Can anybody cease the West Coast Fever from going back-to-back?
The Tremendous Netball season will get underway this weekend and the Fever are sturdy favourites to dominate once more after claiming their maiden premiership final season.
With powerhouse Jamaican aim shooter Jhaniele Fowler and Australian defender Courtney Bruce at both finish of the court docket, plus a deep squad rising in expertise — the Fever gained the preseason Crew Women Cup and can be arduous to beat.
Watch each recreation of Suncorp Tremendous Netball stay and ad-break free throughout play on Kayo. Begins March 18. New to Kayo? Begin your free trial now >
Perennial contenders the Melbourne Vixens can be across the mark once more, though final season’s runners-up have been dealt a blow with shooter Rahni Samason to overlook a big chunk of the season with a knee harm.
With solely eight groups and 4 finals spots up for grabs, Tremendous Netball is certainly one of Australia’s closest home competitions, evident within the snakes and ladders battle for finals final yr.
If Fever and Vixens are sturdy once more, that leaves simply two different finals spots.
One staff many are predicting to stand up the ladder is the Adelaide Thunderbirds, who snagged the recruit of the low season in England Roses shooter Eleanor Cardwell.
She provides to a deep roster of shooters together with Lucy Austin, Georgie Horjus and Tippah Dwan.
“Adelaide Thunderbirds, I really like the recruiting they’ve accomplished with Eleanor Cardwell,” Fox Netball’s Cath Cox instructed information.com.au.
“That’s a giant, massive pick-up for them. I feel she’ll be nice for them. I don’t know in the event that they’re able to successful however I feel they’re going to rock the boat lots this yr.”
Paired with Jamaican defensive duo Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson, the Thunderbirds have the expertise to push for finals.
South African star boosts Lightning
The Sunshine Coast Lightning had been picket spooners final season however can be boosted the return of gun South African defender Karla Pretorius.
Objective assault Steph Wooden is in profession greatest type and she is going to reunite with Cara Koenen within the capturing circle after they loved a profitable mixture at January’s Quad Sequence.
However the Lightning have copped a heartbreaking harm blow on the eve of the season, with defender Tara Hinchcliffe rupturing her ACL for a second time.
“The one means is up actually,” Koenen joked.
“The league is admittedly tight factors clever. We had just a few superior performances and we received waxed just a few instances on court docket as properly.
“We’ll undoubtedly be seeking to make finals and be actually, actually aggressive this yr.”
Gretel Bueta, arguably Australia’s greatest netballer, will miss the Queensland Firebirds’ marketing campaign and this yr’s Netball World Cup after saying she was pregnant together with her second youngster.
Donnell Wallam, who starred in her debut Tremendous Netball season and made her Diamonds debut final yr, should shoulder a heavy load up entrance on the Queensland Firebirds.
World Cup creates Collingwood dilemma
Whereas the main target is on Tremendous Netball, there may be already one eye on this yr’s Netball World Cup, the place Australia can be aiming to reclaim the title off New Zealand.
With Bueta unavailable for choice, Koenen, Wallam and Collingwood’s Sophie Garbin will all look to place their greatest foot forwards for his or her golf equipment.
There’s intrigue round Garbin — who shone when given the aim shooter’s bib for the Diamonds and is a superb holding shooter underneath the publish — however is relegated to aim assault behind Shimona Nelson on the Magpies.
“It’s a difficult one as a result of it’s additionally not serving to Sophie Garbin’s worldwide marketing campaign,” Cox mentioned of the membership dilemma.
“Ideally she’s a aim shooter, that’s the place she performs one of the best. However she’s received to be doing it typically to get actually snug with it and to get that recreation sense and recreation energy up.
“Clearly with Shimona Nelson sitting behind her that’s actually tough to do as a result of they need to have one of the best on court docket however to have the 2 greatest on court docket there’s certainly one of them out of place.”
It could immediate Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich to ask Magpies coach Nicole Richardson to offer Garbin extra minutes at aim shooter.
“I don’t understand how that chat goes on,” Cox mentioned.
“If in a World Cup yr, if Stacey Marinkovich picks up the telephone to Nicole Richardson and goes, ‘Are you able to do us a favour and get her on the court docket?’.
“I’m certain she’s not going to cross the boundaries and do this however you’d actually be excited about it, wouldn’t you.”
Swifts to rebound from ‘disappointing’ 2022
Elsewhere, the Giants are decided to go all the way in which and win the premiership after making finals however falling simply quick on a number of events lately.
They are going to doubtless be battling it out with the NSW Swifts, who simply missed the highest 4 final season after an ACL harm to shooter Sam Wallace.
Wallace is ready to make her return this season, and the Swifts’ capturing shares have been boosted by coaching companion Romelda Aiken-George, together with Helen Housby and teen Sophie Fawns.
“I feel the Swifts can be just a little higher with Sam Wallace again within the combine,” Cox mentioned.
“And you concentrate on the likes of a Romelda Aiken on the sidelines, it’s fairly loopy.”
Swifts co-captain Maddy Proud is aware of they’ll make finals however desires to see extra consistency from her staff each week.
“The best way final season ended was tremendous disappointing,” Proud instructed information.com.au.
“Clearly we had the heartbreak of dropping Sami early however I really suppose we put out sufficient good performances that we may have been in rivalry for finals however we in all probability simply let ourselves down on the flawed instances.
“To beat just a few of the groups we did beat confirmed we had been undoubtedly in it final season however it was simply that lack of consistency, not with the ability to string collectively good performances was an actual let down for us.
“We’ve already addressed the very fact we are able to’t let that occur once more. Sure, we could have had a distinct capturing mixture in there however that may occur to any staff in any the place.
“Now we have to look to ourselves first however as a collective, what brought on us to lose our means by the center of that season. For us finals and successful the competitors is at all times the benchmark and we need to exit and do this in 2023.”
Spherical 1 motion is headlined by the Grand Ultimate replay between the Fever and Vixens on Saturday evening.
Catch all of the motion on Fox Netball by way of Kayo Sports activities. Every spherical, two chosen video games can be accessible to stream without spending a dime on Kayo Freebies.
The final recreation of each spherical can be instantly adopted by journal present Pivot, which can present highlights from the spherical and wrap up the weekend’s motion
Tremendous Netball 2023 Spherical 1 (all instances AEDT)
Collingwood vs NSW Swifts — Saturday 5pm
West Coast Fever vs Melbourne Vixens — Saturday 7pm
Sunshine Coast Lightning vs Giants — Sunday 2pm
Queensland Firebirds vs Adelaide Thunderbirds — Sunday 4pm