PREVIEW: Strength-in-depth key to winning run and vital against Dragons - Hannah Knights

Hannah Knights says strength-in-depth has been the key to Wasps Netball’s unbeaten start to the season.

Changes at half-time have proved pivotal for the Black and Golds in each of their previous four wins – with Sophia Candappa named Player of the Match for her second-half performance against Saracens Mavericks.

Their next match will see Wasps Netball take on Celtic Dragons in Cardiff on Monday 18 February (7pm centre-pass).

Knights, who operates in the Goal Keeper or Goal Defence roles, believes that the ability to make quality changes will be crucial for the side this season, as they go in search of a third successive Superleague title.

She said: “We’re in a fantastic position to have such brilliant depth in our squad.

“It allows us to put different combinations out on court and give our opposition something new to think about.

“We’re still building our connections on the court, whether that be in the attacking third, defensively or coming through the court as a whole team.

“But to have to work so hard against someone like Bongi Msomi for 30 minutes and then have someone completely different to deal with, like Sophia for the second-half, is brilliant.

“I don’t think there’s another team in the league that has those kind of changes at their disposal.”

Wasps are currently top of the Vitality Netball Superleague with Celtic Dragons sitting in fifth position ahead of Monday night’s game.

Dragons have impressed so far this season with wins against London Pulse and Strathclyde Sirens.

But Wasps are in high spirits following the hard-fought win against Mavericks last time out and Knights says the team are focused on keeping the momentum going.

“The win against Mavericks revealed a lot about the character of our group. We can take a lot from the game in terms of what we can learn and improve,” said Knights.

“To go in at half-time level is a tough place to be but to come out with the character we showed in the third-quarter was fantastic.

“We want to keep up the momentum but we aren’t underestimating the challenge that facing Dragons will provide.

“They have started the season well with some very impressive performances. They are very accurate in the shooting circle and it will be important that we take advantage of any turnovers we force.

“To go and beat Sirens in Scotland is no easy thing to do, so we know how much of a test they will be to play against at home in Cardiff.”

Wasps Netball’s next home fixture will be at Ricoh Arena against Strathclyde Sirens on Saturday 2 March (7pm centre-pass).

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