GIANTS NETBALL TO KICK OFF 2019 SEASON WITH BLOCKBUSTER NSW DERBY MATCH AGAINST STATE RIVALS
The 2019 Suncorp Super Netball fixture has been released and GIANTS Netball now know the order of teams they will be facing as they look to make a third straight Finals series appearance and go one step further in securing their first ever Premiership. Number one on that list of teams will be their hometown rivals the NSW Swifts, in the first of two massive NSW Derby clashes.
After an active off-season, where almost every team made significant changes to their starting ten, it’s set to be an electric 2019 for the Suncorp Super Netball competition and GIANTS Netball will be the only team in the league to not come up against a former player from their Club. They are also one of only two teams to have nine Australian players in their starting ten, with eight of those players coming from NSW – their one international being English Roses superstar Jo Harten.
GIANTS Netball will mark the beginning of the season by hosting a NSW Derby match against the Swifts in Round 1 on Sunday, 28 April 2019 and will come up against them again in Round 8. The NSW Derby has become one of the most highly anticipated contests on the Suncorp Super Netball calendar, as the best netballers in the State face-off to claim glory for NSW and home territory bragging rights.
GIANTS regained the Derby’s coveted Carole Sykes Memorial Trophy in their last meeting in 2018 and are 3-1 against the Swifts since 2017, with their only loss being by one point. With eight out of ten GIANTS players coming from NSW, they will be playing for State pride with true NSW representation. GIANTS Netball are once again out to prove that they are the new face of elite netball in the State – bold, exciting, determined and competitive.
Round 2 and Round 9 will see the GIANTS face Melbourne Vixens, who finished just outside the Finals last season. The competitive Melbourne Vixens are one of the teams to not make too many changes during the off-season and they should continue to be a tough opponent for GIANTS in 2019. GIANTS do have a great track record against the Vixens, having defeated them in four of their last five matches.
It will again be Melbourne verses Sydney in Round 3 and Round 10, with Collingwood Magpies Netball the next team to take on the GIANTS. GIANTS Netball have a good record against the Magpies, having won all but one of their previous five match ups, including both games in the 2018 season. But after gaining some high-calibre talent in the off-season, with the likes of Geva Mentor and Kelsey Browne joining the team, and with a change in the coaching staff, it will be hard to predict what to expect from the Melbourne Club.
The Queensland Firebirds will be the GIANTS opponents in Round 4 and Round 11. The Firebirds handed the GIANTS their hardest loss of the 2018 season (64-50) and the lessons learnt from that are sure to fuel them when they come face-to-face again in 2019. Both teams have won two of their four previous meetings and they should continue to test each other in 2019. The Round 11 match will take place at AIS Arena in Canberra.
Round 5 and Round 12 will be a rematch against their Queensland rivals the Sunshine Coast Lightning. While they were fairly evenly matched in the regular season in 2017 and 2018, with GIANTS winning twice and tying once against the Queensland side, Sunshine Coast Lightning remain the goliath the GIANTS must overtake to claim the Premiership, after their northern rivals knocked them out of contention the past two years on their way to the Premiership. With Caitlin Bassett now wearing an orange dress, and their past Finals meetings proving to be explosive, these are sure to be heated re-matches.
GIANTS will take on a new-look Adelaide Thunderbirds – and their old Assistant Coach Tania Obst – in Round 6 and 13. The GIANTS are up 4-0 over the Thunderbirds in their previous matches, with their 2018 Round 2 results of 71-goals and a 23-goal win setting a new club record for highest score and biggest win in Suncorp Super Netball. With Obst now at the helm in Adelaide and a shake-up of players, including their new shooter, New Zealand Silver Fern Maria Folau, this all-new team could really put the GIANTS to the test.
The GIANTS will once again face West Coast Fever in Round 7 and 14 in 2019. GIANTS have taken three of their past five match ups and after three intense games in 2018, including the match where Fever defeated GIANTS in orange territory to move on to a spot in the Grand Final, GIANTS will be motivated to get revenge when they meet once more in 2019.
It will be a season where GIANTS have a relatively even split of home and away games week-to-week. The team will start and finish the regular season at home and will have two stretches of away games in Round 4 and 5 and Round 7 and 8, although Round 8 will take place in Sydney against the Swifts. Their longest homestand will come late in the season, with two home games in Round 11 and 12, although the Round 12 match will be played in the ACT at AIS Arena.
The 2019 season will pause for theNetball World Cup, with a four-week break scheduled between Round 9 and 10.
The GIANTS will play in three different home arenas in 2019 – Qudos Bank Arena (QBA) and Quaycentre in Sydney Olympic Park and AIS Arena in Canberra. Three games will be played at QBA, three will be played at Quaycentre and one will take place at AIS Arena.
GIANTS Netball Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald is pleased with the fixture draw and believes that the GIANTS are well-positioned to continue to build on their success from the past two years.
“It was a busy off-season for GIANTS Netball and we have made some wonderful additions to the team, giving us a great mix of seasoned stars and exciting young talent. I believe that this
is a winning combination and exactly what we need to continue to push forwards in 2019.
“The last two years we have given fans in NSW a reason to cheer and a team to get behind, but we have not been able to claim the ultimate Suncorp Super Netball prize. The GIANTS are an exceptionally motivated group and they are already back hard at work preparing themselves for the 2019 season, with a focused drive towards that goal.
“It’s going to be a season not-to-be-missed. Each team will provide a unique challenge to the GIANTS and I am personally delighted to see such an exciting and thrilling line-up of talent across the competition. Australian fans are certainly lucky to be able to witness this level of elite netball in their backyards,” says Fitzgerald.
2018 GIANTS Netball Members who wish to renew their membership will have a chance to do so from Friday, 7 December, with anyone signing up for the membership waitlist being able to snap up their memberships from Thursday, 17 January. Until then, they can register their interest here. GIANTS Netball memberships will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, 23 January.