Fight for top four in the ANL

 

Game one                           Game two

Territory Storm 30 v Tas Magpies 51     Territory Storm 39 v Tas Magpies 54

Western Sting 64 v Netball NSW Waratahs 43     Western Sting 66 v Netball NSW Waratahs 57

Queensland Fusion 45 v Victorian Fury 45     Queensland Fusion 43 v Victorian Fury 49

Canberra GIANTS 60 v Southern Force 49     Canberra GIANTS 54 v Southern Force 55

 

As we reach the pointy end of the 2017 Australian Netball League season, the final four doesn’t become any clearer, as only two wins separate third and sixth. A two-week battle within the top four and bottom four will determine who books their flights to Perth on April 8.

Victorian Fury are sitting on top of the table and can almost certainly guarantee themselves a spot in the finals. The reigning champions were hosted by third placed Queensland Fusion who showed incredible fight to come out with the first draw of the 2017 season. The Fury came out on top on Sunday, with a six-goal win.

The fight for finals contention saw an intense contest across the two days in the nation’s capital, as Canberra GIANTS played host to Southern Force. An early lead from the home side saw the Force unable to catch up, going down to the GIANTS by 11. After a night of reflection, the Force came out firing in what could be the game of the round.

“It was really intense, and neither side were making any errors,” said Southern Force coach, Brian Lines.

“When turnovers occurred, they were as a result of good pressure, good strategy and less about people making mistakes so both teams were really on the ball.”

Scores were tight in the first three quarters with the GIANTS only managing to break away to a three-goal lead. It was in the final seconds, with the scores locked at 54 apiece, that the Force managed a turnover and were able to convert and walk away with a one point win.

“It was actually really great for the sport,” Lines reflected on the win.

“The athletes themselves were on show; they really did show their capability.”

Looking ahead, Lines said, “we’re very happy that we’ve beaten a team that has been sitting in the top three, and broke their six game winning streak. We can get some confidence out of that going against Fusion this weekend who have been sitting in the top two.”

Over in the west, the Sting hosted the Netball NSW Waratahs, with their hearts set on playing in front of a home side in the finals. A clean sweep for the weekend saw the Sting edge closer to their dream with a 64-43 win on Saturday and a 66-57 win on the Sunday.

The Tasmanian Magpies travelled north to meet the Territory Storm who are yet to get a win since returning to the ANL this year. The Magpies made the trip up worth their while, coming home with 21 and 15 goal wins over the Storm.

 

Round six

Western Stingv Territory StormState Netball Centre, Perth3.00pm
NNSW Waratahsv Tas MagpiesGenea Netball Centre4.00pm
Vic Furyv Canberra GIANTSHisense Arena5.00pm
Southern Forcev QLD FusionTitanium Arena5.00pm

 

Western Stingv Territory StormState Netball Centre, Perth12.00pm
Vic Furyv Canberra GIANTSState Netball & Hockey Centre12.00pm
Southern Forcev QLD FusionPriceline Stadium12.00pm
NNSW Waratahsv Tas MagpiesSydney Olympic Park Sports Centre3.30pm