On Tuesday April 16th both our men’s and women’s squads flew out to Sydney for a jam packed 6 games in 6 days for each team. It was always going to be tough playing so many games in such a short time, with both teams also missing key personnel in Mariner Joel Swift, and Marlins pair Glencora McGhie and Kelly Parks. However, we were up for the challenge.
The Marlins came away with 2 wins from 6 games, but showed serious fight in their losses and were never blown out of the water. Coach Katie Finucane had this to say:
“Although the Sydney road is always a difficult trip with 6 games in 6 days I believe that it has given the team an important lead in to the finals this week. We lost some games in Sydney that we probably shouldn’t have, but also learnt some valuable lessons and had the chance to practice some of our tactics for finals. We were missing a number of senior players in Sydney but I was happy to see the other senior members step up to the role, in particular our captain Erin Redbond who lead by example going hard in every game.
There are some really strong teams in the finals series, particularly with the top 4 teams all having close games against each other throughout the season, but I am looking forward to the weekend and I think that the team is in a great mind set with everyone hungry to bring home gold.”
The Mariners came away with 1 win from 6 games, which included two 1 goal losses. Mariners coach Laurie Trettel had this to say:
“From the point of view of results the Sydney trip was quite disappointing as we were realistically aiming for 3-4 wins. We were clearly missing the contribution of captain Joel Swift who was unavailable to travel during the Easter Week. Joel had been a standout player for us during our recent run of games leading into the trip and his leadership both in and out of the water was missed.
What was encouraging is that we fought hard against 2 of the finals contenders in Drummoyne and Sydney Uni and matched them for long periods of the games, but we had a few lapses due to simple errors and tiredness given we had to play 6 games in 6 days.
Improving our defence will be a key focus leading into finals and if we are able to do this we are confident we have what it takes to win the title. The first up elimination game against Queensland Thunder will be tough with the inclusions of Rhys Howden and Billy Miller, however we are confident that if we play to our strengths we should be able to come away with the win and face off with UNSW Wests Magpies in the Semi Final.”
The trip was a great bonding experience for all players involved and there is no doubt the team camaraderie has strengthened ahead of finals. See pictures from the trip below: