It goes without saying that the Vitality Netball Superleague is well and truly back. After an action-packed opening weekend of fixtures, we take a look ahead at what the next round at Wakefield’s Studio 001 has to offer.
Round 3 kicks off on February 21 with four back-to-back fixtures, and Surrey Storm’s battle with new franchise Leeds Rhinos is set to get things started at 12pm. Both teams won one and lost one in their first two matches, both missing out on a second win against Saracens Mavericks.
Rhinos were hit with a trio of injuries in their thriller against Mavericks on Monday night which saw them fall short of a win by just four goals, 43-39. The club have confirmed that shooter Donnell Wallam is set for a spell on the sidelines after fracturing her radius bone, while Fi Toner and Tuaine Keenan are also having scans to determine the extent of their setbacks.
Storm fell short against Saracens 53-41, but Mikki Austin’s team were involved in an exciting game in the first round which saw them come out on top against fellow London club, London Pulse by just two goals, 42-40.
— Vitality Netball Superleague (@NetballSL) February 16, 2021
The second game on Sunday is also set to be one to keep us on the edge of our seats as Loughborough Lightning face Saracens Mavericks at 2pm. Both teams are likely to be fighting for a top-four finish come the end of the season.
Lightning were defeated in their first game against Team Bath 48-44 but came out strong to edge Wasps by just one goal on Monday night, 44-43. Mavericks have enjoyed the perfect start to their 2021 campaign, with wins against Leeds Rhinos and Surrey Storm.
A clash against Loughborough is likely to prove a tough task, however, and the match-up between Mavericks and England Roses defender Razia Quashie and Lightning shooter Mary Cholhok will be an exciting contest to watch.
Welsh side Celtic Dragons take on Scottish team Strathclyde Sirens in the third game of the afternoon, at 4pm. Dragons are still searching for their first win of the season after losing 65-35 and 61-29 to Leeds Rhinos and Team Bath respectively on the opening weekend.
Sirens lost to reigning champions Manchester Thunder 53-36 in their first match before beating Severn Stars by just six goals 36-30 the following day.
Thunder take on London Pulse in the last game on Sunday, at 6pm. Both teams have only played one game so far, Manchester beating Sirens and Pulse losing out in a tight encounter against Surrey Storm.
There is more exciting Round 3 action in store with a double header on Monday night. Dragons take on Surrey Storm at 5:15pm, while potentially the tightest contest of the round gets underway two hours later as two teams tipped for a top-four finish, Wasps and Team Bath, face off.
Bath are another side who have had the perfect start to the campaign having beaten both Celtic Dragons and Loughborough Lightning so far. Wasps defeated Severn Stars 53-34 in their first game before missing out by one goal against Lightning after leading the way until the final moments.
All games are available to stream live on Sky Sports or on YouTube.
Sunday 21st February
Surrey Storm v Leeds Rhinos, 12pm
Loughborough Lightning v Saracens Mavericks, 2pm
Celtic Dragons v Strathclyde Sirens, 4pm
Manchester Thunder v London Pulse, 6pm
Monday 22nd February
Celtic Dragons v Surrey Storm, 5:15pm
Wasps v Team Bath, 7:15pm