NORTH Warrnambool Eagles coach Sharon Kenna is approaching Saturday’s match with surprise packet Cobden as a danger game, despite the reigning premiers producing their most complete performance of the season so far.
Kenna was delighted with her side’s 36-goal victory over Warrnambool at Reid Oval.
It came without star midcourter Sophie Barr and allowed Kenna to expose two teenagers to A grade competition.
“I think it is the first time the girls played a really solid four quarters and actually played a really good game,” she said after the 59-23 win extended their unbeaten run.
“We haven’t been starting that great and I thought we started a little better. We’ve been wasting a lot of balls, throwing a lot away. This time we slowly built and once we got going they played really well.”
Kenna said the Eagles took plenty of positives out of the game, including the return to form and fitness of wing defence Indi Morrison, who has battled to shake a persistent ankle injury sustained in the lead-up to round one.
“It was the best game I’ve seen Maddie Smedts play,” Kenna said. “We played better and better and we applied that really hard defensive pressure.”
Captain Laura Blackburn was dominant in the goal circle with 36 goals and young Kate O’Meara was good at wing attack for the first three quarters before being subbed out for another 17 and under player, Bree Reichman, to make her A grade debut.
Kenna said the Eagles had to use the game as a stepping stone to Saturday’s clash with Cobden. “I felt the girls got their act together and started playing better netball, more solid netball.”
It was a vastly-different story for Warrnambool, which is winless after three matches. Coach Chloe Arnott and goal attack Erin Maxwell were both unavailable and assistant coach Kasey Owen sent a scare through both teams when she was forced to leave the court in the second half through illness.
Owen, who went into the game battling a virus, received a knock and was struggling to breathe, before being forced from the court.
The star defender said she later fainted at home and spent time at hospital on Saturday night. She was feeling better yesterday.
Owen said the Blues were pleased with their game start.
“I was really happy with our first quarter. We gave them a good fight,” she said.
“But then we lost the intensity we had and it was hard when the score blew out.”