Australian Diamonds and Queensland Firebirds captain Laura Geitz will line up for her 150th National League game in Round 10 of the ANZ Championship.
Geitz, who captained the AIS Darters in the previous Commonwealth Bank Trophy format before returning to her native Queensland and joining the Firebirds when the ANZ Championship commenced, will be hoping her group can get back on the winner’s list with a victory over the Melbourne Vixens on the Gold Coast.
The Vixens have not defeated the Firebirds since their 2014 Grand Final triumph – although it appears they are hitting their straps at the right end of the season and making a charge towards finals.
Every win from now on is crucial for the Vixens as the competition heats up with West Coast Fever for that third position on the Australian Conference Ladder.
It was the Firebirds who emerged 11-goal victors back in Round 3 – but the Vixens were without key shooter Karyn Bailey on that occasion.
Bailey has impressed in the circle for the Vixens since returning from a knee injury, although will come up against the formidable combination of Geitz and Clare McMeniman this weekend.
At the other end of the court, the Vixens defence of Geva Mentor and Jo Weston will need to manage Firebirds goal scoring machine Romelda Aiken, who emerged with the match MVP the they met after a 42 goal-haul.
The Thunderbirds host Fever on Sunday afternoon in their second encounter this season at Adelaide’s Priceline Stadium.
As crucial as the result is for the Vixens this weekend, it’s also important for the Fever to come back from the bye with their first win against an Australian side since they last defeated the Thunderbirds in Round 1.
The Thunderbirds will be coached by Kristy Keppich-Birrell – who joined the team this season after leading Victorian Fury to back-to-back Australian Netball League titles – for the remainder of the season after it was announced Michelle den Dekker and Netball SA had reached a mutual agreement to part ways immediately.
The Thunderbirds have challenged the two Australian Conference sides they’ve encountered since their bye round – although a niggling knee injury could keep shooter Carla Borrego sidelined.
The NSW Swifts have the bye.
You can watch all of this weekend’s ANZ Championship action LIVE on Fox Sports Australia. The Firebirds v Vixens game will also be available live on the Netball Live App and the Thunderbirds v Fever game can be watched LIVE on Channel 10 (ONE HD in WA) and the Netball Live app.