Play-off hopes take another blow but Saracens Mavericks still fighting says boss

Chloe Essam in action for Saracens Mavericks

Chloe Essam in action for Saracens Mavericks. - Credit: STEVE PORTER PICTURES

Kat Ratnapala is not giving up hope of Saracens Mavericks reaching the play-offs despite another blow to their hopes, this one against Leeds Rhinos.

The director of netball at the Hatfield-based Superleague team said the squad is working harder than ever but in their first game at London's Copper Box arena, hosting all games in the second half of the season, they met a Leeds Rhinos side who finally found their groove with the best performance so far of their debut year.

It led to a 63-48 loss for Mavericks, their fourth reverse of the season, and leaves them three points behind Wasps in the fourth and final play-off spot.

"We need to have a look at ourselves," said Ratnapala. "The disappointing thing is we had a really good training week and we wanted to put out a really good performance. 

"We need to take that effort from the training environment into a performance one. 

"The girls are asking more of each other, we are all asking more of each other and it is just making sure we deliver that on the day."

Aside from Leeds being at the top of their game, goal-shooter Donnell Wallam missing just one of 55 shots, there were things Mavs could have done better too.

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The boss said: "We didn’t take our opportunities; we were too hesitant with the ball in attack and we needed something else. 

"Chloe Essam did a fantastic job though and played a really important role for us."

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