Victorian Fury and QLD Fusion will kick off this weekend’s Australian Netball League Finals action at Melbourne’s Waverley Netball Centre.
The Saturday night semi-final is a replay of last season’s thrilling Grand Final, where Fury held off a fast-finishing Fusion to claim the ANL title for the fifth time, and the second meeting in as many weeks after they met in the final round in Adelaide last Saturday night.
Fury head into the match on the back of a 30-game unbeaten streak that stretches back to 2013 after beating Fusion 49-40 and Southern Force last round to secure top spot on the ladder.
Fury is the most experienced finals team in ANL history, having contested 12 previous finals and won the title five times.
Fusion, who reached last year’s Grand Final for the first time, have only beaten Fury once in 11 previous meetings. That one-goal victory came back in the opening round of the 2011 season at the AIS Arena in Canberra.
Fury is aiming to qualify for its third consecutive Grand Final and seventh overall and has beaten Fusion in their three previous finals meetings.
The two semi-final winners will face off in Sunday’s Grand Final at 12noon with the play-off for third and fourth at 10am.
VICTORIAN FURY v QLD FUSION
Saturday, July 25, 5:00PM
Waverley Netball Centre
|Win / Loss||10 / 1||1 / 11|
|Greatest Winning Margin||21||1|
Umpires: Tara Warner, Bronwen Adams, Marc Henning (reserve)
Previous Finals meetings:
Semi-Final, 2008: Fury 46 def Fusion 41, Anne Clark Centre, Sydney
Semi Final, 2010: Fury 52 def Fusion 46, Waverley Netball Centre
Grand Final, 2014: Fury 51 def Fusion 49, Waverley Netball Centre
LAST WORD FROM THE COACHES
Kristy Keppich-Birrel, Fury: “It has been a rewarding and exciting ANL season for our group in 2015. The development of this team on and off the court has seen some brilliant personal, unit and team performances. We are all really looking forward to the pointy end of the season. It will be the true test of how this talented mix of athletes responds to the pressure of the elite game environment. The Victorian pride and relentless attitude they have will stand them in good stead to strive for the outcome we are all after.”
Jenny Brazel, Fusion: “This team is such an exciting mix of talented, young future stars of our game who have played through plenty of adversity this season. This finals series for us is about going one better than last year after building on the Fusion’s first Grand Final appearance in 2014. They are ready to fire this weekend and we believe we have the team which will win Queensland its first ANL Championship.”