When the Northern Mystics and Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic face off in their last chance preliminary final on Monday, past performances will go out the window.
The two teams have been the best of the New Zealand sides for several years and they are about as evenly matched as can be.
Both teams boast stars in each third of the court and each have one win from their two previous encounters this season.
While the Mystics are at home, that advantage won't count for much with plenty of Magic fans set to make the hour and a half trip to Auckland.
One thing is certain, there will be a New Zealand team in the trans-tasman championship final for the third year in a row.
BREAKDOWN OF HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCH-UPS:
Casey Williams and Leana de Bruin vs Anna Harrison and Kayla Cullen
Both sets of defenders are undoubtedly talented and all four are current Silver Ferns.
The Waikato duo are tried and tested, having played together at domestic and international level while Harrison and Cullen are a relatively new partnership.
This contest shapes as strength versus stretch. Williams and de Bruin have combined for 60 rebounds, their presence under the hoop often too much for the opposition shooters.
Harrison, on the other hand, has 31 individual intercepts and with Cullen the pair have a major weapon in the Harrison Hoist.
The hoist has been well contained since its debut against the Vixens however and it will be difficult for the Mystics pair to outsmart Irene van Dijk. While Harrison and de Bruin are on par, talented up-and-comer Cullen is not yet a match for Williams and in the pressure situation of a final, the Waikato pair should have more magic.
The edge: Magic
Irene van Dijk and Julianna Naoupu vs Maria Tutaia and Catherine Latu
It's hard to pick against any shooting combination containing New Zealand's greatest ever shooter Irene van Dijk.
At 40-years-old she has experience by the bucket load and is still solid as a rock under the hoop.
She is partnered with the least experienced of the four in Julianna Naoupu, but the Magic haven't lost a game since round four and a lot of that has to be attributed to their shooting consistency.
Catherine Latu has the best shooting percentage at an eagle-eyed 97.4 per cent and has missed just 10 shots this season.
Maria Tutaia has become known for her ability to sink shots under pressure and if the game should come down to the wire as it did last year, when the Mystics beat the Magic by one goal, you would put your money on Tutaia from just about anywhere in the circle.
While Tutaia and Latu are probably the best shooting pair in the league on their day, they have been patchy at times this season, giving up more than 100 turnovers between them, far more than their opposites.
If the Mystics pair are on song, they should have the advantage. But in a preliminary final and with Casey Williams and Leana de Bruin sharing their circle, this one is too hard to call.
The edge: Even
Laura Langman/Khao Watts/Elias Shadrock vs Temepara George/Grace Rasmussen/Jade Clarke
Temepara George versus Laura Langman should be one of the best match-ups of the night. Both play a similar, gritty style of netball and neither will let a single ball go.
While Langman has age on her side, George is playing her final season of professional netball and will be more determined than ever to go out on a winning note.
Both are very even statistically, Langman is second in the league in goal assists with 212 while George is third with 172.
George probably has the better midcourt partners, with England international Jade Clarke and fringe Silver Fern Grace Rasmussen, while Charlotte Kight and Kayla Cullen are also options at wing defence.
The Magic are more limited, with Khao Watts and Elias Shadrock the only partners Noeline Taurua was willing to play with Langman in their win over the Tunderbirds.
Jess Tuki is a valid midcourt option off the bench but the depth of the Mystics gives them more to work with if things aren't going as planned.
The Edge: Mystics
Who wins: This is incredibly close and will come down to which team takes their chances off the others centre pass. The Magic have the winning momentum but the Mystics will be tough to beat if they can keep it together for four quarters. Add to that, they will be desperate to win for the departing George. Mystics by two.
- © Fairfax NZ News