Sport

WA netball community at Fever pitch

West Coast Fever is pushing for a record 10,000-strong crowd to flood Perth Arena for its Saturday night top-of-the-table clash against the Giants in Super Netball.

If achieved, it will break their previous attendance record of 9,703 set in 2015 and it’ll blow last season’s average attendance of roughly 5,000 out of the park.

West Coast Fever crowd at Perth Arena on Saturday May 5, 2018. Photo: Dan Carson Photography

The club hopes the crowd will boost the team to victory over western Sydney side Giants Netball, as it looks to continue its hot form, coming off four wins from its first five games this season.

It won’t come easily though, with the Giants heading into the game with four wins from five games themselves, in addition to having beaten the Fever twice in the competition last year.

Fever midcourter Jessica Anstiss said the team isn’t thinking about last year but is instead focusing on sticking to its game plan with the hope of being uplifted by a vocal crowd.

“We are going in with the same mindset we have every game and we have a plan we want to stick to,” she said.

“If we get 10,000 people to the game, it’ll be like having an eighth player on the court which we know will help build our energy.”

Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich said the game will be very competitive with both teams vying for top spot.

“I think you’ll see a lot of court craft out there. The Giants have a wealth of experience and we’re planning to accumulate pressure and play with enthusiasm and confidence,” she said.

Ms Anstiss, who also plays wing defence and wing attack, said the game will be very physical.

“It’s going to be a pretty tight game. They’ll bring that physical contest and we’ll be giving it right back to them,” she said.

Ms Anstiss said the team learned from its loss to the Queensland Firebirds in round five and it’s hoping to turn it into positive energy.

“This game against the Giants is very important for us. We had that loss last weekend but that’s just made us more determined to play a good game on Saturday,” she said.

West Coast Fever centre Jessica Anstiss. Photo: Dan Carson Photography

Ms Marinkovich said the team had to focus on maintaining possession and playing the full 60 minutes of the match to win against the Giants.

“We need to have those options to give the ball carrier the confidence to let the ball go,” she said.

“We’ll use the whole team, so we play as a complete unit and we don’t rely on one individual.”

The state Association Championships will help with crowd numbers, with more than 268 association teams from around WA coming to Perth for the long weekend to participate in the competition.

The Championships will be played at the State Netball Centre and the Perth Netball Association over three days, with players of all ages competing.

Each participant will receive a ticket to the Fever match on Saturday night, which means the WA netball community will be out in force.

“We’ll have all of those people under one roof at Perth Arena and we can’t wait to have the support,” Ms Marinkovich said.

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