SOUTH Gambier had a rough outing against West Gambier last round and it does not get any easier this weekend when the Demons host the Western Border netball reigning premiers.
It will be hard to iron out the wrinkles from round three against a Millicent line-up which has put in three polished performances despite boasting mainly a teenage line-up.
Paige Nitschke has been a shining light, while Hannah Nitschke is super consistent.
Lucy Denton has made the most of her minutes and Madi Haggett has started to prove her worth as a circle defender.
When you add the strong starts to the season of the younger team members to the class and experience of Donna Denton, Lisa Duldig, Hayley Dunn and Demi Verbena, the reigning champions are rightfully flag favourites again.
Haggett is missing for this clash, so Hannah Nitschke might fill the goal defender role, while Alice Pratt would also be in line for an A Grade call up.
Demons goalers Georgia Hood and Imogen Walker will have to work hard to find the front position and they will need to finish accurately as the rebounding duels will be dominated by Dunn.
The feeding from Alyssa Boylan and youngsters Tara Bryant and Alyssa Duncan will also need to be pinpoint and they will have to work hard on the outside to give their goalers plenty of opportunity to rework the ball.
The biggest challenge though is defensively as the Demons look to slow the ball movement of the slick Saints.
Circle defenders Brandi Bouchier and Alyce Pearce-Raisin will have no hope of stemming the flow of scoring by Denton and Verbena if they do not have their teammates working overtime up the court to pressure every pass and not allow the Saints to play their quick, direct style of netball.
Riley Buckingham will need to deny Paige Nitschke or Lucy Denton easy access to the circle’s edge, while the battle between Boylan and Duldig will be hard fought, with both giving as much attention to their defensive game as they do attacking.
You just cannot mount a case for the inexperienced Demons to win, but they will certainly look to reduce the damage on the scoreboard.