REIGNING premier Sandhurst is champing at the bit for Sunday’s second semi-final encounter against Gisborne.
Sunday’s 3.20pm clash will not only be the Dragons’ first this final series, but their first since mid-August following a round 18 bye to end the minor season.
It’s little surprise Sandhurst joint coach Heather Oliver said her side was raring to go.
“There’s a bit of uncertainty as we haven’t played Gisborne at full strength and they haven’t played us at full strength either,” she said.
“We know Gisborne are tough and pretty physical, we’ll need to match that and play to our strengths.”
A couple of good weeks on the training track for Sandhurst was capped by a session with newly-retired Suncorp Super Netball star Bec Bulley on Thursday night.
With a grand final spot up for grabs for the winner, Dual Betty Thompson medallist Oliver is convinced the reigning premiers are prepared for battle.
“I think our preparation has been great and the girls are fully focused and just itching to play,” Oliver said.
“Our VNL girls (Meg Williams and Imogen Sexton) have had a week to recover from their grand finals, so it will be great going in with a fresh group.
“Our game doesn’t change regardless of who we play; as much as we respect Gisborne we have to focus on our game.”
Gisborne is the only team to beat Sandhurst this season, albeit with plenty of personnel missing from both sides. The margin in that game was just three goals.
Meanwhile, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat clash in Saturday’s first semi-final at the QEO, with the loser to bow out of the finals race.
The Hawks will look to rebound from a 10 goal loss to Gisborne last weekend, while the Roos, who are yet to beat the Hawks this season, will enter the game on a high following an impressive 20 goal win against Golden Square in last Saturday’s elimination final.