive vibe. She’ll lead the way for us.”
Round 6, 29 April 2017, State Netball Centre, Upper Mount Gravatt
5pm: Cougars v Wildcats
5pm: Jaguars v Lynx
5pm: Tigers v Lions