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Selfie respect: Swifts players Susan Pettitt, Amy Sommerville, Stephanie Wood and Caitlin Thwaites relax before their final against the Vixens. Photo: Ben RushtonNSW Swifts are desperate to shed the favourites tag heading into their Australian conference elimination final against Melbourne Vixens on Sunday.
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

The Swifts are strong favourites to defeat their Victorian counterparts, but the message coming out of the camp is that expectation means nothing in finals.

Veteran shooter Susan Pettitt says it is not uncommon for teams to lift during finals, and coming into a game over-confident can lead to disaster.

“No, I don’t think [we consider ourselves favourites],” she said. “If you do think of yourself that way, it’s a very dangerous spot to be in.

“In the past, the Swifts have gone in hot favourites and, you know, gone out in straight sets. For us it’s about being conscious of that and making sure that [we know we] have a job to do first.”

ANZ Championship sides exhibit distinct styles of play, but Pettitt believes the Swifts are closer in their approach to the Vixens than most.

“I think it’s good preparation for our defenders to play against [Swifts attackers] at training because that’s how [the Vixens] play – it’s very similar,” she said.

“The match-up against Vixens is always a tough one because they purely play a very fast, short, sharp game, like we do,” she said. “It’s good for the crowd – probably not so good for our hearts and our coaching staff on the sideline.”

Swifts coach Rob Wright acknowledged his side has performed well against Melbourne in the past, most recently beating them 59-51 on May 15, but noted they had never met in the finals.

“I really think it starts again – I know everyone says that, but you come into finals and what’s happened before no longer counts,” he said.

“They’re playing really well so, to me, what’s gone before, it no longer counts, it just ramps up.”

In addition, Wright doesn’t think the season-ending knee injury to Vixens’ top goal scorer Karyn Bailey puts his side in a better position.

“Obviously [the Vixens have] lost Bailey in the last week or so, but you know, Emma [Ryde] comes on and shoots 50 or 51 or 52 goals,” he said.

Swifts veteran Pettitt said the home crowd would make a huge difference for the Swifts.

“The crowd is crazy in Sydney,” she said. “To have a full house of Swifts supporters, it would be difficult for Vixens to come up and play in front of.

“If you can get on top of the team early and the crowd gets involved, it makes it very hard for [the opposition] to be calm, and makes it very hard for them to be calm out there on court and be structured.

“We want to be loud and intimidating as soon as the whistle blows.”

The NSW Swifts play the Melbourne Vixens at Sydney Olympic Park, on Sunday.

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