Collingwood will head into the second Super Netball Victorian derby against Melbourne Vixens under less pressure and emotional strain than their first meeting, according to Madi Robinson, who has captained both clubs.
Third-placed Vixens have won three straight while the Magpies are three points back in fifth.
Collingwood are yet to register successive wins, but Sunday’s clash at Hisense Arena will give them a gauge of just how far they have come since their three-goal opening round loss to the Vixens.
It will be the first time Collingwood have played a team twice.
“Because we’ve all come from these existing clubs we’re coming up against our old teammates and old coaches there’s a lot of emotional pressure that individually you put on yourself,” Robinson told AAP.
“To come up against the Vixens this time around, I feel like that kind of weight has been lifted off our shoulders a little bit from everyone.
“There’s not that pressure and emotional strain coming into it. So you can get out there and play a bit more free.
“They are above us on the ladder and it will be a great indication to see if we have improved … and where we need to go to for the second half of the season.”
The Vixens are the best performed of the five established franchises having lost just one out of six and defeated the previously unbeaten Giants last week.
“They are playing some exceptional netball and people are going ‘oh wow, look at the Vixens, they are quite competitive.'” Robinson said.
“I’m not shocked or surprised at how well they are going at all because a lot of those players have obviously been a part of the system for three or four years at training, playing with each other.
“It’s now they are just doing it on a weekly basis actually on court, because some of these big name players have left and they have got their opportunity.”
The Magpies netballers are still getting used to the scrutiny and pressure attached to the Colingwood brand, but haven’t spoken about that yet with their AFL namesakes.
“I think it’s an untapped resource that we probably could and should use sooner than later,” she said.
“To know how they deal with that type of pressure and stress and hopefully (we) can turn things around and start performing and putting more wins on the board.”