It’s Suncorp Super Netball finals time

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Giants and Fever to go head to head in the major semi. IMAGE: Suncorp Super Netball Official Website.

The Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) final four was decided over the weekend with the final round of the home and away season being played. Giants Netball take the minor premiership rights finishing on top with a total of 10 wins and 76 points, closely followed by West Coast Fever on 10 wins and 71 points. Firebirds are sitting third on 9 wins and 69 points and finishing out the four is Sunshine Coast Lightning with 8 wins and 69 points.

Screenshot of final ladder positions. IMAGE: Official SSN website.

Coming into the final round, the match between Adelaide Thunderbirds and New South Wales Swifts wasn’t going to impact final ladder positions. After a strong start to the season for the Swifts, they failed to stay up to scratch to remain in finals contention come the end of the season. A tough season for the Thunderbirds, another tough loss and the final game for coach, Dan Ryan. This was his final game in charge after his contract was not extended by the Board of Netball SA. The Thunderbirds also said goodbye to their captain and veteran defender, Leana de Bruin who is heading back to New Zealand for family reasons. 

Firebirds made sure of their finals spot after smashing the Collingwood Magpies. For the Firebirds, it was a near perfect game. When the final whistle went, they had seven of the possible eight points for the game, a 32-point win and a secured spot in the final four. As for the Magpies, a tough season had finally come to the end as they finished up seventh on the ladder. It was also time for a final farewell to superstar Sharni Layton, veteran shooter Erin Bell and all-rounder Shae Brown who all played their last game in the black and white. Foundation coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell also made her final address on court to her team as she stepped down in July.

A huge clash loomed as the netball world waited for the Giants Netball versus West Coast Fever match to be played. It was the Giants who eventually came out on top to claim a three-goal win and the minor premiership for finishing top of the ladder. The Giants came out strong forcing Fever to re-evaluate their game plan after half time. Fever will have to recover and get ready to travel back to Sydney where they will be seeking redemption as they will face the Giants again in their semi-final.

The final game of the round cemented how the finals series would look with the Sunshine Coast Lightning knocking the Melbourne Vixens out of finals contention. A poor second quarter meant the Vixens would need to fight hard if they wanted to stay in the game. Star goal shooter for the Vixens in Mwai Kumwenda unfortunately got the bad news of an ACL injury earlier in the week meaning the Vixens needed to bring in a replacement, in Kim Commane. The Vixens struggled to settle without Kumwenda owning that goal circle and it was all a little too late for them in the final term. Vixens finish off the season in fifth whilst Lighting just sneak into the final four.

Looking ahead, Giants Netball will host West Coast Fever on Saturday August 11 at 3pm in the major semi-final, with the winner heading straight through to the grand final game and the loser to face the winner of the minor semi-final. The minor semi-final will have Queensland Firebirds hosting Sunshine Coast Lighting on Sunday August 12 at 1pm. The winner will face the either the Giants or Fever in the preliminary final on Sunday August 19. For now, it’s time to enjoy the top four strongest sides as they play off for the chance for glory in the grand final on Sunday August 26. 

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