Minyip-Murtoa face unknown Nhill in round one | Wimmera Netball Association 2017

NEW CHALLENGE: Jessica Elder fires off a pass during the 2016 A Grade grand final. Minyip-Murtoa will be hungry to go one better this season but face an unknown Nhill side in round one. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

NEW CHALLENGE: Jessica Elder fires off a pass during the 2016 A Grade grand final. Minyip-Murtoa will be hungry to go one better this season but face an unknown Nhill side in round one. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

THERE was a big difference in the standard of netball displayed by the A Grade Minyip-Murtoa and Nhill sides in the 2016 season but that will count for little on Saturday evening.

While the Burras came up just short in the grand final the Tigers struggled to muster just one win during the season.

Claire Drum said an evening game meant there was some more excitement around the game.

“Last season we started the same way and their was a bit more of a buzz,” she said.

“I’m not sure what it was, maybe there is more of an opportunity for a crowd to get down.”

New Nhill coach Tarrah Dodds said it felt like the season had arrived quickly.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing Minyip-Murtoa,” she said.

“They will be a good measuring stick and we’ll find out a lot about how far we have come and how far we have to go.”

With just three of Nhill’s A Grade netballers from 2016 in this year’s squad there is plenty of excitement and potential for improvement.

Drum said that made the side an unknown.

“We will have to out there to play out own game while respecting the opposition and make adjustments as necessary,” she said.

“That will come down to the experience of our girls on court to adjust as well as what I might be able to add at the breaks.”

Nhill will come into the match with boosted confidence levels having beaten Padthaway in a practice match.

Last season Nhill was outsized on court against Minyip-Murtoa but the side will not be as intimidated this season.

“We have strong players across the court this season in defence, midcourt and attack,” Dodds said.

“We will just go out there to work on each individual player beating their opponent.

“If we can challenge them one on one and work as a team then things can go well.”

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