Crunch time in the Samsung Premier League

Posted by: UTS St George Sparks
July 27, 2016

With Round 13 fast approaching, and Finals chances on the line, the eight franchises in the 2016 Samsung Premier League know now is the time to really shine on the netball court.

Just two weeks of regular season action remain as coaches and managers prepare their teams – the Opens and U20s Divisions – for a shot at being crowned the first ever Netball NSW Samsung Premier League Champions. Wednesday 27 July will see teams fight it out for their second last chance to secure their place in the post-season.

The competition has already produced some outstanding results, match-ups, upsets and Round 13 will be no different as everything comes down to the wire. We take a look at where your team is sitting near the business end of the season and what the key match-ups will be.

Taking to Netball Central’s Show Court for Round 13 will be the Manly Warringah Sapphires and Panthers, who have both played some fine netball in both Divisions, and will have their Opens and U20s clashes live streamed this week on the Samsung Premier League website by BarTV Sports.

The table-topping Sapphires Opens team will take on a physical Panthers outfit in a first vs eighth clash which, despite the standings, could easily go either way. Despite sitting comfortably on top of the ladder, the Sapphires will be keen to get back to form after three consecutive losses, while the Panthers will be out for revenge after being narrowly defeated 55-51 last time the sides met in Round Six.

Penrith will be boosted by the return of Australian Netball League MVP Vanessa Mullamphy who bolstered her team’s performance in last week’s loss to North Shore United.

In the U20s the Panthers will be eager to maintain their top-four standing after winning six games so far this season. However, last time the side met the Sapphires downed the Panthers 56-55 in a wonderful clash. The Sapphires U20s, who lie sixth on the table, will be looking to keep their finals hopes alive with a win.

On Court 1, North Shore United and GWS Fury battle it out for fourth and fifth place in the Opens Division while their Under 20 counterparts will also be looking to keep their Finals push going  –  the Fury are currently third, and United fifth.

UTS St George Sparks and ERNA Hawks will go head-to-head on Court 2 with the U20s up first at 7pm. With only two wins this season the Hawks have struggled to climb the ranks in the Division after a tough 12 weeks of competition. While their Sparks opponents will be looking to maintain their top of the table showing so far and register their 10th win.

In the Opens, UTS and Hawks are sitting close together; the Sparks in sixth place while Hawks trail in seventh heading into Round 13. Both sides will be going full steam ahead to to try and secure a Finals spot n the next few weeks.

The Sutherland Stingrays and Central Coast Heart round out the list of Round 13 clashes and come together on Court 3.

The Stingrays are well in the Finals hunt, sitting second in both Divisions, but the Heart’s Opens team is only one place outside the Finals spots (5th) and have a huge incentive to get the win. The Heart’s U20s team faces a taller task if they are to make Finals, sitting seventh, and will need to beat the Stingrays if they are to have any hope of playing post-season netball.

Make sure you tune into BarTV Sports FREE live stream this Wednesday night from 6:55 to catch our Show Court LIVE STREAM. Follow this link