Marlin Coast Marlins will put their finals hopes on the line and Capricorn Claws will look to close in on top spot in a big weekend of Samsung QSNL Country action.
The Marlins have impressed through the opening six rounds of the season, but several tight losses have left them 3-3 and in need of two big wins this weekend to stay in touch with the front runners.
Captain Jacqueline Dupuy said her side would not rest on their laurels and would push hard to qualify for finals.
“After a year out of the competition, we knew we were going to be a bit of an underdog but we’ve shown the other sides what we can achieve,” Dupuy said.
“The last weekend we played in Townsville we had two strong games and from my perspective when we play to the best of our ability it shows in the score line. We just need to put out those performances for the full four quarters.
“We really need to beat the Claws this weekend. It’s do or die – we don’t want to rely on other results going our way at the end of the season.
“We’ve had amazing support from our region this year – Cairns netball is behind us and major sponsors have been on board since pre-season. For us to make finals would be a fitting testament to all of those who have backed us this year. It’s a big motivator for us.”
Capricorn Claws will face their first triple header test of the year as they continue to make up ground on their rivals following an opening weekend upset loss to Magnetic North Steelcats.
Vice-captain Courtney Wheeler said her side were refreshed after the break and were focused on taking back top spot.
“We’ve had time to go back to the drawing board and make sure we’re ready for a massive weekend ahead,” Wheeler said.
“The early loss was good for us. We were a bit complacent after our success last year. It gave us a chance to refocus and with a new team, identify our vision and goals as a group.
“If we keep building on what we have, we can definitely go the distance this year. We can’t wait to play the Marlins this weekend. The competition is stronger than ever which will mean we’ll be ready to take on those city teams at finals time.”
Round 8, 29 April 2017, Mackay Basketball Stadium, Mackay
11am: Sharks v Claws
1pm: Steelcats v Thundercats
Round 9, 29 April 2017, Mackay Basketball Stadium, Mackay
5pm: Claws v Marlins
7pm: Sharks v Thundercats
Round 10, 30 April 2017, Mackay Basketball Stadium, Mackay
9.30am: Claws v Steelcats
11am: Sharks v Marlins