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Wasps’ Greenway: “We want to be even better and we know we can be”

Wasps Netball director Tamsin Greenway has challenged her team to keep seeking improvement ahead of their final outing before the play-offs.

The table-toppers have already secured a place in the Vitality Netball Superleague semi-finals ahead of the match in Newcastle on Saturday 23 June (6pm centre-pass).

Wasps are currently enjoying a three-match winning run, including a last-time-out nail-biting victory against benecosMavericks in their final game at the Ricoh Arena this season.

Greenway, who has seen increased playing time on court recently, says her team are now striving to be at their best for the semi-finals.

“We came away as winners against Mavericks on Monday but the players were still unhappy with their performance. We want to be even better and we know we can be,” said Greenway.

“This season we have taken building early leads for granted and at times slipped in the middle of games. That just can’t happen. We have to show the mental capacity to push on.

“I’ve got to be happy with the situation we are in right now. We’ve only got one game left to play and we’re sitting comfortably at the top of the league.

“But there is no complacency from us. At the end of the day it’s about how you perform when it really matters.”

Team Northumbria come into the game following a 63-33 defeat to Severn Stars and are currently ninth in the division.

Wasps beat the Newcastle-based side 74-38 at the Ricoh Arena earlier this season and Greenway is looking for another impressive performance in the reverse fixture.

“It was the resilience in the team that impressed me last time out. We showed just how good we can be and we want to show that again when we take on Team Northumbria,” added Greenway.

“We have a very deep squad and that will benefit us at this stage of the season, as we have a lot of different combinations and changes we can make.

“Our young stars have been exceptional this season but our experienced players will be vital now. Everything is magnified and experience will count for everything when we hit the semi-finals.”

Wasps’ semi-final will take place at the University of Worcester Arena on June 30.

Wasps have teamed up with coach partner Zeelo to prove a return park and ride service to Worcester for £15 per person, to find out more visit www.zeelo.co/rides/wasps

For updates on tickets for the semi-final call the ticket office on 02476 786 411 or go to https://bit.ly/2loys8N

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!

Lindsey Dowthwaite Photography

Stars set sights on fifth consecutive home win

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, is hoping her team can make it five wins in a row at home in their last game of the season.

Stars’ recent positive form has seen them win four home games in a row, including the largest winning margin in the club’s history last weekend against Team Northumbria.

Now Bird is keen to see a fifth against Celtic Dragons at the University of Worcester Arena on Monday (June 25, 7.30pm), to close out the season on a positive note for their fans.

“We are really keen to obviously give our fans a great performance in our last home game,” she said. “We love playing at home. We like to be able to prepare and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s really important that we go out and perform how we can to just round everything up. It’s the last chance for the players to play this season and will be an emotional day for me as I’m so proud of how far the squad has come.

“Our fans have been fantastic this season, sticking with the team despite some tough losses earlier in the campaign, and it is great that we have been able to repay their loyalty and enthusiasm with some winning performances as the season draws to a close.”

Last Saturday (June 16) saw the team defeat Team Northumbria by 30 goals, 63-33.  Bird said she believed such a result showed the team’s progress over the course of the season.

“For us we could do with a couple more fixtures really and I think we’d be up there challenging,” she said. “Not even teams at the top are necessarily winning by these massive margins. It shows where we want to be and how to push on for next year.”

Bird added that, despite their winning form, Stars were prepared for a tough test against Welsh side Dragons.

“Dragons are a competitive and physical team,” she said. “They are truly passionate and are always a determined and challenging team to compete with.”

Image credit: Lindsey Dowthwaite Photography

seven-stars-vs-sirens-credit-razorlight-imagery

Stars looking to end season on a high

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, says she wants her team to end the season on a high with their final three back-to-back home games and show their fans how much they have progressed as a side.

Stars face UWS Sirens, a team they defeated away from home 66-46 earlier in the season, at the University of Worcester Arena, on Monday (June 11) in the first of the three home fixtures to close out their Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.

Bird said this end to the season was a chance to consolidate Stars’ position in the table and said the crowd would play their part in bringing about results.

“I want the team to put out some very good performances up to the end of the season,” she said.

“It’s lovely to have three back-to-back games at home. We have obviously been on the road a lot so it’s nice to get to play at our Arena and have our home crowd and really make it a difficult place for the opposition to come.”

She said it was important to strengthen Stars’ position in the table towards the end of the campaign.

“We have been playing so well so we expect to challenge in every match,” she said. “We’re very positive going into the remaining three games. They’re all at home so it will be great to have a home crowd and we’re looking to showing everyone how much we’ve improved. 

“It’s fair to say Sirens have improved as well since we last played them.  We won’t be underestimating them; they have put in a couple of good performances recently as well, but we’re looking forward to playing them at home.”

Stars’ Captain, Laura Malcolm, added: “We want to finish as high as we can on the table so we want to make sure we secure every win that we can and control what’s in our control.

“Sirens will be another tough game, both teams want to get points on the board so I think it will be very competitive, but we’re up for the challenge.”

For tickets to the match against UWS Sirens visit www.severnstars.co.uk.

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!

Photo credit: Razorlight Imagery

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Wasps Netball looking to draw on their experience

Wasps Netball veteran star Rachel Dunn says the team will draw on their experience as they aim to return to winning ways.

The table-toppers will look to bounce back from back-to-back Vitality Netball Superleague defeats with a win against Celtic Dragons on Saturday, June 9, in Cardiff (4pm centre-pass).

Dunn has been ever-present this year alongside George Fisher in attack – but goals have been harder to come by in the last two fixtures, with Wasps scoring nearly 20 below their season average.

The 35-year-old – who made her league debut in 2003 – has won three successive Superleague titles and knows the importance of closing the regular season with winning momentum.

“We haven’t been scoring enough goals. It’s important we remember what we did well at the start of the season and get the momentum back,” she said.

“You don’t suddenly become a bad team overnight. We don’t need to revolutionise everything. Focusing on fixing the small things can make a big difference.

“We’re not happy with how we have performed in these last two games but hopefully it is just a blip.

“We’re not doing the basics well enough. The two losses have been learning games and we need to put things right.

“Our experience will really help now. We’ve got a lot of players who have won leagues before and hopefully we can draw on our experience to put in the performances we need to get back on track.”

Wasps are locked at the top of the Superleague with Loughborough Lightning, with one game in hand over their Midlands-rivals.

Their hosts are bottom of the table and were soundly beat at the Ricoh Arena earlier this season 74-32 – but Dunn says Dragons shouldn’t be underestimated.

“You can’t underestimate any team and there have been plenty of shocks this season,” she added.

“Dragons might not be sitting near the top of the table but it will still be a challenge. We’ve got to go out there and perform.

“There aren’t many teams in any sport that can go unbeaten for a whole season, you have to put it in perspective.

“The way we started the season shows the talent we have in this group but netball is not about individuals it is how you work together as a team.

“We have a few tough games coming up but that’s what you want. You want to be tested and that’s what we need to be at the top of our game and peak at the right time.”

Wasps’ next home fixture sees them face benecosMavericks on Monday, June 18 (7.00pm centre-pass) and tickets are available for www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets

The race to reach the Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final is heating up – don’t miss out on the season-ending spectacular and get your tickets now!