This weekend sees the ANZ Championship's first ever all-New Zealand Preliminary Final, when the First Windows Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic host the LG Mystics in Hamilton's Mystery Creek Events Centre on Sunday night.
The formula on Sunday is simple. The winner will meet the unbeaten Queensland Firebirds in the Grand Final, to be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Sunday 22 May, while the runner-up will have to wait another long year for their next shot at the ultimate title.
On paper, the Magic should be clear favourites; they have won all but one of the previous eight ANZ Championship encounters between these two sides; they've had far more finals experience; and they are playing in their home stadium. Until now, they have set the benchmark for the New Zealand teams in this, the world's best netball league. A win would see them line up for their third Grand Final in the competition's four year history.
But last week's Semi-Finals showed that previous results count for little when it comes to finals netball. The Mystics were sublime against the Swifts, choosing the perfect moment to take just their second ever win on Aussie soil in four years of competition; while the Magic were left stunned after being, in the words of coach Noeline Taurua, "annihilated" by the seemingly unstoppable Firebirds.
It's guaranteed to be an epic contest between these two North Island franchises! Don't miss a minute of the action - LIVE on SKY Sport in New Zealand, and ONE HD around Australia.
First Windows Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic v LG Mystics
Date: Sunday 15 May 2011
Venue: Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton
Time: 6.20pm NZT centre pass
Broadcast: NZ: SKY Sport 1, 6pm NZT
AU: ONE HD, 4pm AEST // BigPond Sport 6.30pm