Wasps Netball star Rachel Dunn says it will be “truly pressure netball” for her team at the Final Four this weekend.
The Final Four is the Vitality Netball Superleague’s showpiece event and will take place at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11.
Wasps Netball will face Manchester Thunder in the semi-final stage on Saturday (centre-pass 6.15pm), with the winning side meeting either Loughborough Lightning or Team Bath in the Grand Final on Sunday evening (5.00pm centre-pass).
Thunder and Wasps shared the spoils in the regular season, registering one win each over their two games.
Rachel Dunn, who won the Grand Final with Surrey Storm last year, knows that despite beating Thunder last month they will be a different proposition this weekend.
She said: “We know they will be looking to change things from when we beat them. They are a very tough outfit who have had a fantastic season.
“It’s do or die netball at this stage of the season, we’ve worked hard all season to get here but if you lose then your season is over and that’s all there is to it.
“Manchester have real strength in attack and we know we have got to put in a complete performance to come away with the win on Saturday. Anything can happen in the play-offs, it’s truly pressure netball, but we will be working hard this week to make a few tweaks in training and ensure we are at the top of our game on the day.”
For the first time in five years, both the semi-finals and the Grand Final will be played out over one weekend of action.
The losers of the two semi-finals will face off in a third place play-off on Sunday (2.30pm centre-pass) before the Grand Final.
Wasps Netball finished the regular season second in the Superleague table, securing an impressive 14 goal victory over play-off rivals Team Bath in their last game – the win meant Wasps had beaten every team at least once in the league this season.
Director of Netball Tamsin Greenway says reaching the Final Four has been the team’s goal all season and now they are focused on making it count.
Greenway said: “This is what we’ve been working towards all season, so I’m expecting a really strong and confident performance. Play-off netball is completely different, you’ve got everything to lose and its 60 minutes of incredibly hard work and only one team can progress.”
“We have a lot of players who have been there and done it all before, some of these guys have been in five or six finals, so it’s not unknown to them. We want to go there and treat it like a home venue for us, we’re hoping to see as many Wasps fans down in Birmingham as possible to support us over the two days.”