NSW Swifts coach Rob Wright remains a fan of draws, despite three of them threatening to derail his team’s trans-Tasman netball finals push.
For the first time in the eight-year history of the competition no overtime is being played if matches are tied after four quarters.
Swifts’ captain Kimberlee Green says she can’t stand draws, but appreciates matches can’t last for more than 60 minutes because of broadcasting demands.
The Swifts head into Sunday’s home game against Melbourne Vixens knowing it’s quite possible one of these two traditional powerhouses of Australian netball won’t play finals this year.
Only the top three in each of the Australian and New Zealand conferences will make it through.
West Coast Fever (17) and Queensland Firebirds (13), who square off in another Australian blockbuster in Perth on Friday, look likely to claim two places.
The Vixens (10), Swifts (9) and Adelaide Thunderbirds (8) could all be battling for just one spot, unless the Firebirds lose form.
All but two of the ten teams have drawn at least one game, with Thunderbirds and Mystics having two and Swifts three.
“I’ve always been a fan of the draw and I still am, but it is frustrating to have three of them,” Wright told AAP.
“I think what it shows is how tight this competition is, with so many draws.
“The one beauty of the draw is the fans probably leave wanting more because they probably want a result.
“The table may come down to one point separating teams from being in or out.
“I think it’s going to have a real bearing on how this table ends up, so that’s exciting because I think it’s going to be a bit of an unknown.”
Veteran midcourter Green isn’t as enthusiastic about drawn games.
“As a player, I can’t stand them,” Green said.
“But knowing how we need to grow our sport and we know that there’s not a lot of time in between games, and it’s really tough for the broadcasters to go into extra time.
“The amount of extra times this year, it would have really stuffed them up, so I completely understand that side.
“But as a player, it’s really tough because you walk away feeling like you’ve lost.”
“I was speaking to (Pulse player) Katrina Grant after the (47-47 draw) the other day and she was like ‘I can’t believe that, I didn’t know what to feel’.
“(I said) ‘Mate try having three (draws), that’s your first, this is our third!’
“It feels like we’ve lost five, as opposed to two at the moment.
“We have to keep reminding ourselves that’s not the case.”
Neither Wright nor Green were fussed that the Swifts’ points tally would place them second in the NZ conference.