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Vitality Netball Superleague predictions – Round 11 with Pamela Cookey

Former Team Bath star Pamela is a familiar face on Sky's Superleague coverage

We’re past the halfway point of the season and Vitality Netball Superleague predictions are back for a pivotal Round 11.

Last time out, Eboni Usoro-Brown got all three results correct to score nine points in a round that saw two games postponed due to positive Covid cases.

A reminder of the points system

3 points for the correct outcome

5 bonus points if score prediction is correct

3 bonus points if score prediction is within 1-3 goals

2 bonus points if score prediction is within 4-9 goals

1 bonus point if score prediction is within 10-15 goals

Now it’s the turn of former England captain and two-time Superleague champion Pamela Cookey to get her crystal ball out and predict where the points are heading this weekend.

London Pulse v Loughborough Lightning (Saturday, 2pm) – watch live on Sky Sports YouTube channel

Pulse are absolutely flying and getting better and better each week. They only lost to Thunder by three goals and are really looking like a team that are gunning for the finals.

Lightning will be bruised after Monday’s defeat to Manchester Thunder. I’m looking forward to seeing how they can bounce back and fix some of those unforced errors. It’ll be crucial for them to make a quick start because they’ve been slow out of the gate in the last few games.

I’m really impressed with how far Pulse have come as a group. Funmi Fadoju is just awesome and Lindsay Keable has been crucial to that, allowing the youngsters to flourish and do their thing.

We saw a glimpse just before COVID of what Pulse could be, they’ve been slowly building on that and they’re doing it more consistently now. They’ve added some discipline to the flair and they know how to grind out a game now.

Pulse will get a big win, by four. 

Strathclyde Sirens v Team Bath (Saturday, 2pm) 

Sirens, they’re up and down this season. They have shown signs of really connecting and when Niamh McCall is in there and on song with her long bomb and Dix is court crafting, they look good.

There are times when they struggle with through-court progression and getting those turnovers to a goal.  You can see the lift that Towera Vinkhumbo gives them and you can tell when she’s out of the side.

Team Bath have had so many knocks and disruptions this season. They haven’t quite been able to figure out their center court with consistency  albeit Kirsty Harris has performed above expectations.

With Phumza Maweni in the back-court and Vitality Roses pushing for Commonwealth Games spots – as well as club success and a couple of weeks to re-group themselves – that might be the circuit-breaker they need to restart the season and go again

Bath to bounce back and win by six. 

Celtic Dragons v Manchester Thunder (Saturday, 4pm) 

It’s bottom against top, so you can’t call it any other way.

Dragons came close to Storm on Monday and I was surprised because I thought Storm would beat them by a few more. It shows they’re still mixing it with teams.

Thunder have too many combinations to put out if things get tricky, and they will just be far too good in terms of match-ups and squad depth.

I’ve gone for a blowout, Thunder by 20.

Surrey Storm v Severn Stars (Sunday, 4pm) 

It feels like a lifetime ago but we have to remember that Stars beat Storm 56-47 in Round 1. It was a shock result after Storm beat them in pre-season.

They key for Stars is how many quarters Cat Tuivati can play, because when she was on it they won the first quarter against Lightning.

Storm talked after Round 1 about not recognising themselves in the performance; we’ve seen what they can do since then.

They now know how to feed Peace Provoscia and in the first couple of games, they were still finding their feet. We’re starting to see Francesca Wells step up as a shooting option so Peace isn’t doubled and Sophia Candappa finding her way back in giving more options in the mid-court.

Storm to win this by seven. 

Saracens Mavericks v Wasps (Monday, 5.30pm)

Ine-Mari Venter is really key for Mavs and she’s going to be out for a few more rounds with injury. That showed in Round 9 against Rhinos, they missed her holding play, accuracy on shot and the way she comes out of the circle and releases.

Her partnership with Kadeen Corbin has lifted Kadeen’s game too. They also missed Beth Ecuyer-Dale who has been a key link to their defensive and attack plays but Razia Quashie and Jodie Gibson have been creating possession.

Wasps have been steadily getting better and better, their defence have been able to turn over more ball, they’ve figured out the centre bib and can slot in Gezelle Allison to change things up.

I think Wasps might just pip this one, Wasps by three. 

Loughborough Lightning v Leeds Rhinos (Monday, 7pm) 

It’s the first time we will see Lightning vs Rhinos after the Round 2 postponement and I’m backing Lightning to bounce back with a win here.

Rhinos are still trying to work out who their starting seven actually is and Tracey Robinson is still playing with combinations based on her learnings and what she needs to change with where her players are at.

I think Sienna Rushton has really grown this season and her partnership with Brie Grierson is really coming on – whether they are at goal shooter and goal attack or goal attack and wing attack – with Jade Clarke supporting them at centre.

I just think Lightning’s attack and experience will prove too much, so Lightning by 12.

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