Here we are. Finally. The delayed and much altered 2020 version of Suncorp Super Netball is about to start. We can only hope there are no more Covid-19 related problems and that we get to see the competition play out and reach its ultimate conclusion in a grand final played at Nissan Arena in Brisbane. But who will be there? Which two teams will battle their way through all the trials and tribulations and make it to the big day?
The Netball Scoop writers were asked for their predictions and the results of our poll were quite interesting. The team that most of us expect to be there on grand final day, wasn’t in fact one of last season’s grand finalists, the NSW Swifts or Sunshine Coast Lightning. It was the team that finished just behind them; the Melbourne Vixens. Of the ten people polled, eight of them believe the Simone McKinnis coached lineup will be there. Swifts had five mentions, Lightning four, Giants two and there was one tip for the Thunderbirds to make a grand final appearance.
And which team is going to take out Super Netball for 2020? Again, the Vixens were a popular choice, with four of our crew selecting them to go two better than last year’s third place finish. But it was a varied mix of selections with four different teams tipped to win. Swifts, Lightning and Giants all received two nods to take the title.
The other question our team was asked, was who would win the MVP this year. Jhaniele Fowler has won for the past two seasons, but she didn’t receive a single pick from our group, with the introduction of the super shot tipped to lessen her dominance in the shooting circle. Six of our ten voters went for defenders instead, with three each plumping for Karla Pretorius from the Lightning and the Thunderbirds’ Shamera Sterling. They were the only players with multiple nominations.
Who did I go for? Well, for me, it’s hard to go past the Swifts as premiers. Defending champs, and with two class shooters who are both more than comfortable shooting from range. They also get back their captain Maddy Proud to add to an already strong midcourt mix and they have a very solid defence. What’s not to like? For the other grand finalists, I went for the Vixens. Again, they’re already a strong team as it is, but they have the added bonus that their shooters are adept at shooting from range. I think they will finish just ahead of Lightning and Giants in the top four.
For MVP, I’ve gone for maybe a surprise choice in Jo Harten. She has polled quite well in the past, and now gets a rule change that suits her down to the ground. The super shot should see Harten’s shooting being the decisive factor in some games, enough to perhaps sway the MVP voters her way. Like some of the others though, I do also think Pretorius and Sterling will be right up there.
So those are our thoughts. How close will we go? Here’s to an exciting season of Suncorp Super Netball in 2020.
Netball Scoop Predictions
Jenny Sinclair – Lightning v Swifts (MVP Shamera Sterling)
Cara Gledhill – Lightning v Vixens (MVP Karla Pretorius)
Kate Cornish – Swifts v Vixens (MVP Karla Pretorius)
Katrina Nissen – Vixens v Swifts (MVP Karla Pretorius)
Andrew Kennedy – Giants v Vixens (MVP Shamera Sterling)
Nick Bleeker – Vixens v Lightning (MVP Kate Moloney)
Jane Edwards – Vixens v Swifts (MVP Sam Wallace)
Alexia Mitchell – Giants v Thunderbirds (MVP Shamera Sterling)
Bethany Slaughter – Vixens v Lightning (MVP Liz Watson)
Ian Harkin – Swifts v Vixens (MVP Jo Harten)