Commentator’s Call: Big moment for ANZ Premiership
It’s been more than three months since the Southern Steel’s Kalifa McCollin slotted what was to be the last goal for a seriously long time in world netball, thanks to the insidious spread of COVID-19.
They didn’t know it then, but that goal on March 16 temporarily brought down the curtain on the 2020 ANZ Premiership - a curtain that had only gone up two days earlier.
On the other side of the globe, a halt had already been called to the UK’s Vitality Superleague which was in its fourth round. That competition has since been cancelled altogether, meaning there’s a hearty appetite in that part of the world for live netball which will be fed by coverage of the New Zealand contest.
It’s not a simple decision to get competitions up and running again, with so many factors to take into account. That’s what makes June 19 such a big date for netball in New Zealand. It’s a credit to the country and its people that we’re in a position to have elite sport up and running again.
The first weekend, which is actually Round 2 of the 2020 ANZ Premiership, starts on Friday night with two teams that had their campaigns off to winning starts in Round 1.
The Mystics put away the Stars in March, while the Magic picked up a gutsy away win over the Steel.
Both sides have key shooters out for the season, with the Mystics anchor Bailey Mes having surgery on her knee last month, and the Magic’s Monica Falkner still recovering from last season’s ACL rupture.
An added complication for the Magic is whether import Georgia Marshall is allowed out of Australia to rejoin the competition.
Saturday sees the Steel play the Tactix, on Sunday a replay of last year’s Grand Final between the Pulse and the Stars. The Stars then have a quick turnaround with a Monday night game against the Tactix.
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