Skip to content

Severn Stars Looking to End Season on a High

Severn Stars Captain, Liana Leota, says the players are looking to end the season on a high as they take on Celtic Dragons.

The teams come together for their final match of the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season at the Copper Box Arena in London, on Sunday (June 20), at 4pm.

​“This is a huge game,” said Leota. “We need to finish on a high! Dragons have nothing to lose, it’s the last game of the season, so you imagine they would come out all guns blazing. For us, it’s about focusing on ourselves.  Doing our own jobs individually, sticking to the game plan and then grinding it out for all four quarters as a team with minimal errors. That has worked well for us in games where we have performed and pushed top teams.”

Stars are hoping for a repeat of their 47-35 victory over Dragons earlier in the season, particularly after having fallen to an agonising defeat against London Pulse last weekend. In a close match that went right down to the wire, Pulse emerged with the win by just two goals.

​Leota said players had targeted last weekend’s match against Pulse as a key fixture and the build up had been really positive, so players were frustrated and disappointed to lose it. “We wanted to take forward the performances we had put in against Bath and Thunder two weeks prior,” she said. “When you train so hard each and every day, losing by two is just as bad as losing by 20. You never go out there to lose but that’s sport. There is always a winner and a loser. I feel we just weren’t clinical in taking those balls to goal and we stopped doing our own jobs. Now we have to pick ourselves up and I know that’s the hardest part.  We have already reflected on what went wrong, and now we prepare as we have another must-win match.”

Severn Stars v London Pulse 13th June 2021 - Photo by Ben Lumley
Photo by Ben Lumley

Reflecting on the 2021 campaign, Leota said it had been a learning experience. “It’s been a rollercoaster of a season,” she said. “It’s definitely one that I have learned so much from as a player and my brief time helping coach. None of us had ever been in this situation.  Both physically and mentally it has been so challenging. I have learnt so much about myself and how you just have to roll with the punches. It’s about being able to adapt to every obstacle with an open mind and a smile, even when you don’t want to. But, most of all, I am extremely grateful to be able to be back on the court, doing something we love, when so many people could not and hopefully inspiring those watching from home.”

Leota said the experience of playing and training in the midst of the pandemic had had some unforeseen benefits.

“I think we really have connected as a team this year,” she said. “Playing in Leeds and then London each weekend, we probably have seen and been with each other more than our own families. It’s given us lots of bonding time and that will be huge going forward! Something that in some teams I have been in is never achieved.”

The match will be streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.