Tough West Coast Fever mid court Jess Anstiss has come away from a physical encounter against the Lightning feeling fresh and ready to do battle with NSW Swifts.
The one-goal thriller over the Lightning on Saturday night at HBF Stadium keeps the Fever on top of the ladder, highlighting just how much the playing group has evolved and matured in the last 18 months.
“I think the win over the Lightning really shows that we’ve got it in us,” Anstiss said.
“We did it to them at their home, but it was good to be able to do it at our home as well, so it wasn’t just a one off.
“It gives us good confidence and it was kind of like a finals game, the atmosphere at HBF was amazing and it gives us good preparation going forward.”
With only four rounds to go in the Suncorp Super Netball season and Fever sitting three points clear of the Giants in top spot, Anstiss said the playing group is just focussing on playing each game as it comes.
“I guess we’re trying not to think too far ahead,” she said.
“We’re thinking one game at a time and we just follow our process, but that’s the ultimate goal basically, to be playing finals and we’re doing everything we can to get there.”
Although Fever have clocked up the most kilometres of any team given the nature of the competition, Anstiss is feeling fresher than usual at this time of the year, with back to back home games in Rounds 12 and 13 a bonus for the Perth based club.
“I think we were fortunate to have those QLD games at the beginning of the season,” she said.
“I guess because we have to travel so far, being in Perth, the last few rounds are definitely going to help us out.
“I’m feeling pretty good though, earlier on in the season I was probably sorer than what I am now, so it’s good signs for me, I feel like most of the girls are getting going, so it’s been good.”
Initially a mainstay at Wing Defence, Anstiss was thrown into the Centre position after some rejigging from head coach Stacey Marinkovich, where she helped engineer the fightback in the engine room and put her body on the line on numerous occasions.
“I’m always prepared to go into any position,” she said.
“I really enjoyed going into Centre on the weekend and I didn’t die as much as I did during the Giants game, which as positive, but I’m prepared to go anywhere, hopefully shooter one day.
“I’ve been put there (centre) a lot more in training match play, so I think that’s helped to keep my fitness up and going, so the more I do it, the better I’ll get.”
With the introduction of the bonus point system to the competition, each match has never been more important coming into finals, with the Swifts still a chance to make it from sixth position.
“I guess we’re aware of it, but we don’t think about it too much,” she said.
“We just need to think about our own game and trying to be consistent ourselves, we still recognise that we probably haven’t played our most consistent netball, so that’s our aim and with that will come points, so we don’t focus too much on the ladder.
“The Swifts are a solid team, when we came up against them last time they were very physical and their season is probably on the line at the moment, so they’re going to come out all blazing.”
West Coast Fever will take on NSW Swifts on Saturday July 14 at at 5pm