The Firebirds head into Monday's clash with all the momentum. Image courtesy of:Picture: Peter Wallis Source: The Courier-Mail
Queensland Firebirds v Waikato Magic
Hamilton, New Zealand
Monday June 2 – 5:40 PM (AEST)
The Queensland Firebirds are on fire, pun intended. After five straight wins, they are heading into the Finals with all the momentum. Following a dominating performance against the Central Pulse last week, the Firebirds are gearing up to retain the crown they won in 2011. The Waikato Magic has hit a bit of a rough patch as of late. After starting the season in sensational fashion, the 2012 Champions have slipped to fourth on the ladder with only two wins from their last five games.
The Firebirds have the opportunity to make it a clean sweep against all the New Zealand sides in the 2014 season. They have already beaten four out of the five Kiwi teams this season and are aiming at making it five from five on Monday. A win could see them move to second on the ladder or stay in third spot and host the Minor Semi-Final next Monday – which will most likely be against the Magic again. Captain Laura Geitz is leading the Championship in intercepts and deflections and hopes she can continue that stunning form.
The Magic are struggling to find that consistency that has made them one of the ANZ Championship’s powerhouses since the inaugural season back in 2008. Winning their first five straight, everyone thought it was going to be a repeat of their 2012 campaign. But after that strong start, they have failed to win back-to-back games since round 9. If they hope to regain any sort of momentum, they need to win on Monday. Coach Julie Fitzgerald has labelled NSW Swifts and the Melbourne Vixens as the form teams of the Championship but believes her players can “run with these teams.”
Last time these two teams met, the Firebirds caused a massive upset, beating the then reigning champions 53-50. But with so much at stake, both teams will give everything they have and more.
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