The 2017 and 2018 SEQ Cup champions Goodna Sapphires team off to a great start this season.
The 2017 and 2018 SEQ Cup champions Goodna Sapphires team off to a great start this season.

Goodna team's "wow'' effort at new netball centre

THE close bond in the Goodna Sapphires team paid immediate dividends as the defending champions threatened to deliver another dominant season.

Goodna's 86-33 victory over Underwood signalled the Sapphires will again be the side to beat in this year's Queensland Premier League SEQ Cup competition.

Preparing for their latest netball encounter against Redlands tonight, Sapphires skipper Robyn Walsh was happy with her team's opening performance.

"With this being the first game that we had played since state champs, everyone just slotted back in,'' she said.

"I thought it may have taken us a bit of time to gel but I'm extremely pleased that it did not.''

After the Flyers recorded a 55-37 win over Redlands, Walsh was confident her team would back up strongly tonight if they maintain their usual respect for opponents.

"We should be fine,'' Walsh said. "We never take any team lightly as you never know what can happen on game day.''

Against Underwood in their season-opener, the Sapphires were never headed.

"Even though the score blew out, we had plenty to work on and it gave us an opportunity to practice this,'' Walsh said.

"We are very fortunate that we are all very experienced players and have been playing together for a long time, which I feel gives us an advantage over the other teams.

"Most pleasing was how quickly we gelled together, and also making changes which did not affect our performance.''

Walsh said wing attack/wing defence Angela Ray had a terrific game considering she was returning after injuring her elbow in a round game at the end of last season.

Walsh supported the new two-pool schedule introduced into the SEQ Cup competition this year.

"I actually like the new format, it will be good to have the opportunity to play each team twice before reaching finals time,'' she said.

However, she said it wouldn't affect her team planning.

"We just take each opposing team as a new challenge and go out on the court with the collective to win,'' Walsh said.

The Sapphires head into tonight's game injury free. However, Tayla Collie is away for the latest game with representative duties.

Walsh also enjoyed playing at the upgraded State Netball Centre.

"Wow, what a great venue,'' she said.

"The courts are a dream to play on and the layout of the whole centre is great.

"We're extremely lucky to be able to play there week in week out.''

Tonight's game is at 7.50pm.