SMJ steeled by arduous semi lead-in

Sophie Schetor, whose Vipers meet Brindles for a chance at the grand final. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Sophie Schetor, whose Vipers meet Brindles for a chance at the grand final. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

ILLAWARRA NETBALL

SMJ'S Kerry Jones refused to be unnerved by back-to-back losses heading into the finals, believing the team has benefited from the experience against finals rivals Brindles and Vipers.

SMJ went down 47-24 to the defending premiers last weekend, a week after succumbing 58-33 to training partners Brindles.

But Jones is adamant it gave her squad some motivation ahead of this week's finals stoush with Corrimal RSL Cadets.

"They don't take those losses to heart. They just say 'right, what do we need to work on?', and we work on it and build again," she said.

"You are going to be out-muscled sometimes by the [older players]. That is what happens. You just have to play smarter and harder. That is all we can do.

"They have learnt more in the last two weeks than they have all year in terms of how to play those older girls."

With the help of Brindles, Jones said her side have learnt some stern lessons from the losses.

Her squad will look to bounce back when they meet Cadets this Saturday.

The pair have met twice this season in matches SMJ won 45-30 and 33-27.

"I have trained most of those girls, so I know them pretty well," Jones said.

"They are a good team but it depends what happens on the day. The young ones won't give up. They will just go out there and play. Hopefully it goes our way."

SMJ have welcomed key defender Kirra Jones in recent weeks, but will still be without Abby McFadden and potentially Chelsea Bolton this weekend.

Their consistent absence has forced Jones to play musical chairs in the attacking third.

"We have been without Abby [in attack] for the past five weeks and have had a different person step up," Jones said.

"We have borrowed some players but we will go in with seven this week."

In the major semi, Vipers meet Brindles for the chance to jump straight into the grand final.

The pair have met twice already this year with Vipers winning both duels.

SEMI-FINALS

Berkeley Stadium

Minor semi-final

SMJ v Corrimal RSL Cadets, 1.30pm

Major semi-final

Vipers Netball Club v Brindles, 3pm

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