Beginner's Introduction to Vitality Netball Superleague Finals Weekend

The Vitality Netball Superleague playoff weekend is here! The Superleague, the elite level of netball in the UK, pits the league's top four teams against in the season's climax!

The semi finals take place Saturday the 26th, with the Grand Final following on Sunday the 27th.

The semi final match ups will pit league champions Loughborough Lightning against 4th place Leeds Rhinos, and 2nd place Manchester Thunder vs 3rd place Team Bath Netball. Both games and the final will take place at the Copperbox Arena in London.


2pm- Loughborough Lightning vs Leeds Rhinos (Live on Sky Sports and Youtube)

4pm- Manchester Thunder vs Team Bath Netball  (Live on Sky Sports and Youtube)


5pm- Semi Final 1 Winner vs Semi Final 2 Winner (Live on Sky Sports and Youtube)

Season Rundown

The 2021 Superleague season began on the 12th of February and will end at the final whistle of the Grand Final on Sunday the 27th of June. Due to Covid measures the league games were played only at two venues this season, the first nine rounds at Studio 001 in Wakefield and the rest of the season as well as the finals being played at the Copperbox Arena in London. This was also the inaugural season of new side Leeds Rhinos.

Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder and Team Bath dominated the season, finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, with all three sides ending on 51 points from 20 games (17 wins, 0 draws, 3 Defeats each), separated only by their goal difference.

First place Loughborough's only defeats were an opening day loss to Bath and two losses to Manchester, who themselves fell to a double defeat to Bath and one loss to Wasps. Bath lost their reverse fixture to Loughborough but lost twice to eventual 5th place finishers, Saracens Mavericks.

The finish for 4th was pretty close and whoever made it into the final spot would always have their work cut out for them going into a semi final against any of the three dominant sides. The Mavericks, Sirens and Wasps were all close competitors and ran the final spot to the end, but it was Leeds Rhinos' in their first season that made it in on 36 points, 2 ahead of nearest challengers Saracens Mavericks.

The Rhinos entry was in somewhat unusual circumstances after their final two games of the season were cancelled due to Rhinos' players needing to self isolate. Already in-place however were pre-agreed league rules that any match-ups already played would count as the result for the reverse fixtures in the event of Covid postponements. This meant that as the Rhinos had already defeated London Pulse 40-38 earlier in the season and having beaten Celtic Dragons 65-35, they were handed the 6 points to move up to 36 points and into the playoff spot. 

Saracens Mavericks, Strathclyde Sirens and Wasps will all be confident of challenging next season for a finals spot, and Celtic Dragons will hope to better this season's record of 1 win and 19 defeats and return to being a finals challenger once again. 

Superleague Netball League Table Final Standings

(Vitality Superleague Official Table-Final Standings)

What is the Vitality Netball Superleague?

The 11 team league features nine teams from England and one each from Scotland and Wales. The league plays a double round robin format, playing each team once at home and once away, followed by the Superleague Playoffs.

The teams gain 3 points for a regular season win, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a defeat. The top four sides at the end of the season qualify for the Superleague Playoffs, and the top eight sides qualify for the pre-season Fast5Allstars Championship (TBA for 2021 Season).

The league is the highest level of netball in the UK, featuring star players who regularly play for the national teams of England, Scotland and Wales and international players of other nations. The teams are mixed between professional and semi-pro players, and often partner with professional or university sports sides.

The teams, where they are based, and any club/university partners are below:

Celtic Dragons - Cardiff - (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
Leeds Rhinos - Leeds - (Leeds Rhinos RLFC and Leeds Beckett University)
London Pulse - London
Loughborough Lightning - Loughborough - (Lightning Cricket, rugby and Loughborough University)
Manchester Thunder - Manchester 
Saracens Mavericks - Hatfield - (Saracens FC and University of Hertfordshire)
Severn Stars - Worcester and Gloucester -  (Uo Gloucestershire and Uo Worcester)
Strathclyde Sirens - Glasgow - (University of Strathclyde)
Surrey Storm - Guildford - (University of Surrey)
Team Bath - Bath - (University of Bath)
Wasps - Coventry - (Wasps RFC and University of Warwick)

If you're a new or avid fan we hope you give the finals a watch tomorrow and Sunday. Find your nearest pro team to support for next season and find your nearest local amateur club to get back involved in the sport!

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