Wasps Netball Vs Celtic Dragons



Wasps weather early Storm

Surrey Storm suffered defeat at the hands of Wasps Netball in the fourth round of the Vitality Netball Superleague.

It was a confident start for the home squad, returning to the Sports Park arena off the back of a momentous win over Team Bath earlier in the week.

With the Tom Reseigh Trophy up for grabs, Surrey Storm’s Sigi Burger was first to start off the scoring for the home side, making way for what was to be a very close quarter.

The was ball moved end to end by both teams, full of pace and intention. Storm placed themselves firmly in the driving seat, really taking the game to the defending Superleague Champions. The first quarter ended all square at 16 points a-piece.

Storm continued to get the ball into the hands of their shooting pair Rhea Dixon and Burger, who made the tough shots look effortless from mid to long range in the circle.

It remained close throughout Q2, with the team down by five at the half (29 – 34) and plenty of positives to take with them.

However, it was the third quarter that saw the momentum shift in Wasps’ favour, as they began to pull away with a decisive lead.

Despite a persistent defensive effort from the starting trio Katie Hughes (c), Lorraine Kowalewska and Shadine Van Der Merwe to keep the ball away from Wasps Rachel Dunn, it was not to be as the visiting team orchestrated to a 10-point lead by the end of Q3.

The final quarter left Surrey Storm with plenty of work to do. Despite some impressive long shots from Laura Morton and relentless defence from Lorraine Kowalewska, it proved too much for the girls in blue and they had to settle for defeat and watch the Tom Reseigh Trophy return to Coventry.

Shadine Van Der Merwe walked away from her first home game for Surrey Storm as Player of the Match as she dominated in her defensive role tonight. Speaking to her after the game she said, “it’s good to be back and wearing the duck-egg blue dress. Thank you to the fans and we’ll be back stronger.”

Rachel Dunn

Wasps’ Rachel Dunn set to hit appearance milestone

Wasps Netball star shooter Rachel Dunn is set to hit a major milestone against London Pulse on Saturday.

Dunn, who is now in the 16th year of her netball career, will take to a Vitality Netball Superleague court for the 200th time this weekend.

She started her career at Team Bath in 2003 and moved to Surrey Storm in 2009, before arriving at Wasps in 2017.

The England goal shooter starred in the first Superleague campaign with Bath in 2006 and won the title that year. She has now won seven titles, including two with Wasps.

Her tally of seven titles is the joint highest – alongside her former teammate Pamela Cookey.

Dunn believes the Superleague has come a long way since it debuted in 2006 and has had a positive impact on the sport in England.

She said: “Time really has flown by. I remember that first Superleague game, it was a brand new structure and built on the county structure and the Super Cup which came before.

“I have the first team sheet from when Bath played Loughborough Lightning. Jade Clarke and Hannah Knights both feature for Loughborough, and now we all play together at Wasps.

“The league just keeps getting stronger. There’s more international players coming in and there’s a lot of quality coming through from our domestic players too.

“Netball is much more in the public eye now and the excitement levels surrounding the sport is incredible.”

Wasps face London Pulse at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday 26 January (7pm centre-pass).

Their last two visits to the Copper Box Arena have ended in silverware, winning the Superleague Grand Final in July and the Fast5 All Stars in October.

It will be the first time Dunn and her team mates have faced Pulse in the Superleague, after the London-based side joined the league in the off-season.

Dunn added: “It’s exciting that Pulse are now in the league and based at the Copper Box Arena. It’s a great venue for netball and we’ve had some good times there with Wasps in the last year.

“I saw some of their games at Super 10 and they are a very exciting team, with top talent in their squad. We’re looking forward to taking them on.

“We’ve got three new goal attacks now with Katie Harris, Tamsin Moala and Chloe Essam joining, and we’re already building great connections.

“I’ve played with Katie before at Storm. She was superb in the first game, people underestimate her, but her timing and ability to take the ball is great.

“We’re aware that other teams are really strong this year, but like every season we are taking it game-by-game and the first goal is to make the top four.”

Wasps Netball’s first fixture of the season at Ricoh Arena will see them take on Saracens Mavericks on Monday 11 February (7pm centre-pass).

Season Memberships are now on sale, and individual tickets for the first six home Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures of the 2019 season are also available.



Wasps Netball looking for back-to-back titles in Lightning Grand Final clash

Wasps Netball star Rachel Dunn says her team’s defence will provide the foundations to defend their league title this weekend.
It will be a re-match of the 2017 Grand Final but unlike last season the black-and-golds come into the clash as the higher seeded team – as Wasps seek back-to-back championships.
Dunn, who starred in the semi-final win against Team Bath, will be playing in her 10th final and is targeting her fourth successive league title.
The veteran attacker, who has enjoyed an 89 per cent shooting percentage this season, believes her team are in the perfect position to defend their title.
“I love the week in the lead up to the Grand Final. It is always a special time and it has been great spending it with this fantastic group,” said Dunn.
“We’ve beaten every team so far this season so we know we can beat anyone. We have put ourselves in the best possible position to defend our title and we are determined to do just that.
“These are the games you play for. We put in all the hard work to finish top of the league and then win our semi-final but we know that anything can happen in the final – as we proved last year.
“We’ve got huge confidence throughout the team and we know our defence will show up when it matters.
“As an attacker, when you know your defensive end is so effective at getting the ball back it gives you great confidence to do your job in attack.”
Lightning came away winners when the teams met at the Ricoh Arena in May but Wasps took victory earlier in the season at Loughborough – leaving the season series level.
Wasps Netball director Tamsin Greenway led her team to 16 wins in the regular season to top the table and finish one place above Lightning.
Greenway – who will be looking to secure her fourth consecutive league title as a coach – is looking forward to the battle between the league’s top two.
“You want to be in this position and be given a chance to defend your title,” she said.
“We have a lot of experience in this squad who know what it takes to win finals, you just have to give it your all.

“It will be good to face Loughborough again, it will be a rematch of last year’s final and we know it will be a real battle.”


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!