Netball Superleague: Which team will get the last Final Series place?

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The final stages of this year’s Netball Superleague season are coming to a close, with some teams only having two games to play, while others have five.

The top four will qualify for the Final Series, where the club that finishes first will face fourth in the semi-finals and second will take on third. The winner of both of these matches will then compete in the 2021 Grand Final, while the two losers will meet in a third-place play-off.

Team Bath and Loughborough Lightning have already secured their place in the Final Series and reigning champions Manchester Thunder, who sit third, are within touching distance of making it as well. They need two points out of a possible 12.

With the assumption that Thunder will secure that third spot in the semi-finals, and there only being six points between fourth and seventh, who could be the last side to make the cut?

Wasps

The two-time Grand Final winners have played the most of the four teams in contention for the last Final Series place. Wasps currently sit fourth and have two regular season games remaining against Saracens Mavericks and Surrey Storm.

The Midlands outfit are on 31 points going into these fixtures and if their legendary goal-shooter Rachel Dunn continues her fine form in attack, and Amy Flanaghan, Josei Huckle and Fran Williams shine in defence, there is every chance of coming away with six points from their last two matches.

Leeds Rhinos

The newest franchise to play in English netball’s top flight, Leeds Rhinos, have had some campaign so far.

They have two games in hand on Wasps but their next game could be the deciding factor as to whether they’ll pip them to fourth. Rhinos face Lightning a week on Sunday and a loss would mean they could only finish on 36 points in total if they won their final three games.

If the Yorkshire outfit secure a victory against Loughborough and go onto win their other three fixtures they will finish on 39 points.

However, if Dan Ryan’s side were to miss out on the top four, this isn’t something the Australian would be too downbeat about. In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport Women, the Australian said:

“So it’s a mindset of riding the wave and if that means we end up in the top four, that’s great. If it doesn’t, we’ve also achieved a hell of a lot in our first season.”

Strathclyde Sirens

Scotland’s only franchise, Strathclyde Sirens, have never made it to the Final Series, and face an exceptionally tough run in their last four games.

Sirens currently sit sixth with 26 points. Despite the five-point gap between them and Wasps, it’s still achievable to come in the top four if they secure four victories and results elsewhere go in their favour.

The chances of this happening will be slim, with the Scottish side needing to beat Bath, Thunder, Celtic Dragons and fellow competitors Mavericks for this to happen.

Saracens Mavericks

The final contender for a top four finish is two-time Grand Final winners, Saracens Mavericks.

The Herefordshire outfit have played the least amount of fixtures of the four (15) and will be looking to use that to their advantage going into the final stages of this campaign.

Mavericks have to do battle with league leaders Bath and have the task of stopping Wasps from securing that last Final Series place and taking on Sirens in three of their last five matches.

If Saracens were to win these remaining fixtures they’ll see themselves finish fourth and have the chance to secure their third Grand Final win.

With all the above taken into consideration, we break down how we think the final table will look come the end of round 20:

The final standings won’t change much from what they currently are. The only difference would be Mavericks and Sirens swapping places.

I expect Rhinos to narrowly miss out on the Final Series by one point and Wasps to remain in fourth position.

VNSL 2021 Table predicted
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