2023 NSL | Semi-Finals preview: Four teams to become two
THIS is it. Four teams left, four matches left. One champion to be determined.
It is finals time in the Netball Super League and by the time this weekend is up, we will have our 2023 champion.
It all begins tonight with two semi-finals, before a Grand Final and a third place playoff on Sunday.
Tonight’s action begins in London with the Pulse hosting the Storm.
On the scale of Super League results this season, the two matches between this pair so far in 2023 would be on the tighter end, with a combined margin of 14 goals.
Back in March, the Pulse inflicted the first loss of the season on the Storm before beating them more comfortably the second time around in April.
There are a couple of big unknowns in this game that could play a part. The Pulse’s last weekend off was over a month ago, while the Storm have not played in a fortnight. Are the Storm too well rested? Are the Pulse going to be tired from having played for the last month?
Regardless, there are going to be a number of interesting battles across the court in this clash. Some of the most inform defenders in the comp in Layla Guscoth and Funmi Fadoju and Jade Clarke versus Mikki Austin are just a few.
Later tonight and slightly further north in Loughborough the Lightning will be hosting the Thunder in the second of the semi finals.
This is a rematch of last year’s Grand Final, but only one team will continue into this year’s decider.
Much like the Pulse and Storm, these two have had what would be considered tight clashes, with the two meetings between them this season having a combined margin of 15 goals.
Back in Round 5 the Thunder broke the Lightning’s undefeated start to the season, before the Lightning flipped the result in Round 14.
Both Mary Cholhok and Lenize Potgieter have starred for their respective sides this season, but will both have a tough challenge this weekend in the form of Josie Huckle and Alice Harvey respectively.
There is also a battle of the captains in the midcourt. Although Natalie Metcalf and Natalie Panagarry will not be direct opponents, they will be involved in many of the same on court battles and be leading from the front.
2023 Netball Super League Semi-Final Fixture
London Pulse vs Surrey Storm – Tonight at 6:30pm – Copper Box Arena
Loughborough Lightning vs Manchester Thunder – Tonight at 8pm – Sir David Wallace Arena