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Sirens soar past Northumbria

Team Northumbria can kick-start their season in front of the TV cameras and prove the critics wrong against Manchester Thunder next Monday.

That’s the verdict of Wales international Georgia Rowe after the Sport Central club slipped to a fourth straight loss in front of a typically partisan home crowd.

TN have seven days to recover from a 64-46 defeat to Sirens and prepare for what already looks like a season-defining fixture live on Sky Sports.

And Rowe admitted: “We owe our fans. The support at Sport Central is second to none and the people who come out and watch us every week are massively important.

“They’ve stuck with us through a tough start to the season and it’s time we repaid that backing.

“We need to give them more to shout about. We need to beat Manchester for the fans.”

Rowe was introduced after the break as playcaller Te Aroha Keenan sought to shake things up and eat into Sirens’ 35-18 lead.

The hosts had struggled to get out of the starting blocks during a disjointed first quarter and trailed by six heading into period two.

Star shooter Chiara Semple always looked capable of keeping TN in touch but once again service into the circle was inconsistent and lacking focus.

Rowe added height to the home side’s offence and allowed Tamsin Moala to switch to wing attack and Brie Grierson to slot in at centre.

And although Keenan’s side suddenly looked more fluid in attack, Sirens still found plenty of space through centre court to put the TN defence under pressure.

“We didn’t really stick to the game plan in the first quarter and we were on the back foot from the start,” added Rowe.

“We lacked composure and allowed Sirens to play to their strengths. We knew they were a rangy and physical outfit at both ends of the court but we didn’t put any pressure on them.

“On a positive note we kept going until the end and this team won’t ever give up. We’re tight knit on and off the court and we just need to stay focused.”

The absence of injured skipper Katarina Cooper continues to cause concern with TN in desperate need of a strong centre court presence.

But Rowe added: “We can’t dwell on what’s happened to Kati. Everyone was bitterly disappointed when her results came through as she has been such a positive influence on and off the court.

“She continues to be hugely supportive and she will help us find a way of dealing with the situation and pushing on.

“I really believe we can beat Manchester. We go into that game believing we can win and I’m confident we will.”

Latest news and ticket information for Team Northumbria can be found on their official website.