The 2019 Rawson Homes Premiership finals series have taken shape after a whirlwind weekend of Netball in Dubbo.
The Fusion Heat, who claimed the top honours in 2017 and 2018, secured another title on the weekend, with a resounding 60 - 22 win over Fusion Fire that gave them the minor premiership for the year.
"Yeah, it does feel really good, it was good to finish the season with a really strong win like that, we are set to see them again in the first round of the finals, which should be another great game," Heat captain Tash Robinson said.
However, despite the Heat showing their class, Robinson says the result in the first round of the finals can't be viewed as a foregone conclusion, with both Heat and Fire expected to be giving very different looks as they prepare to meet once again.
"There's definitely going to be room for improvement, we'll be missing some players, as will they, so it's definitely going to be a different game."
"There'll have to be a little bit more thought put behind it in terms of planning and preparation, it'll still be a really good game, but very different to the one we just played."
The thumping win puts the Heat clearly ahead of their closest rivals on the competition ladder and gives them a clean sheet without any losses for the season.
The only result this season that wasn't in the Heat's favour was an unusual draw earlier in the season due to inclement weather.
Teams have definitely taken it to us this season, we've had to work really hard in some games...Heat Captain Tash Robinson.
"We dual forfeited with a team on the weekend that it rained," Robinson said.
"But other than that, we've had another really strong season, definitely not an easy season, but we're all really proud of the girls for putting in a really strong effort."
Robinson said that while she was still confident in the Heat's ability to secure a third straight title, the competition this year had made the prospect a little harder to realise.
"I know a lot of people expect us to think we're just going to win it," Robinson said.
"Even when the score differences have been quite large,the games themselves don't feel like that, we've had to work for every win, the teams this year have been really formidable."
Nowhere has that been more evident than in the campaigns of the Inspire Rebels and Narromine Hawks, both teams secured their places in the finals with wins on the weekend, with the Rebels beating the Macquarie Hornets 53 - 28 and the Hawks defeating Nyngan 47 - 27 and both will face off against one another when the two fusion sides meet again for the semi-finals.
"I will definitely be down to watch that game, I think it'll be a really, really good game, both teams have shown a lot of strength across the board, I couldn't pick who'll win that one," Robinson said.
"I definitely think the standard has increased, one hundred percent, the teams that were brought up from reserve grade have performed really well and the teams that have been here for years have consolidated."