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Pre-season preparations in full swing

With 25 days to go until the start of the 2016 ANZ Championship, pre-season preparations are in full swing with a number of teams playing training games over the weekend.

The action in Australia got underway on Friday night with the NSW Swifts defeating the Queensland Firebirds, 56 – 47, at Netball Central.

Both teams took the opportunity to give all their players court time with fans treated to an entertaining battle - reminiscent of the last time they met in the 2015 Grand Final.

Swifts shooter Caitlin Thwaites told nswswifts.com.au the match was about continuing to build ahead of the season proper.

“We definitely set ourselves some specific targets to work on… for us it was about putting together combinations that are connecting and building on what we have this pre-season,” Thwaites said.

Meanwhile, the town of Shepparton in Victoria hosted two matches between the Melbourne Vixens and Adelaide Thunderbirds.

The Melbourne Vixens took the points in both matches, 49-48 on Saturday, and backing up with a 53-40 win on Sunday.

Across the Tasman, the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel travelled to Ashburton to take on the Mainland Tactix in two training games, with the teams splitting the weekend at one win apiece.

The first match on Saturday went the way of the Steel, 64-47, before the Tactix bounced back on Sunday to record a 60-54 victory.

In New Plymouth, the Central Pulse fought hard to take a one goal victory, 71-70 over the SKYCITY Mystics.

Played over four 15-minute stanzas and an additional two 12-minute stanzas, Pulse coach Tanya Dearns said the pre-season matches were about trying different things.

“I was pleased with more aspects of our game today which provided an opportunity to try other stuff against different types of athletes,” Dearns said.

Fans have the opportunity to see all the teams in action ahead of Round 1 at the ANZ Championship Pre-Season Shootout in Sydney and Auckland, 18-20 March – view the draw.

Netball Central, in Sydney Olympic Park, will host the NSW Swifts, Melbourne Vixens, West Cost Fever, Mainland Tactix and Central Pulse – GET TICKETS.

The Trusts Arena, in Auckland, will host the SKYCITY Mystics, Cold Power Magic, Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel, Adelaide Thunderbirds and Queensland Firebirds – GET TICKETS.

The 2016 ANZ Championship gets underway on April 1. 

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