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All the permutations ahead of the final round of NSL 2023

There is just one round of the Netball Super League left, with plenty still to be decided. 

London Pulse have confirmed their place at the top of the NSL table for the first time in their history but the other home semi-final spot is up for grabs. 

The challenge to be the best of the rest is also going down to the wire with two teams able to finish in fifth. 

Here are all the permutations going into Round 20 of the Netball Super League season: 

Lightning vs Thunder for home semi-final 

Two things are confirmed about the semi-finals. Pulse will host Surrey Storm in the first semi-final on 9 June, and Loughborough Lightning will take on Manchester Thunder in the other. 

What is still to be determined is who will play host to the battle between last season’s Grand Finalists with both teams locked on 42 points from their 17 games. 

Lightning are in the driving seat as they take on ninth-place Team Bath, while they also have a superior goal difference to Thunder. 

That means the reigning champions need Lightning to either draw or lose against Bath and win themselves, or they need to beat Strathclyde Sirens by a margin that is more than 50 points greater than Lightning’s winning margin against Bath. 

Last time Loughborough and Bath met, all the way back in Round 1, Lightning recorded their highest-ever score in an 86-52 win, while Manchester Thunder overcame Sirens by just 13 points in their Round 10 encounter.

Stars must wait to confirm record finish 

Severn Stars currently sit in fifth place, which would mark their highest-ever NSL finish, but they face an agonising wait to make it certain.

Jo Trip’s side completed their season with a 59-52 loss to Leeds Rhinos last weekend to leave them on 21 points, the same number as Saracens Mavericks.

Mavericks have a game in hand but come up against London Pulse at the Copper Box Arena on Monday needing a draw or win to overhaul Stars, who have a better goal difference.

All eyes in Worcester will be on Sky Sports, which will show Pulse’s showdown with Mavericks live with first centre pass at 7pm on 5 June.

Seventh heaven the goal for three teams 

While Celtic Dragons secured their second win of the season last week, they are confirmed to finish in 10th place in 2023. 

For the three teams above them, it is still all to play for as Team Bath, Leeds Rhinos and Strathclyde Sirens are separated by just one point. 

Rhinos sit in eighth but may feel they have the best chance of securing seventh spot as they take on Dragons in their final game of the season. 

Sirens and Bath both come up against top-four sides in Thunder and Lightning and with Bath sitting one point behind their rivals, they will need to win and hope Strathclyde Sirens and Rhinos both lose. 

Rhinos also need to better Sirens’ result, with the Glasgow side holding a far superior goal difference. 

All will be confirmed when Sirens take on Manchester Thunder live on Sky Sports at 2pm on 3 June, with Bath and Rhinos completing their seasons the evening before. 

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