Everything you need to know ahead of this weekend’s Suncorp Super Netball semi-finals. GIANTS Netball will host the West Coast Fever for the second week running to see who earns grand final hosting rights. It will be a state affair in the minor-semi final between the Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning to determine who moves through to the preliminary final or who will be eliminated from the finals.
GIANTS Netball v West Coast Fever
Saturday 11 August – 3pm AEST / 1pm AWST
Umpires: Michelle Phippard, Marc Henning
Broadcast: Nine & Netball Live app
Tickets: Finals Hub
Last time they met:
You need not look far into the history books to find a head-to-head formline for the top two teams in Suncorp Super Netball.
GIANTS Netball and the West Coast Fever met just seven days before their semi-final showdown, in the final round of the regular season, with twists and turns that no one could have predicted.
While home court advantage has been significant across all Super Netball games this season, the Giants took it to a new level with a white-hot first three quarters that rocked the Fever and threatened to do as much damage to the West Australian team mentally as the carnage that was unfolding on the scoreboard.
Jo Harten and Susan Pettitt were scintillating and virtually unstoppable in the goal circle, with the usually feisty Fever defence line of Courtney Bruce and Stacey Francis struggling to have an impact, while Kim Green underlined her ‘team of the year’ credentials with 32 goal assists.
But in a telling sign that this Fever outfit is the real deal, they produced some of their best netball of the season to narrow a 14-goal three-quarter time margin to within a few goals in the final quarter, scoring 13 of the last 17 goals of the game.
Time beat them in the end, with the Giants winning 69-66, but the Fever’s impressive comeback was soured further by a knee injury to midcourt lynchpin Verity Charles, who went down inside the final minute and looks unlikely to take part in this weekend’s action.
With the teams splitting the results 1-1 in the regular season, their rematch in the semi-finals is the ultimate flip of a coin.
The question is: who can hold their nerve?
Queensland Firebirds v Sunshine Coast Lightning
Sunday 12 August 1pm AEST / 11am AWST
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Umpires: Josh Bowring, Helen George
Broadcast: Nine (9GEM WA) & Netball Live app
Tickets: Finals Hub
Last time they met:
It’s been the better part of two months since the second Queensland derby of the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season.
But the memories of the Round 9 clash between the Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast have lingered long for those who witnessed it.
It was the game that signalled the Lightning were truly back on track as potential finals premiership contenders, and proved to one of the most gripping games of the season, with the Lightning prevailing by a single goal – shot by Caitlin Bassett with just seconds remaining.
The Firebirds, who were victorious 55-52 in a seesawing Round 2 derby, looked the better team early, collecting both bonus points in the first half after winning each quarter by a goal.
But the Lightning bit back in the third quarter, winning it 16-13 off the back of plenty of defensive pyrotechnics from Karla Pretorius and taking a one-goal lead into the last change.
From there the Lightning put themselves in the box seat, with Bassett and Steph Wood sharing four unanswered goals midway through the final term to establish five-goal advantage, and yet still the Firebirds would not lie down.
They managed eight of the next 11 goals, with Romelda Aiken netting the leveller with just 25 seconds on the clock.
But the Lightning – in possession at the ensuing centre pass – coolly chewed up the clock until finding Bassett under the post with just seconds remaining, allowing the Diamonds captain to slot the winner as the final whistle went.
The result was critical for the Lightning’s premiership defence aspirations, with the result taking them to 4-5 and keeping them in touch with the top four, while for the Firebirds it was the one that got away, and was a major factor in them missing a top-two spot at season’s end.
One thing’s for certain: this one’s going down to the wire.
Major/minor semi-finals: Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 August
Preliminary final: Sunday 19 August-
Grand final: Sunday 26 August-
Finals tickets: All ticketing information for competing club members, netball family members and general public sale can be found at supernetball.com.au/finals/tickets.