Wed, Aug 22, 2:14pm by Staff Writer
The 2018 Super Netball Grand Final takes place on Sunday in Perth, with the West Coast Fever taking on the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
It is the second consecutive Grand Final appearance for the Lightning, who are $2.50 underdogs at Sportsbet to leave Perth Arena with the title.
The West Coast Fever has the benefit of a week off after they won their qualifying final a fortnight ago against the Giants. They are $1.50 favourites to win their first Super Netball title.
The Fever finished the regular season in second spot on the ladder, with 10 wins and four losses.
Jamaican goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been exceptional for the Fever as she transferred from New Zealand’s netball Premiership earlier this season.
In the qualifying finals, she shot a perfect 48 goals from 48 attempts, while her partner in attack, Nat Medhurst was shot a 100 per cent.
They defeated a more fancied Giants team that was brimming with Australian Diamonds players, including Susan Pettitt and Kim Green, as well as English internationals Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie.
The Lightning has had to go the long way around to make this year’s Grand Final, after finishing the regular season in fourth spot.
They defeated the Firebirds 57-56 in an all-Queensland shown, before thumping the Giants 59-50 in Sydney.
A third successive weekend of travel may take its toll on the side, led by Australian goal shooter Caitlin Bassett.
The Lightning missed only seven shots against the Giants, with their defensive duo of Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius strong in defence.
These sides met twice during the regular season, with the Fever winning both matches by just a goal.
The Fever fell to an 0-3 start when hey lost to the Fever at home in round three, with the Lightning’s turnovers the difference between the two sides.
In the match between the sides in July, the Lightning had a four goal lead at quarter time before slowly being chased down by the Fever.
The Fever committed five more general player turnovers than their opponents and in games of such fine margins, this is where games and won and lost.
It is hard to deny the Sunshine Coast Lightning are more than a chance of winning this match given their pedigree in finals and winning form on the road of late.
They recovered from an 0-3 start this season to finish 9-6 and have good momentum ahead of this much.
The Fever shooters themselves have played in big games, but their defensive end is more of a concern, against international shooters.
The value is definitely with the Lightning at the 2.5-point head start or the head-to-head.
Best bet- Sunshine Coast Lightning to win at $2.50
Super Netball Grand Final Odds – Sportsbet
West Coast Fever $1.50 v Sunshine Coast Lightning $2.50
Handicap: Fever -2.5 $1.90
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