MILLICENT netballers will look to continue their unbeaten run in the Western Border season on Saturday when they travel to Vansittart Park to face North Gambier on Saturday for round six.
The Saints have once again taken all before them and look every bit as strong as in recent years, despite some changes to the lineup.
The Tigers continue to be plagued by player unavailability and injury and again the line-up for this weekend is nothing short of a mystery.
Alisha Bryan will anchor the shooting circle, Maddie Whaites will be the general at the defensive end and Ash Kalantarian will bring her experience and class to whatever role she is required to fill.
The good news for the Tigers is they do boast plenty of depth from the experienced Ailie Flett to the young guns including Ellen Brown and if Mel Renko is on court, they are always a better side, whether she is locking down on an opponent at wing defence or running hard through the middle.
The problem for the Tigers is they are facing the undefeated reigning premiers who have looked as settled as anyone.
The Saints rose to the challenge of the improved Roos last weekend and Donna Denton, Demi Verbena and Hayley Dunn are playing as good as ever.
Lisa Duldig is also back to her best as she returns from a knee injury and with young stars Paige and Hannah Nitschke, Madi Haggett and Lucy Denton all having an impact in the opening five rounds, the Saints are still rightly the premiership favourites.
For North it will all come down to defensive effort.
If the Tigers cannot slow Millicent’s ball movement they will be in for a long day and a lop sided scoreboard.
At the very least North will look for a far more competitive effort than in round one, where the Saints were triumphant by 36 goals.
Tigers’ coach Noni McConnell will look to bring her form from last weekend into this clash as she continues to build her combination with Whaites.
The missing players could even see the coach take on a midcourt role, where she can use her strong driving to great effect.
At this early stage of the season and with all the disruptions they have suffered it is hard to mount a case for the Tigers, but it will be all about improvement and building on their first convincing victory of the season last weekend.
For the Saints it will simply be a matter of continuing the growth of the younger players, all while controlling the contest.