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Thwaites relishing grand opportunity

NSW Swifts shooter Caitlin Thwaites says the similarities between this season’s Grand Final compared to last year’s are not a focus for the group heading into their second consecutive ANZ Championship Grand Final in Brisbane.

The Swifts experienced championship heartbreak last season when the Firebirds took the trophy from their grasp, clinching the victory in the last 16 seconds of the match. 

“We’ve played against the Firebirds a few times since (the 2015 Grand Final), so as much as externally it appears to be the rematch and same circumstances, we’re just really excited about the game,” Thwaites said.

Thwaites says the chance to play for the trophy is an opportunity that is being cherished by the group.

“A lot of us have been around for a while, and we know that the opportunity to play in a Grand Final you can’t take it for granted,” she said.

“You try your heart out for so many years to get the opportunity, so we’re just going to try and live in the moment this week.”

The Swifts recorded a 19-goal win over the Cold Power Magic in the Semi-Final in Hamilton to book their place in Sunday’s pinnacle event.

Despite the dominant performance, Thwaites says there are still areas that could be improved on.

“We’ve always got lots of things we want to improve on,” Thwaites said.

“We definitely put together a more complete performance than what we have in the previous few weeks but we’re still a bit patchy.”

Thwaites says consistency is the key to success for the Swifts, and they will be striving for a full sixty-minute strong performance.

“When we play our absolute best netball I think we’re really amazing, it’s just that consistency that we are still striving for,” Thwaites said.

“I feel like if we can actually get that consistency together, we will give it a real red-hot go.”

The Firebirds will host the Swifts in the 2016 ANZ Championship Grand Final at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Sunday July 31. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 10 (ONE in WA), Fox Sports Australia, Sky Sport NZ and the Netball Live App. 

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