Vitality Netball Superleague
The 2017 Superleague season was all about Wasps Netball. The division’s newcomers recruited some of the biggest names in the sport ahead of their debut season and it certainly paid off, as the Coventry-based outfit clinched the title with an impressive Grand Final win over Loughborough Lightning. Now, Tamsin Greenway’s team will attempt to emulate the likes of Team Bath and Surrey Storm by securing back-to-back triumphs, but will the team from the Ricoh Arena avoid second-season syndrome and fend off what is likely to be even stiffer competition from the league’s other nine teams?
Loughborough Lightning may have reached the 2017 Grand Final, but they must face the 2018 season without their head coach after the inspirational Karen Atkinson opted to quit her role in the summer to move to Italy with her family. The Leicestershire side, who endured a rotten run of 20 months without a win between 2013 and 2015, will be hoping that this departure doesn’t signal a return to the poor form that blighted them in the recent past.
Elsewhere, England internationals Kadeen and Sasha Corbin have rejoined the Superleague with Team Bath and the newly rebranded benecosMavericks respectively, while UWS Sirens and Severn Stars will be hoping to build on successful debut campaigns. Although the major talking point will be whether Surrey Storm, who endured a catastrophic collapse in the 2017 season, can reignite their drive to secure a third title in four seasons.
- The 2018 Vitality Superleague season begins on Saturday 10th February 2018.
Commonwealth Games 2018
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Australia’s Gold Coast and England’s netballing elite will be determined to triumph Down Under. The Roses are currently ranked third in the world rankings and will certainly fancy their chances of securing a place on the podium. Drawn in Pool B, Tracey Neville’s girls have been given the easier of the two groups and face games against Scotland, Malawi, Uganda and Wales, before facing an impressive-looking New Zealand side who will be amongst the favourites for the title.
Despite the Silver Ferns’ imposing presence, the team to watch out for will be Australia. The Diamonds, who have been fielding a raft of uncapped players ahead of 2018, will certainly look to make home advantage count as they aim to secure the gold medal for a second successive Games.
- The 2018 Commonwealth Games begin on Wednesday 4th April 2018.
Sports.net’s top tips:
- Wasps to win the Superleague title
- Australia to win Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games