Watson off to winning start

VICTORIA made a strong start to its campaign at the national 21-and-under netball championships in Adelaide this week, winning its first two matches.

Co-captained by Sandhurst defender Chloe Watson, the Vics opened the tournament with a comfortable 51-37 victory over Queensland on Tuesday afternoon.  

They led by just one goal at the main break, built some ascendency in the third quarter and blew the game apart in the final term.

Watson was solid in the important role of goal defender throughout.

On Wednesday, she was again strong in the back court as her side held off a determined New South Wales in an exciting match that went down to the wire, with the final score 37-36.

Victorian coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said before the carnival her squad would be underdogs against the likes of defending champions South Australia and traditional rivals NSW.

There are no returning players from last year's 21-and-under national titles in the team, with Kate Moloney, Liz Watson and Jo Weston all unavailable because of Melbourne Vixens commitments. 

But Keppich-Birrell was confident the players would use their trademark traits of positive intimidation, relentlessness and team unity to help them succeed.

Victoria was last night due to face host state SA, who earlier beat Western Australia by 18 and scored a whopping 52-goal victory over the ACT. 

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