Ian HarkinModeratorFebruary 16, 2021 at 6:18 pmPost count: 15861
2021 Rounds 1 & 2
After 335 days, the Vitality Netball Superleague really did come back with a bang this weekend as eleven teams took to court across a bumper 10 matches, all of which were live streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel in a historical first for the league. With 12 minute quarters, match day squads of 12 and the potential for games to end in a draw, the rules were slightly different this year, but the intensity brought to the court most certainly was not. Whilst we saw a few teams show some first match nerves, the joy and excitement of being back on court was clear.
England NetballJinxiboParticipantFebruary 17, 2021 at 6:15 amPost count: 1146
What a great read!
And stats, we finally have some stats for VSNL.
Thank you, Zara Collings, Iona St Joseph, Bethany Lord, Daisy Cotterill, Eve Cobbett, Rona Hunnisett and Ian Harkin for putting this together.
Now I have something else look forward to in these days of never ending lockdown.Zara CollingsParticipantFebruary 17, 2021 at 7:14 amPost count: 337
So glad you liked it Jinxibo!
All of twitter has gone wild for the stats, you really would have hoped the stats would be more widely published but alasIan HarkinModeratorFebruary 17, 2021 at 7:31 amPost count: 15861
England Netball really need their own version of Champion Data.Zara CollingsParticipantFebruary 17, 2021 at 9:07 amPost count: 337
This would be a miracle 🙌🏼
Now all the games are being streamed and audience numbers this weekend seem pretty high, we can only hope investments are made into this kind of thing. Seems so simple but would be such a big step forward for the leagueIan HarkinModeratorFebruary 20, 2021 at 5:49 pmPost count: 15861
For those outside the UK and NZ not able to watch the full coverage, there are some short highlights videos of some of the games from last weekend on the England Netball YouTube page.Ian HarkinModeratorFebruary 24, 2021 at 1:26 amPost count: 15861
After being spoiled with a double header weekend to kick off the season, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like we had a long wait until Round 3 got going on Sunday, with Storm taking on Rhinos in the first match. With the mid-week announcement that key shooter Donnell Wallam would miss a significant portion of the season due to fracturing her radius bone and that co-captain Fi Toner and starting goal keeper Tuaine Keenan would not be available for a number of weeks, there was some uncertainty as to how Rhinos would go without three of their starting seven players. Taking to court with grit, determination and an impressive commitment to their game plan, Rhino’s again proved they were a real force to be reckoned with in 2021.
Photo: Ben Lumley/England NetballIan HarkinModeratorMarch 3, 2021 at 2:45 pmPost count: 15861
The fourth round of the Vitality Netball Superleague gave us record breaking wins, some real improvements, tough injury blows and some powerful returns to court. It had it all. Lightning solidified their position at the top of the table with two strong victories over Leeds Rhinos and Severn Stars, taking them three points clear of the second placed Thunder, who have a game in hand. Continuing to rotate squad members, Lightning have demonstrated the depth of their bench with younger players really stepping up and proving they deserve their spot on court. Round 1 debutante Suzie Liverseidge keeping England Rose Ella Clark on the bench for the first few quarters of their first match and Ugandan She-Crane Mary Cholhok on the bench for some of their second round four games. This versatility in Lightning’s attack will be key moving forward, with coach Sara Bayman able to rotate players to keep them fresh and match up appropriately against different opposition.
Ben Lumley (England Netball)Ian HarkinModeratorMarch 5, 2021 at 10:09 pmPost count: 15861
NS Scoreboard: VNSL End of the First Quarter
By Zara Collings
With 22 matches under our belt, we have reached the first break in the Vitality Netball SuperLeague 2021 season. All teams have come out firing, some more so than others, and in this VNSL free weekend I wanted to take the opportunity to have a look back at some of the standout performances across the first four rounds. We’ve seen plenty of debuts, a return from retirement and a whole host of impressive set plays, turnovers and intercepts, all from a centralised venue in Wakefield that looks nothing short of epic.
