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Aiken calls for more from Firebirds

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/07/2016 Matt Harris

They were impressive and unrelenting in their 11-goal victory over the NSW Swifts, but sharpshooter Romelda Aiken believes the Queensland Firebirds must keep improving in their quest to capture consecutive Trans-Tasman netball championships.

Aiken was at her devastating best during the Firebirds' 63-52 victory in Monday's Australian Conference Final, scoring 49 from 55 attempts to take her season tally to 620 goals.

The Firebirds sent a clear message to the rest of the competition as they dismantled their perennial rivals in emphatic fashion in front of a 6500-strong crowd at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Monday night.

The defending champions will now host a semi-final clash against the Dunedin-based Southern Steel for a place in the 2016 decider.

With the carrot of a home grand final dangling in front of them, the Firebirds are in the perfect position to snare back-to- back championships.

Despite the distinct advantage of playing at home, where they haven't lost since the beginning of the 2015 season, Aiken said cannot think about more than one game at a time.

"It's not about going back-to-back," said the Jamaican international.

"Winning is about a process and you have to do the little things to reach the big goal which is the Trans-Tasman trophy.

"We're working really hard to make sure we get the things right that will put us in that position."

Before they can focus on contesting a fourth consecutive grand final, the Firebirds must overcome the Southern Steel, who took the honours at home against an understrength Queensland side in Round 11.

"When we played them last time we didn't have a full squad," Aiken said.

"They are really patient with the ball and they'll punish us whenever we make a turnover, so I'm looking forward to the contest."

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