Swifts to battle reigning premiers at home

Swifts to battle reigning premiers at home

Author: Lucinda Burgess/Thursday, April 19, 2012/Categories: News

A capacity crowd is expected at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon when the NSW Swifts take on reigning premiers the Queensland Firebirds in round four of the ANZ Championship.



Both the NSW Swifts and Firebirds recorded victories in round three, their first of season 2012 with the Swifts overcoming the WBOP Magic and the Firebirds defeating the Haier Pulse.


Head-to-head the QLD Firebirds have the advantage having beaten the NSW Swifts in five of their eight matches. In Sydney though, the ledger is split at two-wins apiece with the average winning margin in those matches being four goals.


Spearheading the Firebirds line-up is 196cm Jamaican import Romelda Aiken who is currently the competition's leading shooter having netted 101 goals in the first three rounds. But NSW Swifts Head Coach Lisa Beehag isn't allowing the Swifts to focus all their attention on Aiken.


"The Firebirds are a dangerous team. You can't focus all your attention on one player because if you place too much emphasis on shutting down Aiken then Medhurst will hurt you and vice versa," Beehag said.


"From a team perspective, we'll be focusing on full-court pressure and also our ball speed. We talk about ball speed each week which means we have to have bodies in motion, good vision and the confidence and trust to let the ball go.


"We knew that it would be a tough start to the season. Every team likes to win and it's good that we've now got one on the board and have some momentum, but the Firebirds are in the same position as us."


This will be the first time that the QLD Firebirds have played away from home in season 2012 with Beehag looking forward to another bumper crowd throwing their support behind the Swifts on Sunday.


"At our final training session last week, Green and Gerrard spoke to the team about what it's like to play at home because we did have a few players that hadn't experienced that before at this level. You could see and hear their excitement in the way they spoke about the fans, the members and the atmosphere and how to use that to their advantage," Beehag said.


"They really enjoyed our first home game on Monday night. They could feel the fan support and crowd noise out on court; it makes a big difference for them and we're looking forward to that again on Sunday."


NSW Swifts v Mission Queensland Firebirds

2:20pm (AEST), Sunday 22 April

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Round Four, ANZ Championship


Broadcast LIVE ON TEN, Sunday 22 April @ 2pm (AEST) (check your local guides)


Follow the game LIVE on twitter @theNSWSwifts (add hashtag #swiftsfirebirds to your tweets)

Follow the game LIVE with quarter-by-quarter updates on facebook.com/NSWSwifts


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