The Black and Yellows have endured a difficult start to the season, losing their opening two games, although both matches were played on the road. Despite two strong performances, Thunder were unable to sustain their form through all four quarters in both contests, something coach Karen Greig is confident will click into place.
And the plan is for that click to come against new Superleague outfit Sirens on Saturday in Round Three, in front of a sold-out home crowd. Scotland-based Sirens come into the game with a one win, one loss ratio and are certainly going to be no pushover, with a number of international players in the squad.
Greig is expecting a competitive game, with an especially strong contest in their shooting circle. “We are all really excited to be back at the Thunderdome in front of our fans,” said Greig, of her first game in charge of Thunder at their home venue, Wright Robinson Sports College in Gorton. Reflecting on the first two games and looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Greig said: “It’s been a tough start with two away games both ending in defeat even after some really positive passages of play. We were fortunate enough to have a run out again Sirens in pre-season and although we were severely depleted it gave us a great opportunity to see them up close and get a feel for what their capabilities are. They’re going to prove a tough team to beat especially with the experience they have in their shooting circle, but having done our homework.”
Going into the game, Thunder are without New Zealand international Liana Leota, who picked up a knock in the game against Surrey Storm last weekend in Birmingham. Training partner Amy Carter will replace her in the 12-player matchday squad. Greig added: “If we play four consistent quarters with belief and confidence, I believe we have enough to get our first win of the season in front of the best fans in the league.”
First centre pass 5pm, Wright Robinson Sports College, Gorton.
Report by Denise Evans