Veteran West Coast Fever coach Norma Plummer has dismissed allegations of dirty play from netball legend Irene van Dyk as "sad" and the words of a frustrated player.
Van Dyk accused Fever circle defenders Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Josie Janz of "crossing the line" to dirty play when the Perth-based team ended trans-Tasman competition premiers Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic's unbeaten start to the season in a 57-51 upset on Sunday.
The 40-year-old New Zealand international shooter was held to an uncharacteristically low output of 15 goals from 19 attempts by the Fever duo.
"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," van Dyk said in a post-match television interview.
Plummer believed van Dyk was speaking out of disappointment at being outplayed.
"I just thought that was a frustrated player," said Plummer on Tuesday.
"We took away all her best moves and she had nowhere to go.
"Then she decided that because she couldn't get through where she wanted to we were rough.
"She was trying to barge through holes that weren't there and space that was taken away from her.
"I thought my defence did a marvellous job.
"It's just sad that she's had to pop out and say that."
It wasn't the first time the prolific shooter had unleashed a vitriolic post-match outburst, according to Plummer, who coached against her on many occasions when she was in charge of the national team.
"She called out Anna Harrison a few years back as the filthiest player she'd ever played on," Plummer said.
"So every now and then when she gets a bad one on her own performance, she bags a defender by the looks of it."
While the Fever occupy fourth spot and have won two of three games, beating both of New Zealand's 2012 semi-finalists in Perth, Plummer refuses to get excited.
"I'm not getting carried away with it. There's still a lot of work to do with this team," Plummer said.
She said the Fever - the only Australian team yet to win the title or even make the finals - needed to win away as well as at home.
They will get the opportunity to do that next Sunday in Adelaide against a Thunderbirds team just below them on percentage.
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