Having been reminded of her dominant potential, Sam Wallace unleashed an unstoppable grand final performance to spearhead the NSW Swifts to their seventh national netball league title with a 63-59 win over Giants Netball.
At 2:30pm (AEST) on Saturday, the 2021 Super Netball season culminates in an epic all New South Wales grand final match-up ironically hosted by Queensland after a hectic, pandemic-affected season.
The Giants and NSW Swifts teams finished the season at the top of the league ranked one and two respectively, mastering challenging conditions throughout the season where teams were relocated around the country almost weekly at stages to stand above the rest.
A Swifts team featuring both international experience and an exciting contingent of emerging Australian stars qualified for the premiership decider after a tough one-point semi-final victory against their Sydney arch rivals a fortnight ago.
Goal-shooting experience and potency is an important feature for the Swifts, with the talented duo of Sam Wallace and Helen Housby being complemented by impressive cameos from a rising star in Sophie Garbin.
In contrast to a Swifts roster that includes three international imports, the Giants are absolutely stacked with locally developed NSW talent complemented by club stalwart, captain and English international Jo Harten.
A young yet technically gifted Giants midcourt featuring the likes of Maddie Hay and Jamie-Lee Price are truly smart operators that will hope to exploit plenty of opportunistic turnovers and drive to attack.
With both sides being packed full of experience and ability in measures, a ‘master meets masterful apprentice’ storyline between senior coaches will prove significant to the outcome of the decider.
Swifts mentor and 2019 Super Netball premiership coach Briony Akle comes up against an experienced legend of the sport in Julie Fitzgerald, who seeks a maiden victory in the modern iteration of the Australian league.
Fitzgerald and Akle both starred in the Sydney Swifts’ first national league title in 2001 as coach and midcourter respectively, but on this occasion they will be attempting to out-coach one another on the grandest stage in Brisbane.
Australian fans absolutely revel when rivals clash in a finals series, so both rusted-on netball fans and neutral observers will be treated with a truly spicy match-up to round out season 2021.
Just make sure you keep 2:30pm (AEST) free this Saturday afternoon and you won’t be disappointed.