Netball: Van Dyk expects fever pitch Aussie match

By Peter White


Silver Ferns superstar goal shoot Irene van Dyk is expecting a massive increase in intensity when she and her unbeaten Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic team take on the West Coast Fever in Perth on Sunday.

Speaking exclusively to the Bay of Plenty Times, van Dyk said the transition through the midcourt would be the key to the Magic knocking over the side coached by former Diamonds mentor Norma Plummer.

"Those attacking links through Laura (Langman) and Khao (Watts) and Jess (Tuki) have to be seamless and will be absolutely vital," said van Dyk.

"We will definitely have to make sure the transition from defence is unbelievably fast and if we do lose the ball we need to get it back."

The Magic are in top form with two straight wins to start the campaign, including Easter Sunday's impressive 61-35 win over the highly rated NSW Swifts at Mount Maunganui's ASB Arena.

"We are really happy with our start, particularly the win over the Swifts, because they beat the Fever by 14 goals.

That win really sets us up for a good game on Sunday."

Van Dyk has noticed a massive improvement in the Fever so far this season, highlighted by their 80-53 demolition of the Mystics in Perth last weekend. "They are playing absolutely sensational netball. The Mystics are not a team you can take lightly and the Fever absolutely demolished them.

"The English defender Ebony (Beckford-Chambers) is playing really well with whoever they put in goal defence with her. She is really strong in the air and reads the game really well and is a very, very tight marker.

"They have strong midcourters who get the ball quickly through the court and they have the Diamonds shooting pair of Caitlin (Bassett) and Cath (Cox), so they really do have strength right through the court. They have always been seen as a young side but I think they have shown now after being together for the last three years that they are definitely a team that has grown and can do a job."

Travelling to Perth is a tough assignment - the team must change planes and going through three time zones.

Van Dyk has done it countless times and says it does not get any easier, but said they have to make sure they prepare themselves mentally to deal with it.

- Hamilton News

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