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MNL | New-look Moama heads to Deniliquin with upset on its mind

Big inclusion: Charlotte Groves will make her A-grade debut for Moama this weekend. Photo by steve Huntley

Engrossed in the middle of the logjam that is the top rungs of the Murray Netball League ladder, this weekend offers Moama an opportunity to truly announce itself as a premiership contender.

Sitting in fifth spot with a record of 8-3, just two points separates the Magpies from a spot in the top three as the season hits a crescendo over the next two months.

With the landscape of the league so delicately poised, Saturday’s trip to Deniliquin to face the undefeated Rams is a true eight-point game, as Moama searches for that all-important top-two scalp.

An opportunity her side has been itching for ever since its 50-36 loss to second-placed Rumbalara three weeks ago, coach Lisa Drysdale said they would be up for the fight from the opening minute.

“It is going to be a really interesting game and one we are very excited to take on,” Drysdale said.

“It’s a shame we only get to play Deni once, we like to play good teams and have multiple gos at them as it teaches you a lot about yourself.

“But the girls are without doubt fired up and ready to give their all in what is a very important match for our season.”

It will be a new-look Magpies team that makes the trip to Deniliquin this weekend, with two major injuries and a big inclusion set to give the line-up an interesting shake-up.

“Liv Taverna dislocated her knee last week so she’ll be out, along with Fallon Lieschke who broke her hand,” Drysdale said.

“But we’ve got Charlotte Groves who’s come across from Echuca, who I’m sure will gel in well with the girls and provide a great boost for our team.

“It is exciting to introduce her to the team and she will slot in either through the mid-court or in goals.”

In what is without doubt Moama’s toughest assignment of the season, Drysdale outlined what the girls would need to do to give themselves a chance at victory.

“This game will really show us where we are at, I don’t think any of Deniliquin’s games have been in dispute, and they have claimed big wins over teams like Rumbalara,” she said.

“We’ve got a few players in fine form, so this week it is going to be all about shutting down Rhiannan Maxwell who is amazing in attack for the Rams.

“So if we can keep her at bay and put together another team performance it will go a long way to us getting the win.”

Around the courts, Tongala faces a tough road trip to Mulwala as it looks to cement its place inside the top four.

After a tough loss to Rumbalara last week, Nathalia will be desperate to return to the winners’ list as it welcomes Congupna.

Echuca United will have its sights set on a victory as it faces last-placed Numurkah on its home court.

Finley will be looking to make it back-to-back wins as Cobram makes its way across the border.

Meanwhile, a rampant Rumbalara rounds out the weekend’s action with a trip to Barooga.