It seems like only yesterday that the team dresses were revealed at the 2016 Samsung Queensland State Netball League (QSNL) opening round weekend, and yet here we are already halfway through the season. With only a few more rounds before the Samsung QSNL Finals Series begins, it’s time to take a look at how the season has progressed so far.
The Samsung Player of the Year Award is presented to the player with the most points in each division at the Queensland Netball Awards. Each week, the umpires vote on the standout players using a 3, 2 and 1 point system.
In Division One, Laura Scherian from the Brisbane North Cougars has taken an obvious lead, which she holds by eight points. Sitting in equal second are Poppy Larson from the Suncoast Lynx and Leah Middleton from the Golden South Jaguars both on six points. Not far behind is Brisbane South Wildcats player Madeline Walsh on five points and Brisbane East Tigers player Rachel Forbes on four points. While Scherian is currently dominating the leaderboard, it’s important to remember that it’s still anyone’s game; with a few more standout performances anyone could take the lead.
In Division Two City, the Suncoast Lynx’s Eden Cassidy has taken the lead with eleven points. Tied in second are Sally Rossi from the Brisbane East Tigers and Rachel Crawford from the Brisbane West Lions, both sitting on six points. Cougars’ Claudia Fitzpatrick, Lynx’s Macy Gardner and Darling Downs Panthers’ Kendall Ross are close behind on five points each. Similar to the Division One standings, some more excellent games will cement Cassidy’s lead; however, a stellar performance from any of the remaining five players could see someone else rise to the top.
Division Two Country is the closest of all the divisions, with the Magnetic North Steelcats’ Rosie Baker narrowly holding the top position with a one point lead over the Whitsunday Sharks’ Sophie Arnold and Baker’s teammates Chloe Cooper and Rechelle Kealley. Wide Bay Thundercats’ player Demi Burgess and Capricorn Claws’ Courtney Wheeler are close behind on five points each. With only a two point gap between the top and the sixth positions, it’s clear that the fight for Samsung Player of the Year is going to be a close one. All six players will need to continue to have standout games if they want to remain in the running for the award.
Looking at the ladders at this halfway mark, it’s still unclear which teams will qualify for the finals series.
The Brisbane North Cougars have taken control of Division One so far, with six wins and zero losses to their name, securing their spot at the top of the ladder. The Brisbane East Tigers are not far behind with only one loss so far, and will be close competition for the Cougars when it comes to who takes out the Minor Premiership position. Battling it out for third and forth are the Golden South Jaguars and the Brisbane West Lions on six points each, both with three wins and three losses. In fifth are the Suncoast Lynx on two points, and bringing up the rear are the Brisbane South Wildcats; both teams need to win the remainder of their games if they’re looking to make finals.
It’s going to be more of a fight for teams to make the Division Two City finals where there is less of a gap between the top five teams. It’s the Brisbane North Cougars who are sitting in the top spot again, with six wins and zero losses just like the regions Division One team. This time, it’s the Brisbane West Lions who are nipping at the Cougars’ heels, with only two points between them and the first position. Sitting in third and fourth on a tie, this time on eight points each, are the Golden South Jaguars and the Suncoast Lynx. Closely behind them on six points are the Brisbane South Wildcats, followed by the Darling Downs Panthers and the Brisbane East Tigers both on two points. At this stage, any of the top five teams could qualify for finals. It will be a tough fight for the Panthers and Tigers, who will need nothing but wins in their remaining games in order to finish within the top four.
It’s a similar story in Division two Country, with the the final order of top two teams still undecided. It’s the Capricorn Claws who are sitting in the top spot with five wins and zero losses. The Claws are closely followed by the Magnetic North Steelcats, who, with four wins and three losses are sitting on eight points. In third position are the Whitsunday Sharks with six points, who could potentially overtake the Steelcats once they’ve played the same number of games. The Netball Queensland Invitational team are sitting in fourth with four points and if the rest of the season goes well for them they could also still make it into the top two. The Wide Bay Thundercats bring up the read with five losses so far. While they won’t be able to make it into the finals series, there is still room for them to move their way up the ladder.