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The Swifts were too strong for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Brisbane Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
The Swifts were too strong for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Brisbane Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

A spot in the Super Netball top two could yet belong to the NSW Swifts who set up a thrilling final two games which will decide the make-up of the top four.

In their penultimate game of their season, the Swifts powered to a 58-53 win over the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Brisbane to join the other three finalists all locked on 32 points with a super Saturday set to close out the regular season this weekend.

It was a first win for the 2019 champions after being reunited with coach Briony Akle following her release form an extra-long stint in isolation in Adelaide.

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The Swifts, who had lost back-to-back matches with Akle attempting to coach via zoom, were never headed, leading from start to finish to end the Thunderbird’s season with a ninth loss from their 14 games.

Now a Saturday showdown with fellow finalists the Sunshine Coast Lightning, who won the only previous meeting between the teams during the regular season, will determine where the Swifts finish.

The winner of that match will finish second, earning a double-chance in the finals, with the West Cast Fever and Giants also locked on 32 points and playing each other in the final regular season match.

Whichever team wins that game, will finish on top.

Helen Housby of the Swifts shoots against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Nissan Arena, on August 04, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
Helen Housby of the Swifts shoots against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Nissan Arena, on August 04, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

A loss on Saturday would mean finishing fourth for the Swifts and being sent in to a do-or-die semi-final against the team which finishes third.

The Thunderbirds finished their season with just five wins having been uprooted from what loomed as an Adelaide hub and moved to locked down Brisbane when Covid restrictions hit South Australia late last month.

It continued a five-year run of not making finals for the Thunderbirds who have finished in the bottom three on the ladder every season since the competition began in 2017.

The location of the finals, which are locked in for back-to-back semi-finals on Saturday 14 August, is yet to be confirmed.

Super Netball officials needed to be granted permission form the Queensland government to play out the remaining regular season matches in Brisbane after it was sent in to a snap lockdown last week.

The league is working through venues for the finals series which will include both NSW teams, the fever from Perth and the Lightning.

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