With the Silver Ferns coaches and selectors in the crowd, and a spot in the Super Club final available for three of the New Zealand sides, players had to be at their best in yesterday's Super Club semifinals. Assistant Ferns coach Deb Fuller said that her and head coach Noeline Taurua were looking for players in form throughout the tournament to take with them to the United Kingdom for the 2020 Nations Cup in January. With a lot of young and upcoming talent on display in the midcourt, the selectors do not have an easy job. After analysing the Silver Ferns' defensive and attacking options, Merryn Anderson now looks at the midcourt. Katrina Rore, Karin Burger and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson are likely options in the defensive end, but can all play at wing defence so give depth to the Ferns' midcourt options. Who else will make the cut?
Shannon Saunders (Southern Steel)
Saunders shared court time with Steel teammate Gina Crampton at wing attack at the World Cup, with Ferns legend Laura Langman being the first choice at centre. Seen predominantly at centre for the Steel, Saunders was an experienced head in the Steel's one-point win over the Northern Stars on Day Four and is likely to be selected for another season in the black dress.
Gina Crampton (Southern Steel)
Expect Crampton to be selected for the Ferns side, being the number one choice for the wing attack position in the 2019 season and showing no signs of slowing down in 2020. Crampton is dependable, makes very few errors and is used to the high pressure environment.
Kimiora Poi (Mainland Tactix)
One of New Zealand netball's most promising young talents, Poi has impressed at centre for the Tactix over the past two seasons with her speed and tenacity. She has played all but one quarter in the Tactix's four Super Club games, showing great fitness and commitment to chasing down loose balls, and was also solid on defence, with one gain, one intercept, two deflections and three pick-ups in their 41-37 win over the Wasps yesterday.
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Sam Sinclair (Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic)
Missing the 2019 World Cup campaign, Sinclair has a point to prove to make her way back onto the Ferns side. A staple in the Magic midcourt for the last few years, Sinclair hasn't quite shown the form that made her celebrated as a feisty and persistent defender, but may have done enough for her team this tournament to be reselected for the Ferns. Despite Sinclair's efforts, the Magic will be disappointed with their 49-42 semifinal loss to the Mystics, and may struggle without talented defender Jenna O'Sullivan, who left the court having injured an already strapped shoulder.
Whitney Souness (Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic)
Making the move from the Pulse to the Magic this year, Souness brings some experience to a fairly young Magic side. Souness dominated the feeds and centre pass receives in yesterday's loss to the Mystics and was instrumental in helping the attacking end flow all game.
Claire Kersten (Central Pulse)
With a handful of caps for the Silver Ferns, Kersten isn't a flashy player but is reliable at centre, offering solid attributes on attack and defence. She couldn't save the Pulse from a horror third quarter against the Collingwood Magpies yesterday however, losing the quarter 18-7, and ultimately ending their chances of a second Super Club title.
The Magpies are looking a strong bet to take the Super Club title this year, easily defeating the Pulse 54-40 in their semifinal yesterday. The Magpies will be facing the Northern Mystics in the final, with the Mystics having placed last in this year's ANZ Premiership, but looking promising in their build-up to next season, aided by dominant goal shoot Grace Nweke. Third place will be contested by the Pulse and the Magic, while the fifth and sixth spot will be contested by the southern teams - the Tactix and the Steel. The Northern Stars and the Wasps have finished on the bottom of the table, and will both be aiming for their first win of the tournament in their consolation showdown. The 2019 Super Club tournament wraps up today, with the first game starting at 3:30pm.