Vitality Netball Superleague preview: Round 6

AFTER a momentous Round 5 effort, each Vitality Netball Superleague club will be chomping at the bit to get a win in Round 6. With no Sunday games this week, fans will certainly look forward to big ladder movement games between their sides to keep the intensity flowing throughout the weekend.

Manchester Thunder and Loughborough Lightning will clash to open Round 6, with Thunder hosting the Lightning at 5pm at Belle Vue on Saturday evening. Though Lightning are facing second placed Thunder on their home soil, they will be looking to one-up their round 5 efforts and not let the highly ranked side get far ahead in the first quarter. Thunder will look to continue their strong run in the competition thus far, so will be gearing up for a good match against the current seventh seated side.

Severn Stars will host unlikely round 5 dominators, Surrey Storm on Saturday at University of Worchester Arena at 6pm. Storm rocketed up to sixth following their dominant final quarter performance and 20-goal victory over London Pulse in Round 5, after sitting tenth at the end of Round 4. Stars will need to be wary of Storm’s fourth term ability coming into this match. Meanwhile in Round 5, the Stars were on par with second ranked Manchester Thunder until the third quarter when they dropped the ball, meaning they will need to ensure they capitalise on every opportunity possible in the second half.

Saracens Mavericks will take on Team Bath in what is looking to be a Round 6 thriller between third and fourth on the ladder. Hosted at Hertfordshire Sports Village at 6pm, Saturday’s highly ranked matchup will surely be a nailbiter, with both sides sitting on three wins for the season, though Bath has played one less game. With Bath only ahead based on percentage, Mavericks will want to come out firing with accuracy against the strong side, while also stopping Bath goal shooter, Kim Commane who shot at 96 per cent in Round 5.

On Monday night the Celtic Dragons will host Wasps Netball for a 7pm start at Sports Wales National Centre. The Dragons have landed back on the winners list this week after a tight win over Strathclyde Sirens, while Wasps also had a tight match, albeit continuing their strong streak to start the season. The Dragons will need to do their homework ahead of this match, likely looking at the Wasps’ Round 5 match against Saracens Mavericks for guidance on how to effectively combat the Wasps’ strong forward lineup.

The final match of the round and will take place between this week’s bottom two sides, with tenth-ranked London Pulse hosting the ninth-placed Strathclyde Sirens at 7:30pm at Copperbox Arena. Pulse received a shock in the final quarter last week, perhaps going into their Round 5 match complacent, so will be a lot more ready to fight tooth and nail for a win this week. The Sirens had a disappointing loss in Round 5, only going down by four points, so will want to look at their highlights to improve on their midcourt issues last week.

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