Scoop Preview: SSN 2023 Preliminary Final

Scoop Preview: SSN 2023 Preliminary Final

By |2023-07-01T13:05:18+10:00June 30th, 2023|Categories: AUS, Match Previews, SSN|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Cover image: May Bailey


And then there were three. Last week’s action in Super Netball saw Vixens bow out in Perth, while Thunderbirds won a thriller in Sydney to progress to the Grand Final. So we’ve reached the Preliminary Final stage, with Swifts hosting Fever. The winner advances to the big one.

In Australia, the match will be broadcast on Fox Sports and Kayo. Starting from this week, matches in New Zealand will now be shown on TV NZ+. And in the Pacific Islands, games will be shown on PacificAus TV. Elsewhere in the world, you can stream all the games on Netball Australia TV.  You can also follow live scoring and statistics thanks to Champion Data.


Before we get on to the Prelim Final, check out our wrap of the Semi Finals

And here is Jenny Sinclair’s piece on legendary coach Julie Fitzgerald

Julie Fitzgerald. Image: Danny Dalton | Tah Dah Sports


Shooting partners Helen Housby and Romelda Aiken-George celebrate a spectacular finish to the match. Image: Clinton Bradbury

Helen Housby and Romelda Aiken-George celebrated a spectacular finish in round nine. Image: Clinton Bradbury



Qudos Bank Arena, Saturday, Jul 1, 7pm
(9pm NZ, 6:30pm SA, 5pm WA, 10am UK)
Umpires: Jemma Cook and Josh Bowring

Super Netball H2H:
Played 15 (Fever 9, Swifts 6)

Past Five Meetings:
2023 Round 9 – Fever 64 v Swifts 65
2023 Round 4 – Swifts 67 v Fever 78
2022 Round 13 – Swifts 72 v Fever 73
2022 Round 5 – Fever 76 v Swifts 58
2021 Round 9 – Swifts 66 v Fever 65

These two teams are likely coming into this game with different outlooks. After riding high with a nine-game winning run to claim the Minor Premiership, the NSW Swifts have now lost two in a row, both to the Adelaide Thunderbirds, and that has placed them in the knockout situation of a Preliminary Final. They were so close to victory last week and will likely be hurting. They could be feeling some doubts now. In contrast, the West Coast Fever are coming in off a good win against Vixens last week and the defending champions should be full of confidence. Looking at history, it’s hard to tell which team should be favoured. In the six previous seasons of Super Netball, the results of the Preliminary Final are evenly split 3-3, between the higher-ranked team coming off a loss and the lower-ranked team coming off a win.

These two teams have met twice this year and the results are one win apiece. Fever won comfortably in round four, and after that victory, they were riding high, undefeated and on top of the ladder, while Swifts were in sixth place on the ladder. At that stage, it’s doubtful that even the most one-eyed Swifts fan would have tipped them for the Minor Premiership. It was following that round four clash that Swifts went on their winning run, and part of the sequence was round nine where Swifts got over Fever by a goal in Perth. The game was largely decided by way of super shots. Swifts scored 10 through Helen Housby, while Fever only scored three. However, it must be pointed out that Fever was without their super shot specialist in goal attack Sasha Glasgow.

They were also missing experienced midcourter Jess Anstiss on that occasion. Both players are back now. Glasgow is again part of that dominant Fever attack end with champion goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler and wing attack Alice Teague-Neeld. It will be interesting to see how much game time Teigan O’Shannassy gets for Swifts. She has often been used at goal keeper up against the taller holding shooters, so it would not surprise if she was given the unenviable task of opposing Fowler here. Otherwise, the job will fall to Sarah Klau. She was one of Swifts’ best in the Major Semi Final and her combination with Maddy Turner is still one of the strongest in the league. Tayla Fraser has also been doing a consistent job at wing defence and it will be up to Fraser and Turner to try to keep Teague-Neeld quiet.

They actually did quite a good job of that in round nine, but it was Verity Simmons who rose to the challenge at centre for Fever. Simmons has been very consistent in the latter part of the season, and her battle with Maddy Proud will be great to watch. Proud gave up eight turnovers last week and there’s no way she can afford to do that against Fever, a team which keeps errors to a minimum. Another great match up sees Swifts’ Paige Hadley up against Anstiss. But the highlight of the match could be in the Swifts’ shooting circle. Goal attack Housby continued her outstanding form with another strong performance in the Major Semi Final loss. She is perhaps the most important player on court. If Swifts are to win, you can almost guarantee she will have had a good game.

Housby’s combination with Romelda Aiken-George will be vital to Swifts’ chances. They will be opposed to Fever’s in form defensive duo of Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang. Bruce turned in an extraordinary performance last week with seven possession gains and 15 deflections, while Aryang didn’t come up with the same stats, but worked tirelessly to pressure the Vixens attack. This game is very hard to pick. Given the form of both sides, perhaps Fever are slightly favoured, but Swifts will have the big home crowd behind them. Incidentally, with an eye to next week’s grand final, Thunderbirds are the only team that Swifts and Fever have failed to beat in Super Netball this year.

Shooters – Romelda Aiken-George, Helen Housby, Sophie Fawns
Midcourt – Paige Hadley, Maddy Proud, Tayla Fraser, Lili Gorman-Brown
Defence – Maddy Turner, Sarah Klau, Tiegan O’Shannassy

Shooters – Jhaniele Fowler, Sasha Glasgow, Emma Cosh
Midcourt – Alice Teague-Neeld, Verity Simmons, Jess Anstiss
Defence – Sunday Aryang, Courtney Bruce, Kim Jenner, Rudi Ellis


Courtney Bruce was a menace in defence, taking 7 gains for the match. Image: Clinton Bradbury

Courtney Bruce was a menace in defence in the minor semi final against Vixens. Image: Clinton Bradbury


Sarah Klau was one of Swifts’ best in the major semi final against Thunderbirds. Image: May Bailey

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