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Tippett ready to fire Firebirds

NZN 30/03/2016 Laine Clark

No side has ever won back-to-back trans-Tasman netball championship titles.

But Gretel Tippett has been inspired to help Queensland realise the dream after witnessing something arguably more rare than a successful title defence following their 2015 triumph - her famous brothers crying.

Firebirds shooter Tippett is still buzzing from her 2015 grand final last gasp match-winning goal ahead of Friday night's season opener against Kiwi team Mainland Tactix in Brisbane.

However, she got the biggest kick out of seeing the emotional post-match sideline reaction from her siblings, AFL players Kurt and Joel Tippett.

Not that it stopped her from ribbing them afterwards.

"They were so excited for me," Tippett told AAP.

"I looked over and they were both crying - I had never seen them cry like that before.

"That's really inspired me."

Asked if she gave it to them later, Tippett laughed: "A little bit.

"But I hope they both get a similar chance to win a premiership."

Former basketballer Tippett has worked hard on her technique ahead of her third full season after some anxious grand final moments.

The unorthodox Tippett overall made just 10 of 17 attempts against NSW Swifts but held her nerve to sink the goal that gave Queensland the lead with 15 seconds left on the clock.

"I gained a lot of confidence from that," she said.

"I don't think I had been so nervous before in my life in that game.

"I was lucky to be surrounded by supportive teammates - but I am really glad that shot went in.

"I will definitely be channelling those last 15 seconds in order to inspire me this season."

Tippett hopes to better complement last year's leading scorer and ANZ Australian Conference MVP Romelda Aiken this year in a Firebirds side boasting an unchanged starting seven.

The Laura Geitz-led Queensland's second title in five years snapped a run of two straight grand final losses.

"Going back to back is not something we talk about," Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke said.

"Whenever you win a championship you become the hunted.

"We need to improve, take our game to the next level in 2016."

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