2023 SSN | Round 12 preview: Potentially season defining weekend

THERE are three weeks left in the Suncorp Super Netball for 2023, but this weekend has the potential to be season defining if some results go a certain way.

The weekend begins with possibly one of the most emotionally charged matches of the season.

Collingwood will be hosting Adelaide in its last home match in Melbourne, and although it still has one more match in both Melbourne and a “home match” left this season, there is still going to be a particular emotional charge to this game.

Last time these two sides met it was a five goal win to the Thunderbirds, but take out the first quarter where Collingwood had a poor start and the Pies would have won by two goals.

One particular match up that will be entertaining to see how it plays out is the one between Shimona Nelson and Shamera Sterling. Both have strong aerial games so who comes out between these two Jamaican team mates is sure to be intriguing.

Saturday’s second clash could go a long way to determining the final top four.

If West Coast Fever get the win, they will lock away their spot in the 2023 finals while ending the Lightning’s finals hopes. The Lightning will keep their finals hopes alive if they get the win.

Recent history is in the Fever’s favour though, as the last time these two sides met it was a 10 goal win to the Fever.

This week may see a shoot off between two of the most prolific Super Shot shooters in the competition in Steph Wood and Sasha Glasgow. The Australian vice-captain versus the newly minted English Rose, but who will come out on top?

Sunday’s action begins in the Harbour City with a Sydney Derby.

The Swifts and GIANTS could not be coming into the match off much more different results, but this clash is sure to be feisty as any match between crosstown rivals traditionally is.

There is also a lot more on the line for the GIANTS in this one than the Swifts, but the latter would love nothing more than to get one up over their younger siblings.

The midcourt is sure to provide the most entertaining of battles in this one, with Maddy Proud and Paige Hadley coming up against fellow Diamonds Jamie-Lee Price and Amy Parmenter.

The final match of the weekend sees the Vixens head up the east coast to Brisbane to take on the Firebirds.

The home side comes into the match full of confidence after a big win over the GIANTS, and they take on a Vixens side keen to bounce back from last week’s poor performance as quickly as possible.

Just like the Fever versus Lightning match, this one also has the potential to be season defining, particularly for the Vixens. If they win, even if the GIANTS or Lightning win earlier in the weekend, that will secure them a spot in the finals. If not, they are still in danger of missing out if the GIANTS or Lightning pick up a win this weekend. In saying that, if the GIANTS and Lightning both lose that will also secure the Vixens a finals berth.

The Vixens have an interesting dilemma in their defensive end this weekend, particularly in the goal keeper role. The Firebirds like to use Donnell Wallam’s height advantage to their advantage, so do the Vixens go with Olivia Lewis for her aerial ability, or Emily Mannix for the strong body on body pressure?

Suncorp Super Netball Round 12 Fixture (All times local)

Collingwood vs Adelaide Thunderbirds – Saturday at 5pm – John Cain Arena

West Coast Fever vs Sunshine Coast Lightning – Saturday at 5pm – RAC Arena

NSW Swifts vs GIANTS Netball – Sunday at 2pm – Ken Rosewall Arena

Queensland Firebirds vs Melbourne Vixens – Sunday at 4pm – Nissan Arena

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