Suncorp Super Netball

Diamonds legend Sharon Finnan-White previews the grand final

We asked Diamonds legend Sharon Finnan-White (#105) OAM to preview the NSW Swifts versus GIANTS Netball Grand Final.

She’s gone into the nitty-gritty of the game, including her starting line ups!

By Sharon Finnan-White

My prediction

My prediction is that the match will go into extra time and it will be a very close score line at the end of the match with only one or two goals in it. It will come down to which team can maintain intensity for a full 60 minutes and stay calm under pressure.

Starting lineup prediction

Swifts                  GIANTS

GS – Sam Wallace      GK – Sam Poolman

GA – Helen Housby      GD – April Brandley

WA – Paige Hadley      WD – Amy Parmenter

C – Maddy Proud            C – Jamie-Lee Price

WD – Tayla Fraser       WA – Maddie Hay

GD – Maddy Turner        GA – Sophie Dwyer

GK – Sarah Klau             GS – Jo Harten

GIANTS bench: Letherbarrow, McDonell, Manu’a

Swifts bench: Garbin, Hathornthwaite, Moore

I expect Garbin, McDonell, Moore and Haythornthwaite may enter the match at some stage.

General observations

The last time these sides played in the semi-final, these were the notes I made post-game.

  • GIANTS quick passing and swing across the circle will get the Swifts circle defenders heads turning, they will need to be ready for the quick release coming from Price and Hay.
  • Both teams play a high possession, patient style of game.
  • Swifts defenders will need to limit their penalties to stay in the game and not give away easy shots.
  • GIANTS will need to release the ball quicker have more definite, committed and explosive movement to the ball.
  • GIANTS are good at coming from behind so Swifts will need to apply full court defensive pressure for 60 minutes.
  • Both teams will most likely use the box defence at some stage throughout the game which has been effective in creating turnovers and delaying play down court and forcing teams to reset the play.

How the match ups play out?

Wallace/Poolman – If Poolman can replicate her outstanding performance on Fever’s Jhaniele Fowler last weekend, she will make it very difficult for the midcourt feeders to find Wallace under the post.

Wallace will need to keep Poolman busy by mixing up her movement in and out of the circle. Wallace has been in sensational form all season and will be hard to stop, especially on the super shot.

Housby/Brandley – If Brandley can focus more on delaying Housby’s entry into the circle rather than dropping back too quickly to double defend Wallace, this will give Housby something to think about and may unsettle the Swifts attack line.

Housby’s recent good form and confidence should lift her team and they will feed off of her positive vibe.

Hadley/Parmenter – Parmenter will need to contest more first ball but will need to choose when to contest and when to pull out to limit her penalties and ensure she remains in play.

Her drive through mid-court in attack is crucial in connecting with the forward line.

Hadley will need to delay this drive to prevent Parmenter from being an option in attack.

Hadley’s move back to the WA position seems to be where she is most comfortable and is working well for the Swifts having also played in WD while coach Briony Akle was experimenting with the WD position.

Hadley will play a key role in the Swifts attack line in supplying plenty of ball to her shooters.

Proud/Price – Price is one of the most efficient centres in the competition.

Her work rate can be underestimated because she is not constantly driving for the ball but rather creating space for others to drive into and holding and moving off her player to take the ball.

She is starting to become more disciplined in defence and will be an important link in those quick transitions from defence to attack.

Proud has played consistently throughout the season.

I am looking forward to the battle with her and Price.

She will need to take more of a front/side style of defence on Price to force her to the sidelines and deny her the opportunity to set up in front to take the easy pass.

Fraser/Hay – Fraser will want to bring her stellar performance from the semi-final into this match.

Her first ball contest off the centre pass and speed in closing off space to dictate and deny Hay on the second phase attack will be what coach Briony Akle will be asking of her.

Hay will be looking to improve on her start and inject herself into the game from the first whistle.

I believe that nerves got the better of her in the first half of the semifinal.

Hay is a vital connection in the GIANTS forward line and more preliminary movement from her will keep Fraser guessing and her head-turning.

Turner/Dwyer –Turner will need to put more pressure on Dwyer’s entry into the circle and contest more first ball, especially off of the centre pass.

She can often be reactive rather than dictating Dwyer’s movements.

She will get to hands to any ball that comes near her so the Giants feeds from the midcourt will need to be perfectly placed.

Dwyer has been an absolute superstar this season.

Who would have thought she would fill the shoes of Keira Austin so fittingly?

Her combination with Harten has grown each game and she is yet to be rattled by any defender.

This will be her first grand final at SSN level so nerves could play a factor in how she performs on such a momentous occasion.

Klau/Harten- Klau will need to be constantly moving and repositioning around Harten to confuse the space for the feeders and use a variety of defensive techniques over the shot so that Harten and Dwyer don’t get comfortable with their shots.

When Harten is holding up high, Klau will need to protect the backspace and force her out of the circle. 

Harten is way too dangerous in that backspace and is the master of holds and screens.

Her energy and leadership will be key in this match and we can expect to see lots of super shots from her.

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