Severn Stars’ Head Coach says her team is ready for the challenge as they prepare for a top of the table showdown with Manchester Thunder in front of a sellout home crowd.

Jo Trip was full of praise for her Netball Super League side after another thrilling win at the weekend against Team Bath that catapulted them to the top of the League. But right behind them, separated only by goal difference, are their opponents this Friday evening (March 8, 7.30pm). This sets the stage for an exciting contest at the University of Worcester Arena, with both teams having an unblemished record so far.

“A top of the table clash against Manchester Thunder will be another step for us this season,” said Trip. “A strong start to the season has seen the group grow in confidence and we are ready for the challenge we know Manchester Thunder will bring. Thunder is a very well-structured team, and they have a number of cemented combinations working well for them which we will need to break down. But, as always, we will do our homework and prepare for them as we have done every team thus far.

“Once again, we are really focused on ourselves and what we are delivering in training in preparation for our games. We know we will need to be smart around how we play ball into the circle, using our variety to open up their defence and are exploring this in training.”

She said that the team, six of whom joined Stars in the summer, was deservedly on a high, with Stars – a franchise owned by the University of Worcester – having the best start to a season since they joined the League in 2017. “I am in no way surprised to see how the team is performing in all combinations, out on court,” she added. “Every player is consistently pushing themselves and working harder than the week before which is showing in each individual players’ growth, the unit growth and our team growth. It is still early in the season, but I know we have a lot more to come and a lot more to cement this season as a group.”

A confident Stars took to the court at the Team Bath Arena last Friday (March 1) to take on Team Bath.

A solid start in the opening quarter saw them draw away early to take an eight-goal lead, 10-18. A strong defensive performance helped them to extend that lead and at the half-time interval they were already comfortably ahead, 22-37.

In the second half, thanks to defensive pressure from Stars, there were a number of interceptions and subsequent conversions to goal, which helped to create an intimidating 23-goal lead, 33-56, by the end of the third quarter. Trip made some changes in the final quarter and the team extended their lead further to take the win, 44-72.

“I am really pleased with our performance against Team Bath,” said Trip. “We played at a pace we have not yet seen from this group! Our ability to move the ball through the court was exceptional at times. This experience has enabled us to learn more about our ability to play at speed and also about our need to control the speed at times. We were able to absorb applied pressure and push the scoreline out again each time in any combination, which I was really impressed with.

“Our team defence has been standing out for us so far this season. Our ability to turn ball in all areas of the court and our dedication to our structures are seeing some insane results! Our attack has been fantastic with 100 per cent of first phase ball taken in our attacking half against Bath. This is an absolute testament to the hard work our attacking line is putting in to make sure we have availability and options.”

For tickets for further games or more information, visit the Severn Stars website:

Photos by Ben Lumley