Vitality Netball Superleague: Reaction to Leeds Rhinos point allocation and play-off confirmation | Netball News

With the Leeds Rhinos having secured the points for their remaining two games, due to predetermined COVID-19 protocols, the Superleague semi-finalists have been determined off the field; competition continues on Sunday with the regular season finale

Last update: 06/15/21 1:49 PM

Leeds Rhinos Netball will be part of the Superleague semi-finals in the inaugural season (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Coaches and fans have shared their reaction to Leeds Rhinos Netball receiving the points for their last Vitality Netball Superleague matches, securing fourth place.

On Tuesday morning, the Vitality Netball Superleague rescheduling competition committee announced that the Rhinos’ remaining regular season games will be canceled.

A positive COVID-19 result on the Rhinos squad meant their Round 20 matches against Dragons and Pulse could not be played.

This was due to a predetermined rule in Superleague: when matches are canceled due to a positive COVID-19 case, the result of the previous match of the season will be applied.

The decision means Rhinos, who beat Dragons and Pulse earlier in the year, is awarded six points and will now end the regular season with 36 points.

Latest Vitality Netball Superleague rankings

Play Won Lost Draw Points
1. Team swim netball (Q) 19 17 2 0 51
2. Loughborough Lightning (Q) 19 16 3 0 48
3. Manchester Thunder (Q) 19 16 3 0 48
4. Leeds Rhinos Netball (Q) 20 12 8 0 36
5. Strathclyde Sirens 19 ten 7 2 32
6. Wasps 19 ten 8 1 31
7. Maverick Saracens 19 ten 8 1 31

The other playoff contenders – Strathclyde Sirens, Saracens Mavericks and Wasps – all don’t have enough games left to potentially exceed that tally.

The Sirens, who were in fourth place before the decision, can only reach 35 points if they beat the Manchester Thunder in the 20th round.

If they win their rescheduled match against Storm, the Wasps will have 34 points, just like the Mavericks, if they also beat the same opponent.

Vitality Netball Superleague – Matchday 20 matches

Sunday at 12 p.m. Saracens Mavericks vs. Surrey Storm
Sunday at 2 p.m. Manchester Thunder v Strathclyde Sirens
Sunday at 4 p.m. Celtic dragons against the stars of Severn
Monday at 5.15 p.m. Wasps vs. Surrey Storm
Monday at 7:15 p.m. Loughborough Lightning vs Team Bath Netball

Following the announcement of the ruling and ruling, people shared their thoughts on social media.

First off, Dan Ryan, head coach of the Leeds Rhinos, shared his feelings about how the end of the regular season was going.

Rhinos’ inaugural season has already given them many challenges. They lost three of their starting players to major injuries in the first round, and went on to win win after win without them.

Once these individuals returned, the Rhinos showed how cohesive they were as a unit and a number of players received international recognition as a result.

Now their challenge will be to break out of isolation, complete their five-day “comeback” period and prepare for a semi-final in just 24 hours.

For Strathclyde Sirens, the fourth-place team with one set remaining, Tuesday’s announcement ended their chances of making it to the Finals weekend.

It was a defining season for the Scottish franchise and their technical director Karen Atkinson summed up their thoughts on social media.

No doubt the team will continue to process the decision over the week, before going out and facing Manchester Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

While all the teams and the Vitality Netball Superleague collectively agreed to a set of rules relating to the impact of COVID-19 ahead of the competition, the nature of that decision has baffled some fans and observers.

Once the decision is made and the points awarded, Leeds Rhinos Netball will take its place in the finals weekend on June 26-27.

Team Bath Netball, Loughborough Lightning and Manchester Thunder all sit above them. As the matches remain to be played, the composition of the semi-finals will be decided during the 20th day, Sunday and Monday.

The league’s leading team at the end of Matchday 20 will face Leeds Rhinos Netball in a semi-final, after which the teams ranked second and third will meet.

With three points separating Team Bath, Lightning and Thunder, plus Bath facing Lightning in the 20th round, a number of scenarios are still possible and the final standings could come down to goal difference.

If Loughborough Lightning beat Team Bath and Manchester Thunder won against the Strathclyde Sirens, then the three would be stuck on 51 points.

Sky Sports is your home of netball. The Vitality Netball Superleague continues on Sunday, with four consecutive games being broadcast on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel starting at 12 p.m.

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