But most importantly in this business end of the regular season, it would deal the Black and Yellows a huge physiological blow ahead of the play offs. Barring a disastrous drop in form, both sides should finish in the top four and most likely secure a home semi final fixture in the process.
Thunder were victorious in the corresponding fixture in round five, but since then Mavericks are unbeaten, including a stunning victory over Surrey Storm at the Copperbox for Netball London Live they are a massive threat.
This all sets things up perfectly for a close, high-tempo match at the Thunderdome on Saturday. “We’ll do our homework and look at what Mavericks have been doing the past couple of games. We have a fair idea of the style they play and I’m expecting it to be a very tough game,” said coach Dan Ryan. “They have key players and we know what their weapons are, but we need to keep focused on our game to make them combat us.”
With just four games left in the season, Ryan will be looking to cement a more consistent starting seven, following a string of matches experimenting with his line-up and making sure all of his squad received court time.
Manchester Thunder v Hertfordshire Mavericks, 5pm, The Thunderdome, Wright Robinson Sports College.
Match Preview by Denise Evans