Colts defenders did their job to restrict Bluebirds shooter Poppy Larson (above) during Wednesday night’s preliminary final.
Colts defenders did their job to restrict Bluebirds shooter Poppy Larson (above) during Wednesday night’s preliminary final. Sharyn Oneill

Back in the groove

COLTS defender Rebecca Thompson has her groove back.

Thompson played a leading role in booking Colts' place in the Rockhampton Leagues Club Senior Netball A-grade grand final tomorrow night with a determined and energetic defensive effort in the preliminary final.

After some wayward shooting early, Colts kicked into gear during the second quarter to finish 36-30 winners over Bluebirds Hawks on Wednesday night, but coach Mary-Ann Difford believes they'll need to be better if they are to be crowned the 2011 premiers.

Thompson, playing at GK, contained the always dangerous Poppy Larson, limiting her opportunities to score.

"Rebecca Thompson had a pearler of a game," Difford said.

"She came up against Poppy and outplayed her - she found her groove and her game last night."

Difford heaped praise on Thompson and fellow defensive players Carmen Anderson and Sarah Stibbards for their work in constantly repelling the Bluebirds attack, but was critical of her side's ability to capitalise on their work in the back court.

"We've got a very strong defensive combination and the girls worked very hard," Difford said.

"We forced many turnovers, but failed to convert them. Our major problem is that we are struggling to convert our turnovers."

Colts' shooters finished the match at 53%, but had their radars locked on during the third and fourth quarters.

Jacinta James and Renee Iddles found their range hitting 18 of 25 during the second half to close out the win.

Difford said they would have their final session tonight, which will allow them to fine tune their game before tomorrow night's grand final.

"We'll go back to the drawing board, and sort everything out, but we know the type of game Brothers will bring and we're prepared for it," she said.

"The girls are very excited."

One person who certainly knows what Brothers will bring is co-coach of Brothers Crimson Tanya Shuker.

Shuker, who was courtside at Wednesday night's preliminary final, said she expected the result and wasn't overly concerned about Colts performance.

Brothers Crimson were comfortable 54-37 winners over Colts in last Wednesday night's major semi-final, but Shuker knows grand finals can throw up surprises.

"I thought it'd be Colts that'd win," she said.

"I think they were about the same as when we beat them in the semi-final, but grand finals are always different.

"They always seem to play better against us, but I'm confident our girls can do it. The girls are playing really well at the moment."