Competition enters second half of season
June 22, 2016
The 2016 Samsung Premier League has been producing some wonderful netball so far this season and tomorrow night, Wednesday 22 June, will be no exception as Round 9 action takes centre stage at Netball Central.
The Round 9 meetings will be the second time the sides will square off against one another, with every team already facing off in the opening eight rounds.
Remember you can watch a live stream of the Open and U20s Show Court games – UTS St George Sparks v Panthers this week – on our Live Games tab above from 7:00pm.
Here we take a look at this Round’s match-ups in Opens and U20s Divisions; how the teams fared the last time they met, and how they are doing overall in their respective competitions.
UTS St George Sparks v Panthers
The Sparks are currently in third place in the Opens Division after eight rounds, with five wins and three losses. The Panthers meanwhile are four places further back in seventh with two wins from their eight games. The teams last met in Round 2 with St George winning 56-46.
Both teams are in the top four of the U20s Division with the Sparks second with six wins from eight games, while the Panthers sit in fourth with five wins and three losses from the opening eight rounds. When the teams last met at the end of April it resulted in a closely contested 49-45 win to the Sparks.
Manly Warringah Sapphires v North Shore United
The only team to remain undefeated in either Division so far this year, the Manly Warringah Sapphires Opens side have been in magnificent form all season and sit atop the table with eight consecutive wins – five spots ahead of this week’s rivals United, who sit in sixth with two wins. Manly had a 55-44 win over United when the sides last met.
In the U20s Division the teams are nestled beside each other in fifth and sixth; Manly (5th) with four wins and four losses, and United (6th) with two wins and five losses. Both will still harbour finals ambitions and United will be out to avenge a narrow two-goal defeat to the Sapphires in Round 2.
ERNA Hawks v Central Coast Heart
The Hawks will be hoping to move into the Opens top four at the expense of this weeks’s opponents with a win at Netball Central tonight. The Heart lie in fourth, just one win clear of the Hawks, with four wins and four losses so far; but that could all change if ERNA can take the points and improve their win-loss ratio to 4-5 for the year. Central Coast claimed a 54-46 victory last time they met.
In the U20s Division both teams have big jobs on their hands if they are to make finals with Central Coast lying in seventh place and ERNA in eighth – but mathematically it is still possible for them both to feature. They have managed a win and a draw each so far this season, and will be gunning for a vital win. The Hawks took the spoils 55-39 when the teams last met.
Sutherland Stingrays v GWS Fury
The Stingrays will be looking to stay in touch with the Sapphires at the top of the Opens ladder when they take on eighth-placed Fury. Sutherland sits in second place with five wins so far, but will face a rejuvenated Fury side buoyed by their second win of the season (over Panthers) last week.
GWS are leading the way – just ahead of the Sparks on goal differential – in the U20s Division. They are on 12 points after six wins, but the Stingrays – who are in third place with 11 points – could leapfrog them to the top of the table if they win clash and the Sparks lose. The Fury had a big 45-29 win over the Stingrays when the sides met in Round 2.