11 Jul 2010

Umpires could be a factor in trans-tasman final

5:24 pm on 11 July 2010

The umpires might be the deciding factor in this afteroon's trans-tasman championship netball final between the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia.

One umpire from each country will officiate, and the Magic coach, Noeline Taurua, says it can be difficult for the players to adjust to the umpires' different rule interpreations.

Taurua says the New Zealand umpires tend to be harsher on the defenders than the Australian officials, and the Magic will need to adapt quickly to the change in styles at each end.

She says whichever team can adjust the fastest will probably have the upper hand.

But the Magic have also been preparing for a physical tussle with the Thunderbirds side, and had the tackle bags out at training earlier in the week.

Taurua says the tackle bags help prepare the players for the physical nature of what's supposed to be a non-contact sport.