VNL Round Six preview

24/04/2016 VNL Anzac weekend round Photo: Grant Treeby

Make sure you head down to the State Netball Hockey Centre tonight from 7.00pm for the start of Round Six of the Victorian Netball League (VNL).

With the ladder finally starting to take shape following five matches, Round Six will showcase three table-topping contests with the top two in each of the Championship, Division One and 19/Under competitions set to go head-to-head.

It will commence with the championship clash between the Melbourne University Lightning and the Boroondara Express tonight and will be followed by the 19/Under showdown between the DC North East Blaze and the Geelong Cougars.

Then on Sunday, the City West Falcons will fight for top spot of the division one ladder against the Geelong Cougars at Altona Sports Centre.


Wednesday 11 May
Melbourne University Lightning v Boroondara Express at SNHC Court 4
ACU Sovereigns v Peninsula Waves at SNHC Court 2
DC North East Blaze v Geelong Cougars at SNHC Court 1

Sunday 15 May
Wilson Storage Southern Saints v Monash University Storm at Mentone Grammar
City West Falcons v Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels at Altona Sports Centre


With the equal best defensive record of 38 goals per match so far this season, the clash between the Melbourne University Lightning and the Boroondara Express looks set to be the match of the year so far.

Little separates them in attack too, with the Lightning and the Express sitting second and third behind the City West Falcons for goals scored this season.

The Lightning hold a four goal advantage per game but in Ashlee Howard, the Express have an attacking weapon, who has dominated the VNL so far this year to lead the race for both the MVP and Hot Shot awards.

Their Championship match is scheduled to commence on Court four at 7.00pm.

Another intriguing contest will see the DC North East Blaze host the Geelong Cougars. With both teams sitting sixth and fourth respectively you can expect to see a closely fought match on Court One.

While on Court Two, the ACU Sovereigns will chase their first win of the season against the Peninsula Waves.

Division One

Round Six looks set to be a season shaping round for the Division One sides with first set to play second, third play fourth, and fifth challenge sixth.

The City West Falcons lead the charge after five rounds, a game ahead of the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels who they will host at the Altona Sports Centre on Sunday.

The Falcons have been well served by Mandy Hanegraaf in attack so far the season. She currently sits second behind Geelong Cougars goaler Grace Parker on the goal scoring Leaderboard with 124 and will be a key focal point in attack for City West.

Other key players to watch will Ariels goaler Julia Allan and Cougars mid-courter Emily Post, who have started the season on fire to sit second and third on the MVP Leaderboard.


The Geelong Cougars will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to 2016 with a sixth consecutive win on Wednesday.

The Cougars will face their toughest challenge of the season however, taking on the DC North East Blaze who sit second on the ladder with the best defensive record this season.

Key players to watch out for include Blaze goaler Suli Leota who have been pivotal in attack this season averaging 24.8 goals per match at 83%.

While in a consistent outfit, Brooke Allan, Riley Stephens and Gabi Rieniets will be key components in a well drilled Cougars team.


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