Round 13 Preview

The phrase #AllOnTheLine has never been more true, as we head into the second-last week of the season with a top four still to be determined.

GIANTS Netball v Queensland Firebirds
Friday 19 May 7.30pm

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, Sydney
Tickets
Broadcast: Live on Telstra TV, Netball Live App
On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App

Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald may yet have more surprises in store for the desperate Firebirds.

The experienced mentor plunged deep into her tactical options in recent weeks, including swapping the shooting bibs, and handing goaler Susan Pettitt a run at wing attack.

There must be a limit to what you can achieve with 10 players but the Giants believe they have not yet explored every option.

“We don’t know yet what the line-up will be,” said wing attack Sarah Wall.

“Julie’s very creative and not afraid to try things.”

The Firebirds are mathematically still a chance to play in the finals but need a miracle to do so.

They must win both remaining games, and need the Magpies not to earn another point.

Sunshine Coast Lightning v NSW Swifts
Saturday 20 May 7.00pm

USC Stadium, Sippy Downs
Tickets

Broadcast: Live on 9Gem, Netball Live App
On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App

Are we witnessing an uncharacteristic slump from Lightning sharpshooter Caitlin Bassett?

The mere suggestion might be heresy but here are some numbers to illustrate a trend.

Bassett’s average over the past two seasons has been above 40, and she started the season averaging a stellar 46 goals over the first four rounds.

Over the last four matches, Bassett’s output has dipped ever so slightly to 37 goals.

Facing in-form Swifts defender Sarah Klau will likely bring out her best.

West Coast Fever v Magpies Netball Club
Saturday 20 May 6.45pm

Perth Arena, Perth
Tickets

Broadcast: Live on Telstra TV, Netball Live App
On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App

This is West Coast Fever’s chance to restore some pride and affect the finals pecking order.

They were disappointed with last week’s loss to Sunshine Coast but will be energised by an expected monster crowd at Perth Arena.

After finding some consistency, Magpies coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell had demanded from her side a commitment to pursue perfection over the final two rounds.

The coach said centre Kim Ravaillion was the “complete package” against the Swifts, while Caitlin Thwaites is nine goals ahead of Lightning’s Caitlin Bassett in the race for the top of the shooting tally.

Melbourne Vixens v Adelaide Thunderbirds
Sunday 21 May 3.00pm
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Tickets
Broadcast: Live on Telstra TV, Netball Live App

On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App

The Thunderbirds have reason to fear on two fronts when they travel to Melbourne to face the second-placed Vixens.

The Giants did Adelaide no favours last weekend when they exposed some shortcomings in the Vixens attack.

Melbourne equalled its lowest goal tally for the season but would have addressed that in preparations to face the Thunderbirds.

Secondly, coach Dan Ryan has made it painfully clear reputations have no bearing on his decisions, leaving several Thunderbirds with just two more games to prove they deserve a place on next year’s roster.