Netball grand final to go ahead behind closed doors

By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo/ANZ Premiership

Netball NZ has confirmed that the grand final between the Pulse and Tactix will go ahead next Sunday behind closed doors in Invercargill.

The change to Covid-19 alert levels during the week had cast doubt over the event taking place after this weekend’s final round of regular season matches were cancelled.

``This is fantastic news and we’re delighted that we’ve got the opportunity to defend our title,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said in a statement.

``With this weekend’s cancelled round not having any effect on the points table and with the Pulse and Tactix already confirmed in the final, we remained hopeful that the contest would take place.

"It’s a shame that it will be staged behind closed doors but we are grateful for the opportunity to play it at all. And with it also being screened on free-to-air television, it opens the door for a wider audience to take in the spectacle.’’

The latest advice from the government has enabled Netball NZ to proceed with the grand final but with Auckland-based teams, the Northern Mystics and Northern Stars remaining at alert level 3, their participation in the play-off for third has effectively been ruled out. It has also been decided the play-off for fifth between Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Southern Steel will not be staged.

Due to the rest of the country being in alert level 2, the grand final will be closed to the general public.

It will be played at 6.45pm on 23 August and broadcast live on Sky Sport 3 and free-to-air on Prime.

Final placings for the 2020 ANZ Premiership, aside from the grand final, have been determined by the points ladder at the end of round robin play.

The Mystics finished in third place (35 points), the Stars in fourth (29) with the Steel (21) and Magic (19) fifth and sixth respectively.