This Sunday the premier netball league in New Zealand, the ANZ Premiership, returns where many familiar faces and up and coming talents will all feature. Here is everything you need to know about the forthcoming season…
The season will run from this Sunday until August 12th, where the Grand Final is scheduled to take place. The route to the final will be determined by thirteen rounds of fixtures, including three Super Sundays, where all six teams will compete back to back in the same venue. The team who tops the league standings after the thirteen rounds of fixtures will advance straight to the Grand Final. Second will play third in a Eliminator Final where the winner will advance to the Grand Final.
Teams are awarded two points for a win and one point if they lose by a margin of less than five points. Draws do not count in the ANZ Premiership, therefore should a game end in a draw two 3 minute periods of extra time will be played.
Last seasons third placed side, Northern Mystics, get their campaign underway against reigning champions Southern Steel this Sunday. Bailey Mes, Maria Folau and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson will be returning to club action following their Gold Coast 2018 campaign with the Silver Ferns.
Full Squad – Anna Harrison, Bailey Mes, Elisapeta Toeava, Jamie Hume, Maria Folau, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson, Phoenix Karaka, Samon Nathan, Storm Purvis, Tera-Maria Amani
The Northern Stars will have Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Ama Agbeze, among their ranks this season. The England Roses captain joins a few new additions for this seasons squad, including Silver Ferns mid-courter Grace Kara, who captains the team.
Full Squad – Ama Agbeze, Olivia Coughlan, Kayla Cullen, Holly Fowler, Paula Griffin, Ellen Halpenny, Grace Kara, Fa’amu Ioane, Christina Oscar, Maia Wilson
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic
Waikato Bay missed out on the top three by the narrowest of margins last season. They have retained the services of Silver Ferns duo Kelly Jury, Sam Sinclair and South Africa’s Lenise Potgieter. Lenise missed the recent Gold Coast 2018 campaign due to injury but is on track to be fit for the opening weekend of the season.
Full Squad – Ariana Cable-Dixon, Monica Falkner, Kelly Jury, Casey Kopua, Katherine Levien (nee Coffin), Kate Lloyd, Amorangi Malesala, Lenise Potgieter, Hayley Saunders, Samantha Sinclair
Te Wananga O Raukawa Pulse
Last seasons runners up will have Silver Ferns trio Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Claire Kersten and Katrina Grant back from the Gold Coast. Grant captains the side that has an average age of 22.8, with Tiana Metuarau being the youngest player at 17 years old. They play Waikato Bay this weekend in their season opener.
Full Squad – Aliyah Dunn, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Claire Kersten, Karin Burger, Katrina Grant, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Renee Savai’inaea, Sula Fitzpatrick, Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness
Coach Marianne Delaney – Hoshek will have returning Silver Fern Temalisi Fakahokotau and Former Australian Diamond Kate Beveridge among the ranks for the forthcoming season. They have several new additions to the squad this season, including the tallest player in the entire ANZ Premiership; 196cm tall Ellie Bird. This Sunday they play Northern Stars who they just finished behind last season.
Full Squad – Brooke Leaver, Charlotte Elley, Ellie Bird, Erikana Pedersen, Jane Watson, Jess Maclennan, Kate Beveridge, Kimiora Poi, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Zoe Walker
The defending champions, Southern Steel, get their title defence campaign underway when they play Northern Mystics on Super Sunday. They had a perfect record last season and was not beaten once, however, this season they have lost a few key players. One of note is Jamaica shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid who has gone to ply her trade in Australia’s Suncorp Super League. Despite this, Silver Ferns Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Shannon Francois remain at the helm.
Full Squad – Olivia Bates, Gina Crampton, Abby Erwood, Shannon Francois, Wendy Frew, Dani Gray, Jennifer O’Connell, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Round 1 Fixtures
The first Super Sunday of the season will open the ANZ Premiership for 2018. All three matches will be held at the Fly Palmy Arena in Palmerston North.
Northern Mystics v Southern Steel (2.10pm)
Te Wananga O Raukawa Pulse v Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (4.10pm)
Northern Stars v Silvermoon Tactix (6.10pm)
* Local times
For a full fixture list for the season click here.