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What we now know

Via Suncorp Super Netball

WE’VE JUST TICKED OVER THE HALFWAY MARK OF THE INAUGURAL SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL SEASON.

Every team has played each other at least once, with a bye round this weekend to sit back and reflect. Here is what we have learnt so far.

The depth of Australian netball is real

Jessica Anstiss, Claire O’Brien, Abigail Latu-Meafou, Sasha Glasgow…just a handful of players who made their national league debuts this year.

These are players you may have never heard of before, but they are making an impact in 2017, up against some of the world’s best netballers.

Suncorp Super Netball is also providing more opportunities for players to get on court, and boy are they showing us what they’re made of.

Kaylia Stanton, Chloe Watson and Kelsey Browne are just a few athletes who are getting more opportunities in the new league.

Intensity has stepped up a level

Right from Round 1, we’ve seen a hard-fought and adrenaline-fueled competition. The average winning margin in the opening round was just 3.3 goals and we’ve seen two draws already.

The average winning margin across the first eight rounds of competition is 8.4 goals, compared to an average of 11.5 goals in the Trans-Tasman Netball League last year.

The play is tight, one-on-one and relentless. No game is a given, with any team having the ability to turn a match on its head in a matter of minutes and perfectly executed turnover ball.

All 60 minutes count

It may sound like a coaching cliché, but every minute of a 60-minute game counts.

It is surprising the number of times we’ve witnessed clubs lose their lead and composure when it really mattered.

The Swifts have fallen victim to this coach-killer a number of times, including in the last two rounds. Consistency across all four quarters will unlock the key to positive results and shaking up the competition.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

A team studded with Diamonds, the popular feeling prior to Suncorp Super Netball was that the Magpies could reign supreme.

Across town, after losing several experienced players, the Melbourne Vixens were over-looked, with their modest list of home-grown talents paired with Malawian import Mwai Kumwenda.

Fast-forward eight weeks and the Vixens have won both encounters of #TheBattle against their cross-town rivals. The Vixens sit second on the ladder, with a 6-1-1 record, whilst the Magpies have just scraped inside the top four, 4-0-4.

It’s a race to the finish

Just the top four teams will earn a spot in the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball Finals Series this June. Currently, a mere one competition point separates the top three teams – Giants, Vixens and Lightning.

The fourth position on the ladder is also currently decided by one competition point, with the Magpies with the edge over the Firebirds. Every game and every goal will count in the race to finals, so who will make it count when matters?

Having withdrawals during the by weekend? Re-watch full match replays on the Netball Live mobile app, Telstra TV and 9now.com.au.

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