The Inner Sanctum’s Super Netball Finals Crystal Ball

Our netball experts give their Super Netball finals predictions. (Photos: GIANTS Netball; NSW Swifts; West Coast Fever; Sunshine Coast Lightning)

The much awaited Suncorp Super Netball finals begin on Saturday.

It all kicks off with a Sydney derby between Giants Netball and the NSW Swifts at 1pm (AEST) at Nissan Arena. It’s a blockbuster double header, with last year’s runners-up the West Coast Fever against the Sunshine Coast Lightning at 3pm.

Every team enters on a level playing field, on neutral territory. After a rollercoaster race to the finish with multiple games a week, all four finalists were able to enjoy a seven day break.

With last year’s premiers, the Melbourne Vixens, not featuring this series, we’re guaranteed to crown a new league champion.

Our netball experts took a look into the crystal ball, giving their finals predictions for the make or break month of August.

Super Netball Finals Predictions

Alex Catalano

Premiers: West Coast Fever

Runner-up: Giants Netball

Grand Final MVP: Jhaniele Fowler

Player of the finals: Alice Teague-Neeld

The Green Machine has shown itself to be vulnerable at times, but I’m basing this more in stats and hard data (and gut feel too, so really, not based in fact at all).

Over the past two seasons, only one team has managed to defeat the Fever twice in the same year: last year’s premiers, the Melbourne Vixens. The Giants have been the giant slayers, but can they do it again in the Grand Final? I see the Fever’s big game experience edging them over.

Fowler continues to be one of the scariest players in the league to match up on. Even despite losing to the Giants last week, Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a couldn’t keep her away from a monster 56 goal, two rebound game. The two sides still haven’t met this year with April Brandley in the mix, however. There’s a bit in that.

Alice Teague-Neeld might be a bit of a smoky pick, but I believe I’m starting to see what coach Stacey Marinkovich likes about her, selecting the 25-year-old shooter in the Diamonds development squad. She flies under the radar as Fowler’s partner in crime, and I think she’ll have a very consistent three games across the Fever’s run to the title.

What The Fever Need in 2020 - Suncorp Super Netball
Is now Diamond development player Alice Teague-Neeld ready for a break-out finals? (Photo: Super Netball)

Daniel Coppel

Premiers: NSW Swifts

Runner-up: Giants Netball

Grand Final MVP: Maddy Proud

Player of the finals: Amy Parmenter

We’re primed for a repeat of last year. The Vixens, battling on on behalf of all of Victoria, deep in the clutches of lockdown, came through with a brilliant finals series to win it for home. 

This year, the NSW teams have done it tough. And it’s not just the fact they’ve been on the road for seven weeks, and in five different states. The Giants did it tough when they went to Perth to play the West Coast Fever in what was a disastrous trip across the country. They were against the odds last weekend when they took on the Fever again, minus Brandley and McDonell, and still came away with a gutsy victory.

With experienced coach Julie Fitzgerald behind them, they won’t be overawed by the occasion, and will be right there on the day. The only thing standing in their way, Julie’s past. 

Briony Akle was coached by Fitzgerald, while she was at the Swifts. The Swifts, for all of their 25 year history, have personified success in netball at the national level. They’ve faced adversity this year too, including being without Akle while she was in isolation with her sons, after being a COVID contact. 

With that challenge behind them, the Swifts have settled into a versatility that means that they can handle whatever is thrown at them, and teams are yet to work out how to beat the Swifts slow moving, clinical netball. Throughout the finals, expect them to throw in a wrinkle or two that makes teams stumble, and paves the way for another Swifts championship.

Julie Fitzgerald Recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours List - GIANTS  Netball
Can coach Julie Fitzgerald’s experience be the difference for the Giants? (Photo: GIANTS Netball)

Elly McNerney

Premiers: Giants Netball 

Runner-up: West Coast Fever 

Grand Final MVP: Jo Harten 

Player of the finals: Amy Parmenter

Come grand final day there will be a big, big sound coming from Nissan Arena, If we learnt anything from Round 14 of the Super Netball, it’s to never count out the Giants. After a massive win over Fever without April Brandley or Matilda McDonell and only eight players to choose, it will put the side in a good position going forward. 

This isn’t just by having the pair back into the side, but also for the Giants confidence and belief to go into the final series will be a major component of the sides pursuit for Victory. 

The West Coast Fever have an unstoppable force in the goal circle by the name of Jhaniele Fowler. Jo Harten isn’t as tall, but she can certainly hit teams where it hurts: on the scoreboard. She’s willing to take the ones when needed, but not afraid to go for the Super Shot. 

Amy Parmenter has been outstanding all season, and if the Giants want to take home the premiership trophy back to Sydney they’ll need someone to get lots of ball back across all of the finals. Parmenter is the woman for the job, she isn’t afraid to go for the intercept and can shut down the best wing attacks in the competition when needed.

GIANTS Condemn Online Abuse - GIANTS Netball
Can Jo Harten be the big game player the Giants need? (Photo: GIANTS Netball)

Jasper Chellappah

Premiers: West Coast Fever

Runner-up: Giants Netball

Grand Final MVP: Jhaniele Fowler

Player of the finals: Jhaniele Fowler

The Green Machine will roll through the finals series without an issue. No player in the league has demonstrated a capacity to nullify the influence of Fowler on games. She will continue her ridiculous run over the last few years, and put 50-plus goals up every outing. 

The one issue the Fever regularly faces is the Super Shot. They don’t shoot them with regularity, and clubs like the Giants – who often live by the Super Shot down the stretch – have tested the Fever this season. Case-in-point was last week’s clash between the two sides where the Giants were able to hold the Fever off with the Super Shot despite the Fever getting on top in open play in that final quarter.

The likes of Courtney Bruce and Verity Charles will be vital for the side, but Fowler’s dominance will be the reason the Fever get over the line in every contest in the finals.

Fever fight back to take down Swifts - West Coast Fever
Can anyone find the right match-up for superstar shooter Jhaniele Fowler? (Photo: West Coast Fever)

Jessica Miles

Premiers: Giants Netball

Runner-up: NSW Swifts

Grand Final MVP: Amy Parmenter

Player of the finals: Sarah Klau 

A Sydney derby grand final is something I know myself and a lot of NSW netball fans have dreamt of after spending consecutive weeks in lockdown, and frankly, I’d be happy for either team to win the premiership considering the year they’ve both had. 

But for me, I believe the Giants have come leaps and bounds this year and have enough vigour to take out the premiership.

Keira Austin’s injury gave way for Sophie Dwyer to make a name for herself in the league and work her way into the eyes of Diamonds’ selectors. Coupled with Jo Harten’s incredible leadership, the Giants have a fierce shooting circle which is bookended with experience and strength in defence. 

The last time the Giants met the Swifts, they handed them a four goal defeat and I believe the grand final will feature a very similar outcome. 

Amy Parmenter has consistently featured in Nissan’s ‘Team of the Week’ and if she continues to produce strong performances over the finals series and hunt intercepts in the mid-court, she will earn the title of Grand Final MVP.

Whilst for Sarah Klau, her tireless efforts in the defensive end have given the Swifts extra opportunities for goals this season and finals will be no different. Klau will place doubt in mid-courters minds as she holds close to her opponents and forces throw ins.

2021 could deliver the Sydney derby grand final fans have been waiting for. (Photo: NSW Swifts)

Sarah Wildy

Premiers: NSW Swifts

Runner-up: West Coast Fever

Grand Final MVP: Sarah Klau

Player of the finals: Maddy Proud

The Swifts have had a tough year and, like last year’s Premiers the Vixens, played a large chunk of the season away from the beaches of Bondi. They’ve bounced around from state to state, spent more time in isolation than not and left their coach behind in Adelaide to quarantine. 

It’s been a challenge, but the Swifts will rise and add another trophy in their historic 25th year. 

In the grand final, it’ll take a bit to stop Jhaniele Fowler, but I think Sarah Klau is the woman for the job. With the help of Maddy Turner, Klau will have the game of her career and cause trouble for the Fever. 

Maddy Proud has been consistent all year and that form will continue into finals. You know she’ll put her body on the line – she has a good relationship with the floor after all – and she’ll be on court to lead her Swifts to another premiership!

The NSW Swifts are the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball Champions - Suncorp Super  Netball
Sarah Klau won the premiership with the Swifts in 2019. Can she do it again? (Photo: NSW Swifts)

Thomas Grattan

Premiers: NSW Swifts 

Runners up: West Coast Fever

Grand Final MVP: Helen Housby 

Player of the Finals: Maddy Proud

Much like the Melbourne Vixens brought the title home during the extended Vic Lockdown, the NSW Swifts can bring joy to all New South Welshmen currently in their extended lockdown. And while the prospect of a Sydney derby grand final may have them salivating, the class and skill of West Coast Fever I think will carry them to that second spot on Grand Final Day. 

So how will the Swifts ensure they catch the Fever? The captain in Maddy Proud will lift the Swifts to the last step, and Housby will have the game of her career to see the trophy back in NSW hands.

Housby to miss Magpies clash as a precaution - NSW Swifts
Will Helen Housby be the player to deliver the Swifts second premiership in three years? (Photo: NSW Swifts)

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*