2023 NSL | Round 15 preview: More fun on the long weekend
ROUND 14 of the Netball Super League (NSL) may have been jam packed, but that was not the end of the action this weekend.
This weekend is a double header weekend, with four more games set to come over the last two days of the Bank Holiday long weekend.
The Rhinos and Storm get the second half of the weekend off while the Stars and Bath are back in action, while everyone else is backing up for their second game of the weekend.
Much like the last double round weekend, of the teams playing two matches this weekend everyone who played at home in Round 14 is playing away, while everyone who had to travel in Round 14 is playing at home in Round 15. To add to this, both the well rested Stars and Thunder are playing at home, so safe to say travel and recovery is going to play a factor this weekend.
The round begins this afternoon in Worcester where the Stars will be hosting the Dragons.
Last time around it was a comfortable win to the Stars, but will Rachel Dunn’s subsequent inclusion into the Dragons’ side play a factor in perhaps making a different result happen this time around? Jo Trip is certainly going to have her hands full trying to keep the influential Dunn quiet.
Then it is on to a Bank Holiday Monday triple header, which begins in North London where the Mavericks will be playing host to the Lightning.
It was a comfortable win to the Lightning last time around, but if the Mavericks can maintain how they played in the first quarter last time for four quarters this time, things may be a bit different.
One particular battle that is set to be fascinating is the one between Mary Cholhok and Razia Quashie. Cholhok is in scintillating form, but Quashie has made a real different to the Mavericks’ side since returning from injury and could prove crucial to helping the Mavericks cause the upset tomorrow.
An epic clash could be on the cards up in Manchester tomorrow evening as the Pulse travel to take on the Thunder. Two top four sides on the verge of finals qualification keen to do so as quickly as possible.
Last time these two sides met the Thunder had just had their year long unbeaten run broken and bounced back in the perfect way by ending the Pulse’s own unbeaten run.
Lenize Potgieter likes to use her long reach to receive the feeds generally higher, but can the Thunder afford to do those high feeds with someone like Funmi Fadoju lurking around? Fadoju’s aerial ability means that the Thunder are going to have to be creative in the way they feed their shooters.
The round closes up in Scotland with a different kind of potential close encounter as the Sirens host Team Bath.
Last time around it was the narrowest of wins to Bath, but the Sirens certainly would be hoping to avoid history repeating itself, especially since they are at home.
Niamh McCall really stepped up and shone in the Sirens’ Round 14 game, but will have a tougher time in Round 15 with Lily-May Catling as her direct opponent. Can she put together a similar performance and helped the Sirens over the line, or will Catling get the last laugh?
NSL Round 15 Fixture
Severn Stars vs Celtic Dragons – Sunday at 4pm – University of Worcester Arena
Saracens Mavericks vs Loughborough Lightning – Monday at 2pm – Hertfordshire Sports Village
Manchester Thunder vs London Pulse – Monday at 5:30pm – Belle Vue Arena
Strathclyde Sirens vs Team Bath – Monday at 7:30pm – Sports Hall, Emirates