Victorian Netball League: Grand Final Preview

AFTER a stellar performance against City West Falcons, the Casey Demons earnt a spot in the grand final against Geelong Cougars. The Cougars secured their spot in the semi-final with a strong performance against the Falcons. Both teams have hit their stride at the right time with the Demons hoping to claim their first premiership in their short history while Geelong will be wanting to capitalise on their opportunity on the big stage.

Casey has taken the competition by storm, surging its way into the grand final with a couple of convincing performances. The Demons have gone from strength to strength and are relishing the opportunity with Emma Ryde and Erin Bell at the post. Both shooters have shown that they have plenty of class and can post a handy total if they can get hands to ball. They are not short of star power through the midcourt with Shannon Blackman and Kassidy Withers crucial through the centre third with their attacking play. Both midcourt players are renowned for their ability to hit the circle edge hard and claim prime position at the top of the circle. Meanwhile the partnership between Demi Woodlock and Karli Foster has steadily developed throughout the season with both defenders able to pick off any errant passes and cause confusion making for an intriguing battle between the Cougars shooters. Out in wing defence, Christie Hillberg and Zali Mifsud have showcased their skill to take their opponent out of their game with their clever footwork and hands over pressure.

The Cougars ooze class, composure and skill to grind out games and work their way through traffic to capitalise under the post. They have a plethora shooters with Ruby Horton, Julia Woolley and Bridgette Furphy all viable options under the post credit to their accuracy to post and silky movement. All three combine effortlessly and pose a dominant threat while the work of Vanessa Augustini out the front allows them to get first access to ball. Emily Post is a real playmaker for Geelong in the attacking third with her quick ball movement and vision into the circle hard to stop. Defensively the Cougars are solid with all four knowing each others game plan relatively well, able to sag off or go hunting at the right time credit to their connection. Victoria Honner, Brooke Allan, Allie Smith and Jessica Standfield have all shown they have what it takes to turn a game on its head and win ball back for their side when things get tight making for an exciting match-up. Melissa Bragg is also a key player for Geelong given her experience and versatility able to switch between a defensive and attacking position with ease.

Both sides can score quickly and are accurate to post, meaning it will be won and lost either through the midcourt or in defence given the fire power under the post. Expect both sides to come out with a real fire in the belly and intent.

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