'Lineout' move not one for novices - Harrison

Last updated 05:00 24/05/2012
Anna Harrison
DANGER: Anna Harrison wants to make sure other players – especially young Saturday netballers – know lifting can potentially be dangerous.

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The chief exponent of netball's "ladies' lineout" is worried unskilled copycats could pick up serious injuries instead of spectacular blocked shots.

Anna Harrison made headlines this week and leapt into controversy after her Northern Mystics team-mates lifted her as a defensive ploy to stop and reject shots by the Melbourne Vixens on Sunday.

Harrison believes the law should stay but wants to make sure other players – especially young Saturday netballers – know lifting can potentially be dangerous.

"My worry is that lots of people are going to try this," she said.

"People need to know that actually, even with just a few extra centimetres of lift, landing can be a lot different from a normal jump."

Harrison, nee Scarlett, is arguably netball's best exponent of a standing leap anyway, having honed her skill as a beach volleyballer, but, with the added advantage of players such as Jess Moulds and Kayla Cullen lifting her, she's been able to get "most of my hand above the rim in training".

She warned that her side had spent weeks practising the new defensive technique, trialled a few methods, and sought the advice of experts.

"No, it's not easy and hopefully New Zealand doesn't have a big boom of injuries from people trying it out," she said.

The Mystics' new move has forced opposition teams into exploring ways of getting around the "Harrison Hoist", including the Canterbury Tactix who meet them on Sunday in Auckland.

That, Harrison said, could end up being a better gain for her side than the move itself.

Shooters getting close to the post has already been identified as one way to stop the lifting manoeuvre, but Harrison believed that too would work for her side.

"If teams are wanting to do that, and that would be the best way to deal with the lift, then that's fine; that would mean more passes and more opportunities for us to take the ball."

And although there's been plenty of comment on the new move – good and bad – Harrison said it would remain part of the Mystics' repertoire while it was still legal.

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- The Press

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