2022 ANZ Premiership review: Mainland Tactix

IT was an unlucky year for the Mainland Tactix, who ended up on the bottom of the ANZ Premiership ladder, but can take away the fact they did not have the least amount of wins. They picked up five for the season – one more than the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic – but due to having three less bonus points, they slumped below the Magic on goal difference. The Magic had some impressive moments throughout the season, but could not get enough consistency, only winning two games in the first seven rounds and having to play catch-up in the backend of the season.


Position: 6th
Wins: 5
Losses: 10
Goals For: 788 (5th)
Goals Against: 873 (5th)
Goal Difference: -85 (6th)


Last year’s standout ANZ Premiership player in Karin Burger had another outstanding season and teamed up well with Kelera Nawai-Caucau and Kate Lloyd, both of whom were new to the red dress in 2022. Burger had 21 rebounds (third overall) and 21 intercepts (equal sixth), while Nawai-Caucau had 16 and 17 to be eighth and 10th respectively.

In attack, both Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit finished inside the Top 10 shooters. Bird recorded 484 goals at 91 per cent, ranked fifth overall, while Selby-Rickit picked up 258 goals at 82 per cent. The latter also managed 302 feeds and 100 turnovers such was her work up the court, a real standout in goal attack earning herself a Commonwealth Games spot.

Mainland Tactix would also be pleased that the midcourt was one of only two – with the premier Stars – to have more than 400-plus feeds each by two players. Samon Nathan (433, ranked sixth) and Kimiora Poi (412, seventh) both kept battling away. The pair formed a strong nucleus in the mid third that drove the ball into the attacking third.


Without Jane Watson, the Tactix were minus one of the best goal keepers in the world, so that will always play a factor. Watson took the season off to give birth to her daughter, but will be returning next season in a boost to the Tactix’s chances. The major issue was not as much the losses, but more the manner of the losses, with some pretty heavy defeats along the season, which included 19 goals (Northern Mystics, Round 9), 17 goals (Southern Steel, Round 1) and 17 goals (Central Pulse, Round 7).


Mainland Tactix would be thrilled to welcome back Watson, which is effectively including an elite defender straight back into the starting seven without losing anything. The flow-on effect of Watson means Burger slots into that wing defence bib, which was something that worked effectively in seldom, but having those two international defenders allows much better security in nullifying the opposition’s flow.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments