Canberra Chill find themselves heading south for a do-or-die showdown against the top of the table HC Melbourne and will be keen to make the most of their lucky fortune that saw them cling onto fourth spot.
With the bye in the final round of the season, the Chill could only sit and watch anxiously as Perth Thundersticks needed to beat the bottom placed Tassie Tigers to leapfrog the team from Canberra into the top four. But Tassie caused one of the upsets of the season to give Canberra Chill a finals lifeline and they will fancy their chances against a HC Melbourne team that only slipped up once in the regular season – a penalty shootout loss to Adelaide Fire last weekend.
The hosts will be bolstered by the return of highly talented Hockeyroo youngster Amy Lawton who missed the loss to the Fire due to completing her school exams.
On the flipside, the Chill have five changes to the team whose last match was back on 26 October. Hockeyroos trio Brooke Peris, Edwina Bone and Kalindi Commerford are back after competing in the Olympic qualifiers, as is Japanese import Yui Ishibashi and Jess Smith.
Much could come down to the respective goalkeepers who are both world class stoppers and have been in excellent form throughout the season. HC Melbourne have Hockeyroos number one keeper Rachael Lynch, while standing between the posts for the Chill is impressive Japanese keeper Sakiyo Asano.
Despite last weekend’s hiccup, HC Melbourne will deservedly go in as favourites. A win would see them host the grand final double header on 16 November, however the Chill will have other ideas.
They said it…
Ian Rutledge (Canberra Chill Head Coach)
“We’ve had the bye heading into the finals which has worked out well for the team.”
“We’re really happy and really proud of the playing group. It has been a 22-player effort to get us in this position and without that effort, we wouldn’t be playing semi-finals.”
“I thought the last time we played Melbourne was one of our better performances. I think this semi will be a great game and we just need to make sure we’re disciplined, focused and well-organised on the pitch.”
“Melbourne do some really good things as a team, and I thought we disrupted them last time as well as imparting our game on to them, which was a real positive. If we can repeat that and step it up a level, as well as finish off the goals as we did last time, it could be a really good result for us.”
HC Melbourne v Canberra Chill
Sunday 10 November 2019
State Netball and Hockey Centre (VIC)
Match Start: 2:30pm local (2:30pm AEDT)
Tickets: Click here for ticketing details
Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #HCMvCCH #HockeyOne
HC Melbourne Women’s team: 1.Sophie Taylor, 2.Aisling Utri, 3.Nicola Hammond, 5.Kristina Bates, 7.Kary Chau, 12.Carly James, 14.Laura Barden, 20.Hayley Padget, 21.Florine van Grimbergen, 22.Madi Ratcliffe, 23.Samantha Snow, 25.Hannah Gravenall, 27.Rachael Lynch (GK), 33.Amy Lawton
In: 33.Amy Lawton
Out: 10.Laura Desmet
Canberra Chill Women’s team: 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Jess Smith, 7.Naomi Evans, 9.Sassie Economos, 10.Rebecca Lee, 11.Sophie Gaughan, 13.Edwina Bone, 15.Yui Ishibashi, 16.Shihori Oikawa, 19.Anna Flanagan, 23.Kalindi Commerford, 25.Tina Taseska, 27.Meredith Bone, 31.Sakiyo Asano (GK)
In: 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Jess Smith, 13.Edwina Bone, 15.Yui Ishibashi, 23.Kalindi Commerford
Out: 1.Mikayla Evans, 12.Aleisha Price, 14.Emily Robson, 18.Olivia Martin, 22.Taylor Thomson
Past Match Results
HC Melbourne Women’s Team (Finished 1st)
Rd 1 v Perth Thundersticks (A): W 3-1 (Messent 5’, Ratcliffe 60’/60’)
Rd 2 v Brisbane Blaze (H): W 1-0 (Desmet 23’)
Rd 3 BYE
Rd 4 v Canberra Chill (H): W 2-0 (Ratcliffe 30’, Gravenall 35’)
Rd 5 v NSW Pride (A): W 7-2 (Lawton 7’, Utri 28’/28’, Messent 30’/49’, Hammond 42’, Ratcliffe 56’)
Rd 6 v Tassie Tigers (A): W 5-2 (Gravenall 7’/7’, Desmet 33’, Ratcliffe 55’/60’)
Rd 7 v Adelaide Fire (H): L 1 (3)-1 (4) (Bates 60’)
Top goal scorers: Maddi Ratcliffe 6; Hannah Gravenall, Claire Messent 3
Canberra Chill Women’s Team (Finished 4th)
Rd 1 v Brisbane Blaze (H): W 2 (3)-2 (2) (Evans 53’/53’)
Rd 2 v NSW Pride (H): W 2-1 (N.Evans 10’, M.Evans 29’)
Rd 3 v Perth Thundersticks (A): L 1 (0)-1 (1) (Oikawa 39’)
Rd 4 v HC Melbourne (A): L 0 -2
Rd 5 v Tassie Tigers (H): W 2-1 (Evans 30’/30’)
Rd 6 v Adelaide Fire (A): L 0-4
Rd 7 BYE
Top goal scorer: Naomi Evans 5; Mikayla Evans, Shihori Oikawa 1