NSW Swifts: the road to the finals
The NSW Swifts home games are completed, and both Round 13 and Round 14 are on the road, first to Melbourne then Perth.
At the completion of round 12, the Waikato BOP Magic is still sitting on top of the table; a place they have held since early in the competition. However, their recent loss to the Melbourne Vixens has shown a kink in their previously flawless armour; leaving the door ajar for their upcoming opponents.
The remaining finals places will be contested between four Australian teams – Melbourne Vixens (2nd), NSW Swifts (3rd), Queensland Firebirds (4th) and Adelaide Thunderbirds (5th).
Round 13 will prove to be crucial to the finals makeup with the NSW Swifts travelling to Melbourne to face the Vixens and the Thunderbirds playing the Firebirds. There is no doubt that the winners of these two matches will increase their finals chances greatly.
NSW Swifts captain, Cath Cox, believes her team is up to the challenge.
“Playing the next two games away from home doesn’t faze us. The Vixens will be a big test for us and the Fever pushed the Vixens last week so we won’t be taking that game lightly either,” Cox said.
“We never really thought about the prospect of hosting a home final earlier in the season, but now i guess it’s in the back of our minds. It would be a dream to have one.”
Percentages (goals for and goals against) will play a major part in deciding the four finalists; however, it may all come down to the final round.
Facing a tough battle will be the Queensland Firebirds who have to travel to New Zealand in round 14 to tackle the Southern Steel in front of a parochial Invercargill crowd, renowned as one of the toughest road trips in the ANZ Championship.
One thing is for sure though – this competition is far from over, with the action on court in the final two weeks sure to keep everyone glued to their seats or couches, watching FoxSports.
ANZ Championship Finals Format
Major semi-final: 1v2 (minor premiers to host)
Minor semi-final: 3v4 (team finishing third to host)
Preliminary Final: Loser of major semi-final v winner of minor semi-final (Loser of 1v2 to host)
Grand Final: Winner of major semi final v winner of preliminary final (Winner of 1v2 to host)