Officials investigate claims of 'dirty' play in netball comp
ALLEGATIONS of dirty play levelled at Australian teams in the Trans-Tasman netball championship will be discussed by competition officials today.
Veteran Bay of Plenty Magic goalshooter Irene van Dyk added fuel to the issue after her team's 57-51 loss to the West Coast Fever on Sunday, saying defenders Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Josie Janz had played "dirty" and had "got away with murder".
"I've been playing netball for a very long time, and I can honestly say I have never come across a defensive pair that are as physical and get away with murder," the 40-year-old said.
"There's a fine line between playing with skill and coming out and being dirty, and I think they crossed the line."
Van Dyk's comments followed an incident the previous week in the match between the Queensland Firebirds and Central Pulse in Wellington that resulted in Firebirds captain Laura Geitz being labelled a thug.
Geitz was booed by the crowd after a heavy collision with Pulse and Silver Ferns shooter Donna Wilkins who later told Radio New Zealand she believed umpires should have more power to adjudicate on foul play.
Geitz didn't win any fans across the Tasman by saying Wilkins needed to toughen up.
ANZ Championship general manager Andy Crook yesterday said the physicality of the game, and van Dyk's accusation, would be discussed by the competition's Australian and New Zealand operations managers today.
Crook said pre-season discussions between officials and players had identified the games were becoming more physical.
"That was certainly one of the things the players noted," Crook said.
"But I think it's part and parcel of being involved in one of the the best female sporting competitions in the world. There's no doubt the players are becoming fitter and stronger."
ROUND THREE RESULTS
Adelaide Thunderbirds 60 b Southern Steel 54
West Coast Fever 57 b WBOP Magic 51
Queensland Firebirds 72 b Northern Mystics 51
Played last night: Melbourne Vixens v Canterbury Tactix; NSW Swifts v Central Pulse