The ANZ Championship finals are finally upon us, and this weekend we have a cracking Australian Conference Elimination Final to be played out.
The NSW Swifts host the Melbourne Vixens in the first ANZ Championship final played between the pair, with the winner progressing to next weekend’s Conference Final against The Coffee Club Queensland Firebirds. For the losing team, it is season over.
While it was the Swifts who won the points on both occasions the sides met in 2016, the Vixens have an impressive winning record in Sydney, with five of their six victories against the Sydney-siders, coming away from home.
Rookie shooter Emma Ryde stood up to the plate and played her first full ANZ Championship game in Round 14, netting a total 52 goals. Her presence adequately covered the absence of the injured Karyn Bailey, combining well with youngster Alice Teague-Neeld.
The Vixens’ young shooting circle will face a dominant defensive unit however, in Diamond Sharni Layton and rookie Maddy Turner, who have gelled well all season to create a formidable defence.
At the other end of the court, the Vixens’ defence will also have their hands full with a combination of either Susan Pettitt, Caitlin Thwaites or Stephanie Wood. Coach Rob Wright has the luxury of rotating his attacking line in clutch moments, with Wood often impacting to become the game changer.
However Geva Mentor and Jo Weston’s combination has strengthened throughout the season and they have proven to be a force to be reckoned with.
In the middle of the court watch out for the match-up of Laura Langman on Madi Robinson. Both have had scintillating seasons and if either dominate the game, it could be the difference between who wins and loses.
Tune in on Fox Sports Australia and the Netball Live App to watch the game live from 12.00pm AEST, or catch the replay on ONE HD on Monday July 11 at 8.00am.