Jade Clarke calls for Tactix to lift their game

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2014
Jade Clarke
IAIN McGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
ON A MISSION Tactix midcourter Jade Clarke and her team are determined to atone for their 24-goal thumping against the Magic last week.

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Experienced Tactix midcourter Jade Clarke is calling on her side to lift their game after letting themselves down badly in round one.

The Tactix made a dreadful start to the trans-Tasman netball league, copping a 24-goal thrashing to the Magic on their home court.

English international Clarke said the squad had their "one day of grieving" on Monday, where they were forced to watch a replay of the game and break down their mistakes.

Clarke said the players realised it was an unacceptable performance and they were capable of much better.

They were vowing to right the wrongs and produce an effort to be proud of when they host the New South Wales Swifts at CBS Canterbury Arena on Sunday night.

"It's one game and we can't dwell on it. We have to use that experience, which as painful as it is, to our advantage and make sure we never play like that again," she said.

What was most surprising about the Tactix first-up effort was they had shown promising signs in pre-season.

Clarke said one of the biggest issues pinpointed from the Magic loss was they went away from their game plan and played too much individual netball.

"We're not a team full of stars, so we have to get the most out of each other and work for each other.

"I think tactically, we weren't smart. We had to change what we were doing and we just made the same mistakes over and over. We have to play smarter."

Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs will no doubt have spent plenty of time working on through-court defence at training this week. The Magic had an easy time working their ball through the court into their shooters, racking up 70 goals in the process.

Clarke stressed it was about all seven players on court pulling their weight and not leaving it to the circle defenders.

"We've got to do a lot more work off the ball. We can't play against these players on our own. We've got to work together and do the hard work before the ball has come down."

The Swifts won their opening clash 54-51 against the Fever in Sydney, but do not have a flash record in Christchurch.

They lost to the Tactix on their last visit to Christchurch in 2012 and had to go to extra time to beat the red-and-blacks in 2010. The Tactix won the first meeting between the two sides in Christchurch in 2008.

Swifts coach Rob Wright - the first male to coach in the trans-Tasman league, told The Press he expected the Tactix to come out fired up.

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"We've struggled to play the Tactix in Christchurch. They're incredibly tough to play there," he said.

"We're going to have to worry about them across the court. They've got some real talent. Both their imports [Clarke and Malawian Mwai Kumwenda] are absolutely fantastic."

- Fairfax Media

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