Netball Superleague: Saracens make it two wins from two, Leeds lose trio to injury

Britney Pringle-Clarke of Saracens Mavericks jumps with the ball during the match between Leeds Rhinos and Saracens Mavericks
Saracens Mavericks are level on points with Team Bath at the top of the Superleague after two games

Saracens Mavericks secured two wins from their first two games as the opening weekend of the 2021 Netball Superleague season continued behind closed doors.

After beating Surrey Storm 54-40 on Sunday, they edged a 43-39 win over newcomers Leeds Rhinos on Monday.

Leeds, playing in their first Superleague season, lost Donnell Wallam, Tuaine Keenan and Fi Toner to injury.

"We've walked under a few ladders I think," said Leeds head coach Dan Ryan. "I don't think I've been involved in a game in my entire life that's had so much chaos and adversity.

"At the end of the day, I thought we handled it exceptionally well, and what an opportunity for some of our youngsters to mix it with the big girls."

Leeds, who were founded in 2017 and gained entry to the Superleague last year, had beaten Celtic Dragons 65-35 on their debut on Friday.

Also on Monday, Loughborough Lightning recorded their first win of the new campaign with a narrow 44-43 victory over Wasps.

On Sunday, they had been beaten 48-44 by five-time Superleague champions Team Bath, who also won both their opening games, beating Loughborough after a commanding 61-29 victory over Celtic Dragons.

Earlier in the weekend, Surrey Storm secured a 42-40 derby win over London Pulse on Saturday before their defeat by Saracens on Sunday.

Severn Stars suffered back-to-back defeats in their first two matches, as a 36-30 loss to Strathclyde Sirens was followed by a 53-34 defeat by rivals Wasps.

Friday's opening fixtures saw defending champions Manchester Thunder beat Strathclyde Sirens 53-36, with Thunder scoring 20 goals in the final quarter.

Superleague matches are being played at two venues - Studio 001 in Wakefield and the Copperbox Arena in London - with the season culminating in the Grand Final on Sunday, 27 June.

Players and staff will be tested for coronavirus on a regular basis, and will adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

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