'Roses Down Under' - NSW Swifts make Super Netball Grand Final

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Helen Housby and Sam Wallace of the Swifts celebrates victory during the Super Netball Semi-Final match between GWS Giants and Sydney Swifts at Nissan Arena, on August 14, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

The semi-finals of the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season took place this weekend with four Vitality Roses involved in the race to the Grand Final.

Stacey Francis-Bayman, Jo Harten, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Helen Housby all took to court as their three sides battled it out to secure a place in the Grand Final.

We took a look at how they got on:

GIANTS Netball 61-62 NSW Swifts:

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The biggest game of 2021 campaign so far saw GIANTS Netball take on NSW Swifts at the Nissan Arena on Saturday and it not disappoint as it proved to be one of the most entertaining fixtures of the season so far.

One point was all that separated these two local rivals which featured three England internationals including GIANTS’ Jo Harten and Swifts’ Natalie Haythornthwaite and Helen Housby.

It will be the latter two who secured a place in the Grand Final on Saturday 28 August after teammate Sarah Klau picked off a pass intended for Jo Harten inside the goal circle with just ten seconds remaining.

All three 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup stars started the major semi-final in the attacking third of their respective outfits. Harten performed admirably, scoring 32 from 34 attempts as well as three Super Shots, while Housby and Haythornthwaite typically proved the creative source for the victors.

Harten will now take her GIANTS team to face West Coast Fever in the Preliminary Final with the prize of facing Swifts in the Grand Final up for grabs.

West Coast Fever 75-67 Sunshine Coast Lightning:

The second clash of the weekend was a highly-entertaining affair between West Coast Fever and Sunshine Coast Lightning which included England defender Stacey Francis-Bayman, who started at wing defence.

Francis-Bayman moved one step closer to a second consecutive Grand Final following defeat to Melbourne Vixens in the 2020. Her Fever team defeated Lightning by a comfortable eight points with the game’s solitary Rose contributing one gain, three turnovers and even one assist.

A strong defensive performance from her unit helped ensure that – despite Fever’s lowest opening quarter since Round 11 – her side went into half-time with a decent lead. Despite heavy pressure from Lightning in the second half, Fever saw out the win.

The Fever will now play the GIANTS next week for the chance to play the Swifts in the 2021 Grand Final.

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