Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, believes her team matches up well against Wasps Netball, as the sides face each other in the Midlands derby this weekend.
Stars come off the back of a tough loss at home on Monday night against second placed Saracens Mavericks, but are looking to bounce back against the Coventry-based league leaders, when they play at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 10th March, at 4pm.
“I actually think we match up quite nicely to Wasps,” said Bird. “I think they play quite a lateral game, they don’t have that aerial capacity that Mavericks have at the back, so I’m looking forward to playing them. We know they are strong through the court, but I think we match up well player for player, particularly at the ends of the court.
“We also play them at a time when they have had a busy week, with their third match in a week, so we have to try and take every advantage against them when we play them on Sunday.”
She also praised her players’ reaction to the Mavericks defeat.
“The players bounced back into training Tuesday morning and I’m so impressed with their desire to learn and improve,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to see the commitment to the Club by this squad and I’m convinced that their hard work and attitude will lead to better performances in the coming weeks.”
Bird was left disappointed by Stars’ performance at the University of Worcester Arena, falling to a 64-46 loss to Mavericks. She highlighted in particular the first quarter of the match when the team had been level but then let the opposition score several goals in a row, leading to a seven goal deficit after the first 15 minutes. She put this down to a lack of concentration and said her team needed to play well for longer periods in the game
“It wasn’t good enough really and we have to look long and hard at that,” she said. “When you have a new team, and it’s another new combination this year, it’s just giving them the belief to trust each other when they play.”
However, Bird was pleased with the way her team, which is a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire, had defended against Mavericks’ attacking line-up and is hoping for more of the same against Wasps.
She said: “That’s a Roses attack, and that’s a really strong attack, so I was really pleased with how our defence shut them down on occasions and did win the ball so there’s lots to be positive about there.”
Photo credit: clivejonesjonespr.com