After teetering on the edge of elimination during each week of the Finals, Giants Netball are officially through to the inaugural Super Netball Grand Final.
The Giants put together a formidable performance to overcome the Melbourne Vixens 65-57 in last weekend’s Preliminary Final, and will now take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning in this Saturday night’s blockbuster decider in Brisbane.
It was a full-court effort from the Giants who went into the final quarter with a commanding 13-goal lead to set up the win over the minor premiers, who came back strong in the final few minutes.
Despite their late game fade, Giants head coach Julie Fitzgerald had nothing but praise for her side.
“I’m rapt, I thought they played very, very well tonight,” she said after the game.
“I really don’t mind [that we faded late]; I think we knew we had the game won and we were a little bit exhausted from putting in a massive effort in the first three quarters. We knew that to play the Vixens we had to be on our game the whole time.
“The Vixens really start games well, which traditionally isn’t something that we have, but we’ve started to improve in that area and it was great to see us get that good start we’ve been working towards, but also to push on with the rest of the game.”
History will be made this Saturday night when the Giants battle the Sunshine Coast Lightning to become the inaugural Super Netball Premiers.
It will be the third time the two sides will meet in 2017, with both the Giants and Lightning claiming a one goal win over the other.
The Giants took first blood in Round 4 when they finished 55-54 victors at the University of Sunshine Coast, before the Lightning reversed their fortunes with a 56-55 victory in Round 14.
With the Lightning well rested after having last weekend off, the Giants will need to be at their very best to match it with their opposition.
The Super Netball Grand Final will be shown live on Channel Nine from 7pm.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.