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2019 Super Netball Grand Final: Sunshine Coast Lightning vs NSW Swifts
|Venue: Brisbane Entertainment Centre|
The NSW Swifts have defeated the Sunshine Coast Lightning by 17 goals to win their first Suncorp Super Netball championship.
Sunshine Coast Lightning 47
NSW Swifts 64
It all comes down to this, who will be the Super Netball champions in 2019? The Sunshine Coast Lightning are looking to secure a third premiership, but will face a challenge in the NSW Swifts. Join The Roar for coverage of the final, with live scores and a blog of the match from the first centre pass just after 1pm AEST.
September netball actions has not been the thrilling three weeks fans had hoped for, the margins have all been double-figures and the match-ups all one-sided with momentum.
Last weekend, the Swifts won through to the grand final with a dominant 13-goal victory over the Melbourne Vixens.
From the first whistle NSW were ‘on’, while the Vixens had seemingly played their best netball the week before against Collingwood.
Melbourne fought back in the third quarter, but a big finish and 16 to 10 goal quarter from the Swifts stretched the lead out to a convincing margin.
Sunshine Coast enjoyed a week off, resting up from their 10-goal major semi-final victory, before this weekend’s grand final.
A fortnight ago, Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni held the Swifts to under 50 goals for the game and forced Briony Akle to switch up her attacking combination.
The defensive duo has recently re-signed with Sunshine Coast for the 2020 season and will be looking for the intercepts all day, to give their side opportunities to score on turnover.
Sophie Garbin should be injected into the game earlier if things aren’t working in the goal circle; the feeding into the ring improved last weekend and her ability to hold at the post was proven in the last quarter against the Lightning.
Helen Housby was better last week – her quiet post-World Cup season has been in-line with the Swifts struggles as a team – however she found more of the ball in the preliminary final, despite her leg injury.
Is she fit enough to play out another hour of netball? Time will tell.
Laura Langman ran the show through the mid-court last time the teams met; Paige Hadley bounced back with a huge game last weekend against Kate Moloney and Liz Watson, but will need to replicate that against the Kiwi centre this Sunday for her side to be a chance.
Where Sunshine Coast has the best coach in the world in Noeline Taurua, the Swifts have their own x-factor, sidelined captain Maddy Proud.
Since her ACL injury ruled her out of taking the court, Proud has been on the bench encouraging and coaching her teammates through the finals.
Her insight is invaluable and her understanding of the game of the highest standard – she’s a coach waiting in the wings with many years still left in her playing career, but right now she is getting a taste of it.
The last time these teams played was a fortnight ago in the major semi-final, where Sunshine Coast earned a much-needed week off with a 10-goal win over NSW.
This is the first time in the Suncorp Super Netball that the minor premiers and runners up have met in the final game of the season.
The easy ride through to the final for the Lightning will likely work to their advantage, as the players are all desperate for a breather after one of the toughest seasons to date.
It’s a tough ask for the Swifts, more than a 10-goal turnaround from the last time they played is required. However, the emotion and energy of this team could be their secret to September success.
Sunshine Coast will go in favourites, they’ve been the best team this year and will be looking to achieve the three-peat.
Too versatile for NSW to match, the Lightning will prevail and lift the trophy as Super Netball Champions in 2019.
Sunshine Coast by 5 goals.
Venue: Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Time: 1pm AEST
TV: Channel 9
Online: Telstra TV, 9Now
Betting: Sunshine Coast $1.38, NSW Swifts $3.00
Cara Koenen, Laura Langman, Annika Lee-Jones, Phumza Maweni, Maddy McAuliffe, Karla Pretorius, Peace Proscovia, Jacqui Russell, Lauren Scherian, Steph Wood
Tayla Fraser, Sophie Garbin, Paige Hadley, Sophie Haplin, Nat Haythornthwaite, Helen Housby, Sarah Klau, Katrina Rore, Maddy Turner, Sam Wallace