Firebirds Romelda Aiken and Gabi Simpson. Picture: AAP
Firebirds Romelda Aiken and Gabi Simpson. Picture: AAP

Birds ready to fire up for season opener

FIREBIRDS captain Gabi Simpson says the two losses from the weekend's pre-season tournament in Bendigo will mean next to nothing when the whips are cracking in round one of the Super Netball season.

The Firebirds suffered a 76-61 loss to West Coast Fever on Sunday after the 70-64 defeat at the hands of Melbourne Vixens on Saturday.

The two losses followed the three defeats from four outings at the #TeamGirls Cup pre-season tournament at the Queensland State Netball Centre three weeks ago.

 

The Firebirds were missing defender Kim Jenner and midcourter Jemma Mi Mi from their full-strength squad and mixed up their line-ups throughout the two games when goalshooter Romelda Aiken was in good touch, while the return of Caitlyn Nevins sharpened up Queensland's ball movement.

Simpson said the two games in Bendigo showed "really good growth" from the #TeamGirls Cup, and the Firebirds were slowly improving ahead of their opening-round clash against the Vixens in Melbourne on April 27.

"The fact there is a month until round one is really exciting," she said.

Firebirds’ leadership group Caitlyn Nevins, Romelda Aiken, Gabi Simpson and Mahalia Cassidy. Picture: Adam Head
Firebirds’ leadership group Caitlyn Nevins, Romelda Aiken, Gabi Simpson and Mahalia Cassidy. Picture: Adam Head

"The scores from these games is not an indication of how the season is going to go for us. It's more an opportunity to build our connections and you can see the belief building within the team."

The Firebirds will play the Giants in another pre-season hit-out on Saturday. The Vixens claimed a 61-56 win over Collingwood on Sunday.