The West Coast Fever were blown out of the water in their season opener in Sydney last week, but are get back on track for a win in Perth tomorrow. Facing a New Zealand team in Northern Mystics for the first time this season, Fever is a team that many have tipped to play finals netball after showing significant improvement last season.
â€œIt has been a really productive week at training. Theyâ€™ve had the intensity and are looking forward to stepping up against Mystics,â€ said Fever coach Norma Plummer.
â€œMystics are in a building phase with the loss of three senior players there is still a lot of experience in that team and the Cathrine Latu and Maria Tutaia combination is fairly renowned as one being one of the bestÂ shooting pairs in the competition so we have to be prepared to cut that down.”
â€œIn saying that I think we can match up anywhere all over the court and we are looking forward to that.â€
Rivalry of another kind will take place tomorrow, with former New Zealand Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken facing off against her former Australian Diamond counterpart Plummer. Both coaches faced off against each other numerous times in netballâ€™s biggest international rivalry between the Silver Ferns and Diamonds. Tomorrowâ€™s game makes it the first time that Plummer and Aitken have faced each other in anything but an international game.
â€œRuth started coaching the New Zealand national team a few years before I started with the Australian team,â€ said Plummer.
â€œOur rivalry goes back a while and we went neck and neck over the duration.”
â€œWe had a great rivalry as national team coaches but now we are both in the position where we have younger players and you really find yourself coaching every aspect of the game not just the tactical side. These players need to learn the game so our roles are different these days.â€
Defenders Andrea Gilmore (ankle) and Courtney Bruce (foot) will both miss tomorrowâ€™s game with injury.
Fox Sports will show live coverage from Perthâ€™s Challenge Stadium from 2pm (AEST) and Kiwis can see it from 4pm on Sky Sport.