Rupertswood put on an impressive display against Diggers Rest in the opening round of the Riddell District Netball League season.

The Sharks took a few minutes to settle their nerves but then showed what they are capable of.

They led by five goals at quarter-time, then extended it to seven at half-time.

The Sharks scored 32 goals compared to the Burras 12 in the second half, to win 54-27.

Sharks coach Di McCormack was thrilled with the first-up performance.

“I’m really happy with how they settled in,” she said.

“We had a game plan and they executed it really well.”

The most pleasing thing for McCormack was the number of different combinations she could put on the court.

Only Clare Johnson played a full game as players were rotated at every break.

“I love the versatility and youth that I’ve got at the moment,” McCormack said.

“I’m really happy with what we have on the court, we’ve got some depth.

“We’ve still got Tilly Elliot to come back in. On Wednesday night [in Victorian Netball League] she had seven intercepts and six rebounds against City West.

“Even some of the girls in the B-grade side, I’m prepared to bring them up if need be.”

The Sharks had two players make their debuts for the club – Jade O’Shannessy and Rebecca Purvis.

O’Shannessy, in her first foray into football netball, had the most goals on the court with 23 goals.

Purvis, a last minute addition to the side, was strong in defence.

Purvis hasn’t played netball the past few years, but didn’t look out of place and combined well with Johnson.

“When we get some time under our belt and get some ks [kilometres] in her feet and working in with the girls, I’m really looking forward to seeing what she can do,” McCormack said.

 Rupertswood player Prue Stanley

Rupertswood’s Prue Stanley. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Diggers Rest vs Rupertswood

Hannah Keane, who was named the Sharks’ best, and Georgia Hellyer have both stepped up to A-grade this season adding some more youth to the side.

McCormack said this season would be a development one for the likes of Hellyer, who had been playing under-19s and B-grade, but she would get opportunities on court.

The Sharks have a big test this weekend, facing last year’s runners-up Romsey.

Romsey had the bye in round one.

In other matches, Woodend-Hesket had a big first win against Lancefield.

After an even first half, the Hawks took their game to another level, winning 60-34.

The match was the Tigers’ first after not having an A-grade side last season.

Macedon started its title defence with a 71-38 win against Riddell. Rockbank won the closest match of the round against Melton Centrals, 43-37. Wallan was the other winner, 52-33, against Broadford.


Diggers Rest on the right track