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Vitality Netball Superleague: 19th Round Talking Points |  Netball News

The race for the playoffs continues, with the Saracens Mavericks looking to continue after their win over the Wasps (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

As the race for the final play-off place continues, we take a look at the key talking points ahead of Day 19 of the Vitality Netball Superleague.

The weekend action kicks off Sunday at noon, with the Wasps playing their final game of the regular season against Surrey Storm. After that, fans of London’s Copper Box Arena will enjoy three more games, including the Saracens Mavericks’ encounter with Team Bath Netball.

The Mavericks will then have a quick turnaround ahead of their game against London Pulse at 5.15pm on Monday, before Loughborough Lightning against Manchester Thunder completes the round.

Every 19th round match will be broadcast on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel and Monday’s competitions will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Mix.

Vitality Netball Superleague – Matchday 19

Sunday – 12 p.m. Surrey Storm Against Wasps
Sunday – 2 p.m. Strathclyde Sirens vs Celtic Dragons
Sunday – 4 p.m. Team Bath Netball vs. Saracens Mavericks
Sunday – 6 p.m. London Pulse vs. Severn Stars
Monday – 5:15 p.m. London Pulse vs. Saracens Mavericks
Tuesday – 7.15 p.m. Loughborough Lightning vs. Manchester Thunder

The race for the top four

Let’s start with the race for the top four, okay? With two rounds remaining, the Wasps, Leeds Rhinos Netball, Strathclyde Sirens and Saracens Mavericks all have a shot at securing fourth and making it to the semi-finals on June 26.

With each team having a different number of games remaining, from the Mavericks with three to the Wasps having only one, it could go all the way to the very last game of the regular season.

Vitality Netball Superleague race for the top four

Wasps (4th) Leeds Rhino (5th) Sirens Strathclyde (6th) Saracens Mavericks (7th)
Points: 31 Points: 30 Points: 29 Points: 28
May 29 Team bath (L)
May 30 Loughborough Lightning (G) Maverick Saracens (F) Strathclyde Sirens (G)
May 31st Maverick Saracens (G) Surrey Storm (W) Wasps (W)
June 13 Surrey storm Celtic Dragons Team bath
June 14th London Pulse
June 20 London Pulse Manchester Thunder Surrey storm
June 21st Celtic Dragons
Maximum possible points 34 points 36 points 35 points 37 points

This weekend, the wasps will be looking to finish in style. Mel Mansfield’s team will enter the contest with Storm knowing that whatever they can do will win, then wait!

Sirens and Mavericks still have one of the already qualified semi-finalists to face; Thunder for mermaids and Bath for nonconformists.

Meanwhile, Dan Ryan’s Leeds Rhinos Netball must not let this weekend off slow his focus. In turn 20, they have encounters with London Pulse and Celtic Dragons.

If the results are on form, then Rhinos and Mavericks are in the driver’s seat, but if this Superleague season has taught us anything, it’s that everything can change in the blink of an eye!

Create “upheavals” among the priorities of the teams

Speaking of “formbook”, in rounds 19 and 20 the teams outside of the quartet vying for fourth place are all extremely focused on ending their seasons on high marks.

All will be looking to create an upward trajectory to ensure they build up that momentum until next season, and there is a Fast5 place at stake.

All in all, players may be looking to show their worth in order to secure contracts for next season and Celtic Dragons also have the added element of wanting to give their outgoing head coach – Tania Hoffman – the starting gift of ‘another victory.

Lightning with food for thought

For the Loughborough Lightning, who advanced to the semi-finals in mid-May, their next two games are against Thunder and Bath.

The contests pose an interesting question, as there’s a good chance Lightning will need to face one, or both, again on Finals weekend.

“We’ve had a lot of talk as a coaching team, how much you throw in those two games versus how much you keep,” said Olivia Murphy. Sky sports.

“It’s not that we can keep too many secrets because we’ll have the same team. But, we play with that a bit in our conversations, and it’s really interesting.

Vitality Netball Superleague: 19th Round Talking Points |  Netball News

The Loughborough Lightning coaching staff know all about run-in and play-off netball (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

“We are fortunate to have already qualified for the semi-finals,” added Sara Bayman. “In 2019 we were giving up the last day of the season to make the semi-finals, at this point you don’t care what you show or who you put in there, you are just fighting for your life.

“This season we have the luxury of having these decisions to make on which way to go. It’s about making sure we get better from this week to the next and then to the semi-finals and I hope for the final. “

While Murphy and Bayman will have spent time deliberating on Lightning’s route, the two astute coaches and former internationals know the value of momentum and how important it is at this point in the season.

Will Mavericks do double on Bath?

At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, the Saracens Mavericks will take the field against Team Bath knowing they are the only team to beat them this season.

The Mavericks come on the heels of an incredibly important win over the Wasps and will know that another win over Bath would significantly bolster their top four prospects.

Bath, the most decorated franchise in Superleague history, is on a nine-game winning streak. As positive as it may be, they have enough experience on their team to know that now is the time to find some extra gear.

If the Mavericks get fourth and Bath finish first, then this 19th round contest will be a precursor to one of the Superleague semi-finals on June 26.

As has been said all season, the Mavericks have the talent and the potential within their team to beat anyone on their side. When they are successful they can be extraordinary, but the big question is, will they hit their stride on Sunday? Consistency has not been their strong point so far this season.

For Bath, well it’s pretty simple… they have a score to settle with the Mavericks and that makes them dangerous.

On the whole field, the one-on-one meetings are exceptional; Layla Guscoth against Kadeen Corbin, Eboni Usoro-Brown against Ine-Mari Venter or Brit Clarke then at the other end, Kim Borger in duel with Razia Quashie.

Throughout Sasha Corbin and Serena Guthrie will set an incredible pace in midfield, and if both teams play to their full potential, it could be an outstanding Superleague netball game.

Sky Sports is your home of netball. The Vitality Netball Superleague continues Sunday with the 19th inning, with four games broadcast consecutively on the Sky Sports YouTube channel starting at 12 p.m. ET.


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