Ipswich Jets goal defence Lia Woolnough (back) works well with her teammates in this year’s Sapphire Series. Picture: Jets Media
Ipswich Jets goal defence Lia Woolnough (back) works well with her teammates in this year’s Sapphire Series. Picture: Jets Media

Jets still eyeing grand final during ‘messy’ matches

FOCUSED on making the grand final, Jets defensive player Lia Woolnough concedes all the recent byes have enhanced this year's challenge.

The Ipswich Sapphire Series team have another weekend off fixtures after beating the Bull Sharks 44-35 in Sunday night's game.

That came after other recent breaks in this year's COVID-impacted competition format.

"It was definitely a bit of a messier game,'' Woolnough said, reflecting on the latest win.

"But coming off the bye weekend is a bit different. It was an away game with a different atmosphere.

"We have to get better.''

Woolnough said the stop-start draw makes it difficult for all teams, not just the Jets.

The Ipswich side is compensating with extra conditioning and training games against a men's side when no games are scheduled.

"We just have to be the team to step up,'' she said.

Despite the disruption to Ipswich's rhythm, Woolnough said the Jets were still aiming for grand final glory.

Their only loss has been to competition leaders Cougars in between the recent series of byes.

"I think we are doing better than last year. It's definitely a better vibe,'' she said, enjoying her second season with the Jets.

"Everyone is wanting to get to the grand final. We had third last year. We really don't want that again.''

Cougars are currently the main team standing in the way.

"We definitely can beat Cougars and we are the better team,'' Woolnough said.

"It's just playing to our strengths.''

Jets netballer Lia Woolnough
Jets netballer Lia Woolnough

With Mikeeley Hoch performing well at wing defence, Woolnough has been playing more as goal defence this season.

"I don't really have a preference. It's just who we are playing against,'' she said.

Away from netball, 20-year-old Woolnough is still studying media, communications and business.

She's also doing an internship with the Jets, helping the Ipswich sporting franchise with its social media focus.

The Jets Rubies lost their first game of the season 52-44 to Cougars in their top of the table battle.



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