The finals race is heating up, but who can book their place?
THERE is only three weeks left of the 2022 Victorian Netball League (VNL) home and away season, so from here on out every win becomes more and more crucial. The top two are locked in, but only one win separates fourth and fifth, so there is certainly a lot still to play for.
One game in the line up this week that could go a long way to determining the final make up of the finals is the clash between the North East Blaze and Hawks Netball.
On paper this should be an easy win to the Blaze, but the Blaze will be extra keen to win this one because they currently sit in fourth, and they need the win to bridge the gap between them and the fifth placed Saints. Last week they beat the Express by a single goal in an entertaining tussle. They will take confidence from the fact that they can win games under those tough kind of situations.
Meanwhile for the Hawks, they can technically still make the top four, but a lot of things have to go in their favour, and if they lose even only one more game this season, their finals hopes are gone. They are also coming off a bad loss to the Saints so will be keen to rectify that.
Tonight’s clash is the second clash between the two sides this season. Back in Round 6, it was a nine-goal win to the Blaze. Although it took the Blaze a while to get going that night, they were able to weather a Hawks’ fightback to take the win.
Both sides had shooting circles (Nyah Allen and Georgia Moody, and Kaylia Stanton and Tayla Shannon respectively) that night that have proven to be great partnerships this season, so both sides will be looking for that great team work to continue tonight.
In other matches this round, the Southern Saints will be hoping to bridge that gap to the Blaze when they take on Melbourne University, while another potentially enthralling clash sees Geelong up against Boroondara. The Ariels have a daunting task coming up against the City West Falcons, while the Casey Demons are up against Peninsula.
VNL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 16 FIXTURE
Wilson Storage Southern Saints vs Melbourne University Lightning
Casey Demons vs Peninsula Waves
Geelong Cougars vs Boroondara Express
Ariels vs City West Falcons
North East Blaze vs Hawks Netball