AN OUTBREAK of gastro left Picola’s netball side under-manned as they took on Strathmerton on Saturday.
United was without its star shooter and also its star defender as the side crashed out of the contest, 30-53 against Strathy.
Picola’s head coach Leesa Hooppell said the team had to be shuffled around to cater for the two missing players.
‘‘The gastro didn’t help us at all in terms of the lineup on game day, taking away two of the better players in the team really hurt us,’’ Hooppell said.
‘‘So I was missing one of my best shooters. We had a couple out and a few others out with flu, but my main shooter was out and so we were forced to play a defender up front.’’
From the outset, Picola was under the pump and changes were made soon after, to help release the pressure.
‘‘Basically from the first whistle in the first half it didn’t work, but to their credit they fought back and we made changes at half time.
‘‘When a key player is out it really shows. We found it hard getting the ball quickly down the court and into the ring, I think that was a big problem for us,’’ Hooppell said.
This week the coach hopes that all her players will be fit and ready for a match away against Berrigan.
‘‘Hopefully all of them will be ready next week and we hope to have everyone back. I don’t think with netball you get as much of a home advantage as you see in football, the courts are all basically the same so it won’t worry us,’’ she said.
Hooppell said it was important for the side to get the basics right before looking to implement more technical strategies against top sides.
‘‘We need to refocus and go back to the drawing board and have a look at what went wrong. I would say if it was a slightly weaker side we played against, we would have done it.
‘‘But their defenders were magnificent. It was hard to break them down and we hadn’t trained for missing two of our best players like that,’’ she said.
Next time the two sides face, Hooppell said her side will be ready for vengeance.
‘‘The fight back in the second half was fantastic. There were a lot of positives, and we had no injuries, so we’ll look forward to having a crack at them next time,’’ she said.