With two rounds of brilliant world class netball behind us, it's now time for round three of ANZ Championship action.
Early title favorites the Melbourne Vixens and Colourplus Magic continue to lead the pack, while SKOPE Tactix have shown faultless form to date, coming off the stellar win over the NSW Swifts.
This week things get even more tough for the Swifts as they face off with the mighty Magic in Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. With a wealth of talent in both line-ups, this game promises to be an absolute treat of sensational netball. The goal circle clash between the Swifts shooters Catherine Cox and Susan Pratley against the Magic’s powerful defence combination of Joline Henry and Casey Williams.
The second match of the round is in Auckland between the LG Northern Mystics and West Coast Fever, with both sides yet to taste victory this season. Both teams have had their chances and for one of them the season will become a little brighter this week, while the losing team will find their situation slightly more precarious.
The likely highlight match of the round takes place in Melbourne on Sunday as the top of the table Vixens host the Adelaide Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds notched up win number one last round and are back in fine touch, while the Vixens are powering forward with two slick and convincing wins. A match-up of epic proportion waits for netball fans as two of the world's most exciting stars in Sharelle McMahon and Mo'onia Gerrard prepare for war. Both will be instrumental to their teams' chances, a contest does not get any more intense than this. Admire the sheer guts and athleticism of both players.
Monday night netball in week three sees the Suzuki Pulse make the trek to Brisbane to tackle the Queensland Firebirds. The Firebirds have one win on the board, but the Pulse are still on the hunt and after pushing the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel to extra time last week, are getting close. This match will see two of the best international stars go head to head with Jamaican shooting machine Romelda Aiken fronting stalwart English defender Sonia Mkoloma.
The final match of the round will see the competition surprise packets the Tactix take on the Steel. The Tactix have been in superb form and their defeat of the Swifts confirmed their refusal to be intimidated by previous records or reputations. The brilliance of veteran centre Julie Seymour has been one of the highlights of the ANZ Championship to date. Her duel with Silver Ferns squad member, pocket rocket Liana Barrett-Chase, will go a long way towards determining the winner of this game.
The competition is certainly heating up, with round three in the ANZ Championship set to keep the temperature soaring!
Saturday, April 19
Swifts v Colourplus Magic 14:30
Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle
LG Northern Mystics v Fever 14:30
The Trusts Stadium, Auckland
Sunday, April 20
Vixens v Thunderbirds 13:30
Vodafone Arena, Melbourne
Monday, April 21
Firebirds v Suzuki Pulse 19:00
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane
SKOPE Tactix v Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel 19:00
Westpac Arena, Christchurch
*All times local
All games in Round 3 are screened Live on Sky Sport 1 (NZ) and Fox Sports 3 (Australia)
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse