2022 VNSL Club Power Rankings: Round 1 & 2

IN a new article for the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season, Rookie Me Central will take a look at Club Power Rankings. The Power Rankings will focus on goal difference (starting with last season’s goal difference) to predict the results in each match. Then, from the actual results, teams will either gain or lose points if they achieved the predicted goal difference. Naturally as teams win by more, the expected goal difference will increase, and vice-versa for the losers. The first three rounds (so each team has at least two matches) will focus on last year’s goal difference, before moving onto the 2022 numbers.

The calculations and starting Power Rankings are listed below as a one-off, with future Power Rankings set to only include the movements.


The Power Ranking points are calculated based on goal difference, namely goals for and goals against last season. For example, when Loughborough Lightning played last season, the Lightning averaged 54.2 goals for and conceded 40.15 goals. They took on London Pulse who averaged 36.7 goals and conceded 39.65.

To work out the predicted scores, we took the Lightning’s goals for and the Pulse’s goals against (and vice-versa) to then predict both team’s scores. From those, the predicted result is formed. Depending on the actual result, one team will take away a positive result, and the other will take away a negative result. In the case of the Lightning and Pulse, the Lightning was predicted to win by 8.5 goals, and after winning by 11, went up 2.5, whilst the Pulse dropped 2.5.

Once the next round is complete, those predictions will include the 2022 matches as well as the 2021 results. Below are the starting Power Rankings points, as well as what happened on the weekend.


Loughborough Lightning (14.05)
Manchester Thunder (13.25)
Team Bath (10.15)
Wasps Netball (4.00)
Leeds Rhinos (1.40)
Saracens Mavericks (1.00)
Strathclyde Sirens (-1.00)
London Pulse (-2.95)
Surrey Storm (-9.75)
Severn Stars (-11.00)
Celtic Dragons (-19.15)


#1 Manchester Thunder (+1)

The Thunder gain top spot in the narrow battle with the Lightning having the advantage of playing two games and winning them well. They cleared both predicted goal differences against Celtic Dragons (+9.8) and Severn Stars (+12.875) with back-to-back dominant victories. The Thunder’s good start to the season is expected to continue against Surrey Storm in Round 3, with a goal-difference of 11.5.

#2 Loughborough Lightning (-1)

The Lightning only got the one game and were able to still move up with their goal difference, defeating London Pulse by 11 goals or covering the predicted goal difference (+2.5). The Lightning missed out on the the game against Leeds Rhinos, but they will come up against the Celtic Dragons in Round 3 on Saturday night, though the goal difference is a whopping predicted 16.6 goals, so only a huge victory will see them cover it.

#3 Saracens Mavericks (+2)

The big improvers off the first weekend of action, the Mavericks have risen up two places from fifth last season to third. They had a mixed bag in terms of predicted results, defeating the Wasps (nine goals, +10.5) to cover that comfortably, but the win against Celtic Dragons (seven goals, -3.075) was closer than expected. The Mavericks have a 1.975 goal difference against the Pulse in Round 3.

#4 Team Bath (-1)

Though Bath dropped one spot, it sits just 0.40 off the Mavericks in fourth, after a mixed bag of results. The blue and gold’s win over Strathclyde Sirens (14 goals, +8.425) covered the predicted result, but Bath’s four-goal loss to a reinvigorated London Pulse (-10.55) is what saw it drop the one position. Bath take on Leeds Rhinos in Round 3, needing to cover a 4.375 goal difference.

#5 London Pulse (+3)

The Pulse had the biggest rise of all the teams, moving up three spots from eighth last season. Scoring was a big concern in 2021, but they managed to keep touch with the reigning premiers (11-goal loss, -2.5). The four-goal win over Bath gained the Pulse plenty of praise and deservedly so, clearing the predicted margin and result, to get up by more than 10 goals (in what was a predicted six-goal loss). Against Saracens Mavericks in Round 3 they will have the chance to continue moving up, with a -1.975 goal difference.

#6 Leeds Rhinos (-1)

The Rhinos missed out on starting their season on time due to a culmination of COVID-19 cases, injuries and unavailabilities, so they effectively remain stable, though the Pulse leapfrogged them after the Pulse’s win over Bath. The Rhinos take on Strathclyde Sirens (1.2) and Team Bath (-4.375) which could be valuable points on the Power Rankings if successful.

#7 Strathclyde Sirens (-1)

Another team to split their results on the weekend, the Sirens only drop one, and not by much, with Pulse earning the jump over the Glasgow-based side as well. The Sirens lost to Team Bath by 14 goals (-8.425 below predicted difference), before bouncing back with a six-goal win over Wasps which on last season’s goal difference was a predicted loss.

#8 Severn Stars (+1)

The Stars struggled with their goal difference despite picking up wins in 2021, and they started with a stron nine-goal win over Surrey Storm to move right up in calculations. Unfortunately that was undone after running into a red-hot Manchester Thunder lineup for the worst predicted difference of the round (-12.875). Despite the narrow drop, the Stars still managed to move above Wasps who fell down two spots. Severn takes on Wasps in the next round, with a win likely to see them charge closer to the top seven sides.

#9 Wasps (-2)

In the wake of losing some experienced players, the Wasps suffered back-to-back losses to Saracens Mavericks and Strathclyde Sirens. On last year’s form they were predicted to win both, so the nine and six-goal losses respectively saw them lose -9.625 in goal difference and slip to ninth overall in the league. A winnable game against Severn Stars might get their first win on the board, but the Wasps will need to clear it by 7.5 to gain positive points.

#10 Surrey Storm (-)

The Storm remains in 10th spot after just the one game in Round 1. They went down to Severn Stars by nine goals in what was initially predicted as a one-goal win, but it still keeps them ahead of Celtic Dragons from the bottom of the table. The Storm take on the Thunder in Round 3, but with an 11.5 goal difference, they could gain some more asendancy.

#11 Celtic Dragons (-)

The Dragons showed some promising signs from game-to-game, and whilst they suffered a huge loss to Manchester Thunder (26 goals, -9.8 goal difference), they fought well against Saracens Mavericks to clear the goal difference (+3.075) despite the seven-goal loss. More results like that could see them moving up the Power Rankings. Round 3 against Loughborough Lightning might be touch to win, but the goal difference of 16.6 is quite high, meaning every chance of covering that.

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