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Netball powers searching for first win

08:00 Sat Apr 14 2012
AAP
Traditional trans-Tasman netball pacesetters NSW, Queensland and NZ's Magic are all looking for their first win of the year after two losses
Traditional trans-Tasman netball pacesetters NSW, Queensland and NZ's Magic are all looking for their first win of the year after two losses (Getty)

Three of the trans-Tasman netball competition's heavyweights are ravenous for a win as they try to climb out of unfamiliar territory at the bottom of the ladder.

Defending premiers Queensland, former winners NSW Swifts and New Zealand's most successful team the Magic have each lost their first two games.

Queensland Firebirds host Wellington-based Pulse in Brisbane on Sunday and, should they win, the loser of the Swifts-Magic clash in Sydney on Monday will be outright last.

At the other end of the table, unbeaten Adelaide Thunderbirds and Melbourne Vixens meet in Adelaide on Sunday.

Queensland captain Lauren Nourse is confident her team won't continue to suffer the premiership hangover that has afflicted the three previous champions.

"That's something we talked a lot about in the off-season and not letting it happen to us," Nourse told AAP.

"I guess it has to some degree, but we're certainly not panicking.

"It is just a matter of finding our confidence and consistency on court.

"When we've played well, we've been good, but when we've played bad it's been pretty bad.

"We've had a lot of unforced errors and missed shots at crucial times."

New Swifts coach Lisa Beehag isn't getting too stressed either.

"With all the different teams beating each other, that keeps everyone in the competition," Beehag told AAP.

"There was a lot of unknown quantities this year with changes of coaches and players.

"Some of the teams have adapted really well and a bit quicker than some of the others."

Beehag said the Swifts needed to place more value on retaining possession.

Perennial battlers West Coast are running fourth despite losing to the Vixens last week and face a testing fixture away to third-placed Mystics in Auckland on Monday.

"We're really aiming for that top four. There's no excuses if we are performing our best, then we should be up there," Fever wing defence Andrea Gilmore told AAP.

She underlined the influence of new coach and former Australia team mentor Norma Plummer.

"We've learnt heaps from Norma," Gilmore said.

"She has got so much wisdom and experience and every training session we're learning something."

The Tactix and Invercargill-based Steel meet in the other round-three fixture in Christchurch on Sunday.