Magpies looking to make most of momentum
NETBALL: Collingwood captain Madi Robinson is confident the Magpies are starting to hit top form at the "perfect time", but does not yet consider the team's place in the final four locked away.
The Magpies sit fourth on the Super Netball ladder with a three-point buffer on the fifth-placed Queensland Firebirds after their victory over the defending champions last week.
Consecutive victories over West Coast Fever, Giants and Firebirds have seen the Magpies string together their strongest burst of the season, with the team now focused on avenging their Round 5 loss to the Sunshine Coast at Hisense Arena on Saturday night.
The clash looms as the last significant challenge in the run towards the finals for the Magpies, who then meet the NSW Swifts, West Coast Fever and Adelaide Thunderbirds - who occupy the bottom three positions on the ladder - in the final rounds.
The Firebirds appear to face a tougher outlook with matches against the ladder-leading Vixens this weekend and second-placed Giants in their run home.
Despite their cushion on the Firebirds, Robinson said the Magpies could not afford to relax and needed to keep winning "and winning well" to consolidate their finals position.
"This competition is so unpredictable, it's so important to make sure that we take care of the job ourselves and not rely on everyone else beating other teams," Robinson said.
"We just want to make sure that we are there on our own right and doing the job ourselves, so every game is so crucial.
"After seeing Vixens put Lightning away very comfortably on the weekend, they are going to come out firing because they won't want that performance in Melbourne again.
"It seems like everyone is a tough competitor every single week and we have just got to make sure that we continue to consolidate as a group and make sure those wins keep coming."
After a scratchy start to the season, Robinson is confident the team's form and on-court partnerships are now on song.
"It is always a big confidence booster that we can have these consecutive wins even though it might not be the prettiest netball and it's a little bit of a grind out there," she said.
"Things are starting to come together. It's the perfect time to start coming together, we haven't peaked too early and fingers crossed it's going to continue building right up until the end of the season and hopefully the finals."
The Magpies suffered a one-goal loss to the Lightning, which includes Robinson's sister Kelsey Browne in its mid-court line-up, earlier this season.
"We had that loss by one and we'd been up and it was a really good learning for us," she said.
"We had been in that position in a few times in other games, but we'd been able to either hold on or push out to the win.
"One thing that we need to continue to work on is that we seem to get out to a bit of a buffer and then we bring teams back in, so we need to make sure that if we get four or five up then we can actually push on and consolidate to get six, seven, eight goals out."