ARARAT'S A grade netball side has secured its place in the finals after it defeated the Stawell Warriors in round 16.
The two Wimmera League sides met in Ararat during chilly, wet conditions, where Rats coach Taylor Mason said the side struggled at first to adjust to Stawell's game.
"We started that game with a completely different intensity than we started last week's game," she said.
"We came out with no sense of urgency, which at this stage of the year isn't on.
"We needed to do better in the first half of the game but we came out in the end and that's what matters."
In the first half the Warriors put up a strong defence and got past the Rats' attacking players with ease, blocking them at several points.
"They don't play on the body, which is a bit different to most of the defenders that you have in the league - playing Stawell is always a bit different to playing any other team, so I think it does take a minute to get into it," Mason said.
Nonetheless, the side has achieved its goal of a top three place heading into finals.
Stawell co-coach Tracey Dark said her side had no illusions going into the match.
"Its' always going to be a tough one against Ararat but we thought the girls stood up really well," she said.
"We were in the hunt and for three quarters we played really well - we just let it get away in the last. A couple of changes they made meant they used their height to their advantage. They did a really good job."
Midway through the game Mason went into goals, Tayla Borrelli went into the mid-court, and Racquel Scott went into the defence.
Next the Rats will face the Horsham Demons and Minyip-Murtoa.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from Ararat and districts, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.