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Layton 'all talk, says Aiken

AAP logoAAP 29/07/2016 Vince Rugari and Adrian Warren

A cheeky Romelda Aiken has described NSW Swifts enforcer Sharni Layton as "all talk" and reckons the Queensland Firebirds should have no problem dealing with her intrusive ways if they stick to coach Roselee Jenckee's blueprint in Sunday's trans-Tasman grand final.

The Firebirds have the chance to cement themselves as the competition's most successful franchise when they take on the Swifts at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Jamaican Aiken will renew her rivalry with Diamonds goal keeper Layton, last year's finals series MVP and a self-described on-court mongrel whose motormouth ways seem to infuriate her opponents as much as they motivate her teammates.

"Every defender is different," Aiken said.

"With Sharni, she is honestly all talk. She just makes a lot of noise, but we've got the strength in the attacking end and if we just stick to the game plan and just listen to what Rose says, I don't see why we cant get over Sharni.

"I definitely think she's going to be coming out harder and tougher and a bit of revenge behind last year's loss. I'm going to play it cool and stay composed and try to take her on as I go."

Aiken needs just five more goals to become the first player in the history of trans-Tasman netball to shoot 5000 goals.

With the trans-Tasman league making way for an eight-team all-Australian competition next year, it's a milestone that would stand forever.

"How good is that? It's pretty exciting," Aiken said.

Layton, meanwhile, believes the 196cm Aiken has come on in leaps and bounds since her debut in 2008, when most had her pegged as a one-dimensional shooter whose only strength was her height.

"You can just tell the amount of work she has put in the gym. She's a full package," Layton told AAP.

"With the movement and the double plays that her and Gretel do and considering their (shooting) circle is six foot three, six foot four plus, it's also one of the more dynamic moving ones as well, which is incredible."

TRANS-TASMAN NETBALL GRAND FINAL

Queensland Firebirds vs NSW Swifts

12.10pm AEST, Sunday July 31, Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Head to head: Played 21, Firebirds 14, Swifts 6, drawn 1

This year: Played 3, Firebirds 2, Swifts 1

Last time: Firebirds 63 def Swifts 52, Australian Conference Final, July 18

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

- If the Firebirds win, they will become the only team in the history of trans-Tasman netball to win three titles

- They will also become the first team to secure back-to-back trans-Tasman titles

- Queensland's Caitlyn Nevins could become the first player to win three grand finals in a row (2014 Vixens, 2015 Firebirds, 2016 Firebirds)

- Firebirds shooter Romelda Aiken is five goals away from becoming the first player to shoot 5000 goals

- NSW Swifts shooter Caitlin Thwaites needs three goals to equal her best individual season of 507 goals (2015)

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