Melbourne Vixens have the chance to put Super Netball’s audacious upstarts in their place by clinching the minor premiership on Saturday.
The Vixens – the lone established team of five to make the finals of the new competition – lead on percentage from Sunshine Coast Lightning going into this weekend’s final round.
Melbourne (21 points) must win away at lowly West Coast Fever (four points) in Perth on Saturday to try and secure top spot, as they will have dropped to second by the time they take the court.
The two teams immediately below them, the Lightning (21 points) and the Giants (20 points), clash in Sydney earlier on Saturday, with the winner going top for at least an hour.
Vixens coach Simone McKinnis won’t be trying to ascertain the result of that game.
“I don’t think you can get caught up and focused on the wrong thing, just looking at percentages and ladders and things like that,” McKinnis told AAP.
“We’ve purposely not paid attention to that and we’re not speaking about percentage or anything.
“It’s just about the game in front of us, playing well and winning that game and the rest will look after itself.”
The Vixens beat the Fever 56-45 in Melbourne in round four, the same round in which the Giants shaded the Lightning 55-54 on the Sunshine Coast.
“I think with the form we’ve been having we’ve wanted to play them earlier, but unfortunately we’ve had to wait to this very last game,” Lightning’s star shooter Caitlin Bassett told AAP about the game against the Giants.
“It’s an important game for us. We can’t take our foot off the pedal for a couple of reasons.
“Obviously for finals placings we want to finish one or two, but also we need our form to continue into the finals because we know that the other teams that make up the top four are ridiculously hard.”
Former Fever stalwart Bassett wasn’t above asking her former teammates to do her a favour by upsetting the Vixens.
“I talked to Kate Beveridge last night, I said ‘can you please please win, come on just pull it out’, that would make our lives a lot easier,” Bassett said.