The Netball NSW Waratahs were crowned the 2011 Australian Netball League champions after defeating defending premiers Victorian Fury 55-46 in a thrilling Grand Final on 18 September 2011.
Going through the regular season undefeated, the Netball NSW Waratahs became only the second team in the history of the competition to win the title, breaking the Fury’s three-year stranglehold.
“We’ve taken it all in our stride and it’s a very exciting feeling,” Netball NSW Waratahs captain Carla Dziwoki said.
“It’s what we set our goal to do from the very beginning and it’s very nice to go through winning ten from ten.”
Slow out the blocks, Dziwoki believed that if her team kept plugging away that they would come out victors.
“The first quarter was really close and the Fury had a great start. We seemed to take a little while to hit our straps,” she said.
“We played into the game and we knew that by just doing the basics and plugging away and having faith in each other that we’d get the result.”
Pin-point shooting was a highlight of the decider, in particular for the Fury who made the most of every opportunity and only missed one goal.
“They (Fury) shot brilliantly so we just needed to keep possession and keep the ball coming down our end,” Dziwoki said.
“We had 21 more attempts then what they did so that’s a credit to our defenders for getting the ball and our feeders for getting the ball to us. I think if a team only misses one shot at goal you expect them to win, but for us to come away victorious is a real credit to the girls.”
Understandably, Dziwoki heaped praise on the team’s support staff, particularly coach Rob Wright.
“Rob has been fantastic – you can just tell how proud he was of us. He sometimes doesn’t say much, but when he does say something it means a hell of a lot. He was just really proud of us and it was great that we could get this win,” she said.
Dziwoki recalls a moment in the final quarter when she took a peek at the scoreboard and got the feeling that the title was in their grasp.
“I actually remember looking at the scoreboard with two minutes to go and saw that we were up by six or seven goals. I made eye contact with one of the girls down the other end and we shared a smile and Amy and I gave each other a knowing nod,” Dziwoki said.
“You always see grand final scenes where everyone is jumping on top of each other and we didn’t really have that - we were composed, and that’s been the story of our whole campaign.
“The Fury has been the benchmark every year, so it was a real relief to come away with the victory. It’s been very exciting and we haven’t stopped talking about it since the final whistle.”
2011 NNSW Waratahs Schedule
Rd1: NNSW Waratahs 70 def Territory Storm 34
Rd2: NNSW Waratahs 55 def Tassie Spirit 35
Rd2: NNSW Waratahs 68 def Western Sting 57
Rd3: NNSW Waratahs 51 def Victorian Fury 50
Rd3: NNSW Waratahs 62 def South Australia 50
Rd5: NNSW Waratahs 74 def Canberra Darters 32
Rd5: NNSW Waratahs 54 def Queensland Fusion 32
Rd7: NNSW Waratahs 57 def NNSW Blues 39
2011 ANL Results
Netball NSW Waratahs (For full roster and player profiles click here)
Player Current Club
Ashleigh Brazill Eastwood Ryde
Joanne Day Eastwood Ryde
Kristy Durheim Manly Warringah
Carla Dziwoki (C) Sutherland Shire
Nicola Gray Manly Warringah
Paige Hadley Penrith
April Letton St George
Jessica Mansell Eastwood Ryde
Samantha May Baulkham Hills
Verity Simmons Grafton
Melissa Tallent Sutherland Shire
Amorette Wild Manly Warringah
Elly Willan Manly Warringah
Head Coach Robert Wright
Assistant Coach Anita Keelan
Manager Maureen Stephenson
Physio Paula Peralta
Photo courtesy of Netball Australia/David Callow