Ben Lumley/England NetballIan HarkinModeratorMarch 17, 2021 at 9:31 pmPost count: 15861
By Zara collings
Rounds five and six gave us another bumper four days of netball, as all eleven teams took to the court after a much needed weekend break. For many, the bye weekend offered a chance to regroup, put in some hard training sessions and take to the court with renewed enthusiasm. None more so than Severn Stars and London Pulse, who claimed their first wins of the 2021 season against Surrey Storm and Celtic Dragons. For Stars, the return of target Shooter Georgia Rowe, coupled with her mid-court’s new-found confidence to turn and sight her, proved to be the winning formula they needed to secure victory. It was the most comprehensive performance we have seen from Stars so far this year and they achieved this without their superstar Captain Liana Leota on court. There is no denying her flair and creativity is world class, however with Bethan Dyke and Lucy Harris partnering in the mid-court, we have instead seen Stars take a more measured approach to goal, which has proven to be key to their success.
Ben Lumley/England NetballIan HarkinModeratorMarch 24, 2021 at 11:53 amPost count: 15861
By Zara Collings
After another tightly-fought weekend of netball, Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath have pushed ahead of the rest of the teams to sit at the top of the Vitality Netball SuperLeague table, with a five point gap emerging between them and the rest of the league. Team Bath were able to maintain their unbeaten streak, adding another two wins to their 2021 season tally against Surrey Storm and Strathclyde Sirens. However both matches were certainly not easy for Bath, with teams slowly working out how to break down the attacking unit of Kim Borger and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, who have so far this season been unstoppable. Sirens were able to turn the ball over 13 times in this match, the most of any team that has faced Bath so far this season.
Ben Lumley/England NetballIan HarkinModeratorMarch 31, 2021 at 11:33 pmPost count: 15861
By Zara Collings
Round eight was the round for the defenders, with some incredible defensive performances across all six games of the round. A common conversation throughout the season has been how each team’s attacking units stand up to the dynamic, intuitive and man-on defensive pressure that teams are increasingly producing in 2021, and this week was no different. Our current top two of Bath and Loughborough Lightning continued to separate themselves from the rest of the league , with five points now separating Lightning and third placed Wasps, with both squads showing the grit and depth to cement their place within the top two.Ian HarkinModeratorApril 7, 2021 at 8:37 amPost count: 15861
By Zara Collings
I say this every single week, but what a weekend of Netball from the Vitality Netball Superleague. Round nine has well and truly shaken up the top four and the competition has been heating up at the other end of the table too. Manchester Thunder moved into second place after claiming six points this weekend, taking wins against their top four opponents in Loughborough Lightning and Saracens Mavericks with Mavericks ending Round nine outside the top four on goal difference alone. The reign of our top two of Team Bath and Loughborough Lightning has come to an end, with a clinical Saracen’s Mavericks and a plucky Manchester Thunder causing some serious upsets. Whilst Bath by no means played badly, Mavericks put out a structured and spirited performance, with each individual leaving their all on the court in a thriller of a match that boiled down to a single goal.
Ben Lumley/England netballIan HarkinModeratorApril 23, 2021 at 4:07 pmPost count: 15861
By Ian Harkin
Well, what an opening round we have just witnessed in the 2021 ANZ Premiership. The start of this year’s competition was highly anticipated thanks to a great deal of player movement and some high profile team changes in the off-season. Going in, there was a feeling this could be an even and unpredictable season. And the first round certainly did not disappoint in that regard. Last year’s two grand finalists both lost, while the two teams at the other end of the ladder in 2020, both won.
The opening match saw Central Pulse, the two time defending champions, come up against Northern Stars. Much was expected of the Stars who had recruited well. Meanwhile, the Pulse lineup was missing some top names from the champion team of last year. Among the big outs was Silver Ferns shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio who it was announced would be taking time away from the game to recover from fatigue. She is now back training with the team, but it’s unknown when she will return to playing.Ian HarkinModeratorApril 29, 2021 at 3:55 pmPost count: 15861
Rounds 10 & 11
by Zara Collings
Rounds ten and eleven marked the end of the Vitality Netball SuperLeague’s stay in Wakefield, rounding out an incredible 60 matches at the venue. Whilst the weekend’s fixtures generated a lot of excitement, with Sirens and Rhinos both tipped to cause upsets, the top teams once again asserted their dominance and claimed convincing wins over the challengers.
The round kicked off on Friday with Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath taking the three points over Strathclyde Sirens and Leeds Rhinos. Whilst Siren’s started the match strongly, what can only be described as a terrible third quarter saw Lightning score eighteen goals in comparison to Sirens’ five. Notching up fifteen unforced errors by the end of the match, some scatty play and intense defensive pressure from Lightning exposed Sirens’ and the game blew out. After coming so close to challenging the league’s top teams in recent weeks, this will be somewhat of a blow for Sirens, however will also be a steep learning curve with clear work-ons.
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