It’s The Final[s] Calculator – NSL 2023 edition

THERE is now only one fortnight left in the 2023 Netball Super League season, and although it has already been decided who will play finals and who will play in the Fast Five Championship, there is still plenty that could play out in the next fortnight. For example, there are still three teams that could still finish top depending on the results.

In this piece, we are going to take a look at all ten sides and see how far they could climb or drop on the ladder in the next fortnight.

London Pulse (Currently 1st on 45 points) and Loughborough Lightning (Currently 2nd on 42 points)

Things are pretty straightforward for both the Pulse and Lightning. They play each other this weekend, so depending on goal difference whoever wins that is likely to go on to finish top. With the pair to play the Mavericks and Bath respectively in the last round and only a five goal difference in each team’s goal difference, it is likely to play a factor in who will finish top.

Speaking on goal difference, with the Storm unable to catch them because they have no games left and the Thunder’s goal difference being currently 80 goals worse than the Lightning, it is unlikely that either side will finish lower than second.

Surrey Storm (Currently 3rd on 39 points)

The Storm’s position is one of the most straightforward of everyone’s. They have no more games left to play this season, so are completely reliant on other teams to determine where they will finish.

They cannot catch second placed Lightning and cannot drop below fourth, so it all depends on what the Thunder do in their final two matches as to where the Storm finishes.

Manchester Thunder (Currently 4th on 39 points)

Speaking of the Thunder, they only need one win to finish ahead of the Storm. They can still potentially reach second on points, but goal difference is likely to be their undoing, as they are currently 80 goals behind the Lightning on goal difference.

Saracens Mavericks (Currently 5th on 21 points) and Severn Stars (Currently 6th on 21 points)

These two have been paired together because much like the Pulse and Lightning, their paths to the end are very similar.

They both currently sit on the same number of points and their goal difference is 10 goals apart.

They will finish fifth and sixth no matter what as they cannot catch the top four nor be caught by the bottom four, but the question is which team will finish in what spot.

With the Stars having only one game left, it will all come down to whether the Mavericks can win both of their final games. With those games being against the Thunder and Pulse, that’s no easy task for the North Londoners.

If the Mavericks somehow win both games, they will finish fifth. If they win one match and the Stars lose to the Rhinos, they will finish fifth.

If both sides win one game or do not win any games, it will come down to goal difference.

Strathclyde Sirens (Currently 7th on 13 points), Team Bath (Currently 8th on 12 points) and Leeds Rhinos (Currently 9th on 10 points)

This trio have been grouped together because they are currently so close on points and each other’s results will affect where they all end the season.

No matter what happens, this trio will be the teams that finished seventh, eighth and ninth. They cannot catch the Mavericks and Stars, nor can they be caught by the bottom placed Dragons.

It is likely to come down to goal difference as to what order they finish in, which benefits the Sirens because theirs is significantly better than that of the other two.

One factor to also consider for particularly Bath is that they only have one match left while the Sirens and Rhinos have two, so that could play an interesting part in the final ladder order.

Celtic Dragons (Currently 10th on 3 points)

The potential scenarios for the Dragons are about as straightforward as the Storm’s. No matter what happened in the last fortnight of the season, the Dragons will finish last. They are two and a half wins behind the ninth placed Rhinos with only two games left to play, so there is just no way for them to catch up.

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