2022 VNSL team review: Wasps Netball

IN the wake of the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season finishing, we have taken a look back at how each team fared. We continue the 11-team countdown with the ninth placed Wasps Netball who marginally missed out on a Fast5 Championship spot by goal difference against Strathclyde Sirens.


Position: 9th
Wins: 7
Losses: 13
Goals For: 998 (8th)
Goals Against: 1068 (6th)
Goal Difference: -70 (7th)
Points: 21


Though the Wasps finished in ninth on the VNSL table, it as more a case of a slow start getting them, as they fell to 1-6 to start the season, and only a win over Severn Stars to count for it. They had a big win over Celtic Dragons in Round 7 with a 23-goal victory at home, then pushed Loughborough Lightning and rolled a weakened Team Bath outfit. Five consecutive losses followed to effectively end any chance of a miraculous run to finals, and that losing streak included a defeat at the hands of Severn Stars, and a 31-goal loss to Manchester Thunder who broke the goals record with 88. Then out of nowhere they strung three wins together, defeating Leeds Rhinos, Surrey Storm and Celtic Dragons. Heartbreaking losses to Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath (both two goals) and a one-goal win over Strathclyde Sirens to finish the year, and the Wasps could easily have won the last six games of the year.


They might have been understrength, but a win against Team Bath is always satisfying for opposition sides, as the Wasps piled on 17 goals to 10 in the first term, and built the lead from there, winning the next two quarters by three and four to lead by 14 goals heading into the final break. Team Bath won the last term to cut it to 12 by the final whistle, but the Wasps had got the job done, 62-50. The defensive pairing of Josie Huckle and Rachel Fee combined for seven intercepts, five deflections and nine turnovers, while Rachel Dunn (29 goals from 33 attempts) and Lucy Parize (30 from 36) shared the load.


It was an even side across the board, but Huckle was one who continued her good form from the year before. Though she had less rebounds (18-30), her intercepts (38-28) and deflections (60-53) were both up, and she is quickly approaching 50 games for Wasps Netball in the VNSL. She is turning 31-years-old later in the year, but is playing some superb netball.


Fellow defender Ella Powell-Davies really made the most of her court time, playing all 20 games and being a regular starter compared to a rotation option. She picked up an impressive 31 intercepts to go with 50 deflections, 50 turnovers and 13 rebounds in what was a promising year for the 23-year-old who is about to hit her peak.


As good as Dunn is, Wasps will be looking for a replacement, with Gezelle Allison potentially taking that mantle. The defensive end worked well and was far better than the Wasps ladder position suggested, so if the Wasps can find another feeder to help out Iona Christian, than they are not too far away from rising up the ladder.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments