VNL: Round 7 Preview

Round 7 sees Victorian Netball League continue at the State Netball & Hockey Centre for the first netball rounds of Autumn.

 

Court 1: DC North East Blaze v Wilson Storage Southern Saints

Division 1 – 7pm | Championship – 8.20pm | 19 & Under – 9.40pm

 Just three per cent separates these two teams in Division 1 as the third-placed Saints meet the fifth placed Blaze.

The Saints carry form into the match-up with wins in their last two matches, as opposed to the Blaze who haven’t won since Round 4. With the fourth-placed Waves meeting the top-of-the-table Express, we could see a different formation within the top four.

IMG_1685 copyIt’s third versus fourth in the Championship division in game suggestive of match of the round status.

With both teams having played in draws this year, a win for the Saints would see them a step closer to the entering the top two. For the Blaze, a win will give them breathing space from the fifth-placed Ariels snapping at their heels.

A battle for fourth is on the cards in the 19 & Under category with the fourth-placed Saints meeting the fifth-placed Blaze.

The Saints will look to break the cycle of three games without a win, having drawn with the Sovereigns last week, while the Blaze will want to re-enter the top four after a loss to Peninsula.

 

Court 2: City West Falcons v Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels

Division 1 – 7pm | Championship – 8.20pm | 19 & Under – 9.40pm

Very little has gone wrong for the Division 1 Falcons this year, who were comprehensive in their win over Geelong last weekend.

The Ariels haven’t tasted victory since Round 2, and will look to bounce back from defeat last week against Storm in a match they felt should’ve been theirs.

Another good match on paper with two high-quality Championship teams in the first-place Falcons and fifth-place Ariels.

The Falcons have been flawless since their opening round draw, while the Ariels will look to avenge one that got away having shared their points with Monash last round.

Another potential top four-changing match with the second-placed Falcons meeting the sixth-placed Ariels.

The Falcon had their undefeated start to the year broken by the Cougars and will look to avenge their loss, while the Ariels are carrying the form of three consecutive wins.

 

Court 3: Geelong Cougars v Monash University Storm

Division 1 – 7pm | Championship – 8.20pm | 19 & Under – 9.40pm

In Division 1, it’s a mid-table clash when the Cougars face the Storm, both sides wanting to make every post a winner after poor starts to the season.

The Cougars are well-oiled offensive machine when up and running, but both sides have a tendency to leak goals. Limiting their own and making use of the opposition’s error will be the key.

With two points separating fifth from ninth in the Championship competition, wins for both the Storm (sixth) and Cougars (ninth) are crucial.

While the Cougars were outplayed against the Falcons last week, the Storm will be cursing themselves in sharing the points with Ariels after leading for almost all of the game.

It’s first versus third in the 19s category with the undefeated Cougars looking to their extend their run against the third-placed Storm.

The Storm were humbled last week against the Ariels, missing a golden chance to enter the top two and will be ho

ping to claim a big scalp to prove themselves as genuine threats.

 

Court 4: Peninsula Waves v Boroondara Express

Championship – 7pm | Division 1 – 8.20pm | 19 & Under – 9.40pm

 In Division 1, the Waves and Express will square off in a top four battle that could rearrange the make up of third and fourth spot.

The undefeated Express have rarely looked threatened this season, while the Waves will feel their timing is right with carrying two consecutive wins into the match.

Much closer than the second versus seventh match-up suggests, the Championship Express will still feel they should win to keep themselves on level-pegging with the Falcons in the top two.

The Waves have been very competitive in recent weeks, but have just win to show from Round 1 and will hope they can improve upon their two-goal loss to Blaze last week.

In the 19s, the Express will be hoping their chance to get their first win in 2015 comes against the eighth-placed Waves.

The Waves took their second win and first in a month against Blaze last weekend and will take the confidence of that win to deny the Express.

 

Court 5: Melbourne University Lightning v ACU Sovereigns

Championship – 7pm | Division 1 – 8.20pm | 19 & Under – 9.40pm

Only one team will remain undefeated in Division 1, barring a draw when the winless Lightning and Sovereigns meet.

There’s been little to celebrate so far in 2015, yet the Sovereigns have been very competitive in recent outings, while the Lightning will need to find some offensive tempo to garner their first four premiership points.

It’s been tough going for both of these two in the Championship division, although form and performance suggests the Lightning will have the upper edge.

The Lightning – albeit win-less in their last two starts – have two draws to partner their solitary win in 2015. The Sovereigns will hope they can produce another twist in the season’s plot line.

Both the 19s Lightning and Sovereigns teams will be hoping to breathe life into their seasons when they meet each other.

The Lightning got their maiden win of the year against the cellar-dwelling Express, while Sovereigns are still searching for their first win since the opening weekend, having drawn last week to the Saints.