The 2017 Australian Netball League regular season wrapped up at the weekend with Netball NSW’s two teams – the NNSW Waratahs and Canberra GIANTS – both registering two wins apiece.
The results mean the GIANTS finish second on the competition ladder after the regular season and will now contest the Finals Series. And while the Waratahs – who finished their season seventh on the ladder – will miss out on Finals in 2017, they did manage to end their season on a high note on the Sunshine Coast.
The GIANTS – a joint venture between Netball NSW and Netball ACT – played a weekend double header on home turf at the Genea Netball Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, on Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 April, and won both games against the Queensland Fusion.
Strong showings in the first three quarters were the catalyst for the GIANTS’ opening win on Saturday. They outscored the Queenslanders 13-10, 15-10 and 14-10 in those periods, and while the Fusion rallied in the last quarter the GIANTS had plenty to see the game out 54-43.
Dominant second and third quarters did the business again for the GIANTS the teams’ Sunday clash. While the game was a closer affair than the day before, the home side had too much firepower for their opponents and eventually ran out 54-47 winners.
The GIANTS will now play Western Sting this Saturday in Perth for a place in Sunday’s ANL Grand Final. In the other semifinal Victoria Fury take on Queesland Fusion.
The NNSW Waratahs, meanwhile, travelled to the Sunshine Coast to do battle with the Territory Storm on Saturday and Sunday.
The NSW side were already out of Finals contention but determined to register back-to-back wins to see out their 2017 campaign and they did just that.
A strong opening quarter, which the Waratahs won 17-11, was the key period of a game which see-sawed between the two sides. The Storm did take the spoils in the second quarter but with the NSW side edging the other two they had enough to take the win 50-44.
Despite losing the first quarter of the teams’ second clash 13-12 on the Sunday, the Waratahs showed great fighting spiriting their final three quarters of 2017 action to power to a 62-45 win and round out their season in winning fashion.