As the final season of the ANZ Championship winds down, there are a lot of "lasts" to tick off over the coming weeks.

This weekend will mark the last full round of transtasman clashes, with all five match-ups between New Zealand and Australian franchises. It's expected it will go much the same way as the first one did back in 2008 - overwhelming Australian dominance.

The high-flying Southern Steel, the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition, appear the only team in with a shot of contributing to the Kiwi side of the ledger, when they take on the Melbourne Vixens in Invercargill this afternoon.

Noeline Taurua's side have a string of impressive wins over their Australian rivals this season, toppling Fever, Thunderbirds and Firebirds - the latter two by double figures. But with the resurgent Vixens needing to win to guarantee their place in the Australian conference finals next month, the Melbourne side will present the toughest challenge yet for the Steel at home. The Vixens rival for the third Australian spot in the play-offs, the West Coast Fever, have a much more straight forward assignment, taking on the injury-depleted Central Pulse in Perth tonight.


The Wellington side's chances has not been helped by the loss of key midcourter Elias Scheres, who sustained a knee injury against the Tactix, and bench player Kate Wells, who has been carrying a foot injury.

The Tactix are also on the road this weekend, taking on the Thunderbirds, who this week announced the retirements of two club stalwarts Carla Borrego and Emily Beaton.

Back home, Mystics and the Magic have daunting match-ups against the top-ranked Australian sides, the Swifts and Firebirds.

Tomorrow night's clash between the Mystics and the Swifts will be followed by the inaugural grand final of the Beko Netball League between Netball South and Netball Central.