T&T senior women’s netball team goal-attack Kalifa Mc Collin and Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel will be hoping to end a two-match losing streak to start the 2020 six-club ANZ Premiership season when round three matches take place this weekend at the Auckland Netball Centre, New Zealand.
Beaten in their first two matches, 48-54 by Splice Construction Steel and The Good Oil Tactix, 36-43 when matches resume last weekend after the break for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Mc Collin, who has shot 31 goals from 39 attempts so far on the season, and the Steel will play back-to-back matches against Northern Mystics on Saturday from 1 am T&T before meeting Robinhood Northern Stars, the club of injured T&T goal defence Daystar Swift on Sunday, also from 1 am (TT time).
Looking ahead to Saturday's match-up, the young Mystics line-up will once again look to shooter Grace Nweke and the defensive efforts of centre Tayla Earle as well as the leadership of Peta Toeava to keep the Steel winless.
On the other hand, the Steel is still searching for its first points of the season.
The 24-year-old Mc Collin who has showcased her athletic ability and has been been a key addition to the Steel’s frontline has shot 79.5 per cent and will be out to improve her accuracy closer to the 100 per cent mark.
Back-to-back matches worked well for the Robinhood Stars in the second round and could work to the advantage for the Steel this week with recruit Georgia Heffernan expected to play a key supporting role to Mc Collin.
Swift, 29, has only featured in one of three matches for Stars this season, a 55-59 loss to Northern Mystics and has missed the resumption of the campaign as she recovers from surgery on a torn meniscus in her right knee.
Last weekend her team enjoyed a mixed bag of results, first losing 39-63 to Pulse before rebounding to defeat Tactix 49-43.
Reflecting on her team's displays in her absence an upbeat Swift said, "Looking on from the sideline has been hard, but at the same time it allows me to really look at, and analyse the game, and offer support for those players that are on the court."
She added, "As much as I would like to be on the court, I understand the risks involved in being back on the court prematurely after injury, so I think I'm doing the right thing in being consistent during rehab.
"My rehab is going great, so hopefully I should get the necessary clearance to resume playing soon, but in general I'm happy that after a three months netball drought it was finally good to have the resumption of the of competition.