ANZ Premiership Review: Round 12

IN the second last round of the home and away season, the Central Pulse have all but secured top spot on the ladder after racking up another win while the despite a loss to the Magic, the Mystics secured third spot and will play Southern Steel in the preliminary final.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (61) defeated Northern Mystics (52)

From the first whistle the Magic came to play and their intent was clear hunt the ball and capitalise under the post. The Mystics worked tirelessly but it was to no avail only winning one of a possible four quarters. They were simply outplayed by the Magic who put out a solid four quarter performance at Claudelands Arena.

The Magic were hot in the first quarter piling on 19 goals to 12 credit to the work rate of shooter Kelsey McPhee who nailed 16 goals in the first 15 minutes and finished the match with a game high 47 goals. McPhee used her netball nous, slick footwork and body positioning to become an imposing threat in the goal circle while Monica Falkner also chipped in on the scoreboard with 14 goals. The defensive pressure applied down the court and especially from Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury was immense in stopping the attacking flow of their opposition. Kopua showed her class picking up four gains, two intercepts and a couple of deflections highlighting her ability to inject herself into the action. Ariana Cable-Dixon and Samantha Sinclair combined well through the midcourt using their speed and dynamism to open up space across the court and carve up the goal circle with their feeds.

For the Mystics, Grace Nweke had her work cut out for her wearing the physicality and pressure of Jury and Kopua. But she still stood strong in the goal circle putting up 37 shots. Bailey Mes upped her workload finding space in the shooting circle adding 15 goals to her tally at 79 percent along with 29 centre pass receives highlighting her work rate off the ball. Midcourters Tayla Earle and Emma Iversen struggled to combat the defensive pressure of the Magic. Grace Kukatai found herself in at centre and moved well in the second half with five deflections and nine goal assists while Elisapeta Toeava was instrumental in attack with 33 feeds and 18 goal assists. Toeava used her speed to identify space and placed the ball to the advantage of her sides’ shooters. In defence Erena Mikaere was her usual dominant self, picking up six gains, two intercepts, four deflections and four rebounds clearly displaying her ability to contest the ball and impact the play.

Central Pulse (68) defeated Northern Stars (42)

The Central Pulse claimed yet another win edging themselves further ahead at the top of the table as the Northern Stars continue to struggle to find consistency across the four quarters. The Pulse really showcased their dominance in the third term piling on 18 goals to seven.

It was a dominant shooting display for the Pulse who took control of the game from the get go. Aliyah Dunn was prolific under the post once again finding the net with ease and holding well to allow Ameliaranne Ekenasio to run the baseline. Dunn only played three quarters but still put up 28 goals from 34 attempts, while Ekenasio did a wealth of work switching between goal attack and shooter, finishing with 33 from 37 attempts. Even with rotations in the circle the Pulse seemed unfazed with Tiana Metuarau coming in and doing her job posting seven from nine. But the work of the defence did not go unnoticed with Katrina Rore and Karin Burger having a field day. Rore used her experience, quick feet and ability to read the play to pick up seven gains, two intercepts, five deflections and five rebounds all testament to her hunt and endeavour to win the ball. Burger found herself in goal keeper for a period of time but spent majority of the game hunting the ball on the circle edge picking up six gains, two intercepts and seven deflections showcasing her importance to stop the attacking flow of the opposition.

In a difficult outing for the Stars, goal shooter Maia Wilson was consistent under the post shooting at 80 percent converting 32 goals from her 40 attempts. Both Charlee Hodges and Ellen Halpenny struggled to find their range sitting at 58 and 30 percent respectively placing a lot of pressure on Wilson. Temepara Bailey and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan alternated between wing attack and centre using their speed and precision to bring the ball down the court. Reuelu-Buchanan led the way in the front end with 36 feeds and 14 goal assists highlighting her ability to identify space and place the ball well into the shooters. Defensively Kate Burley and Storm Purvis worked hard to apply good pressure and confuse the space amassing six gains, three intercepts and six deflections between them, but it was not enough to quell the influence of their opposition under the post.

Mainland Tactix (56) defeated by Southern Steel (64)

The Mainland Tactix came out with a point to prove piling on a whopping 22 goals in the first quarter. But the Southern Steel fought back hard to win the next three quarters and claim an eight goal victory.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Lenize Potgieter proved to be a deadly combination under the ring for the Steel only missing five goals between them for the entire match. Potgieter was her usual prolific self, nailing 44 goals from 48 attempts while Selby-Rickit found the net with ease converting 20 from 21 at a whopping 95 percent. Through the midcourt Gina Crampton was impressive doing a wealth of work to drive to the top of the goal circle and feed the ball seamlessly into the shooters with a game high 47 feeds. The defensive effort of Abby Erwood and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit was strong setting up clever zones and allowing each other to go out hunting for the ball with a combined seven gains and three intercepts.

The Tactix will be disappointed they were unable to hang on to their lead with Ellie Bird in hot form in the goal circle. She nailed a whopping 15 goals straight in the first term credit to her ability to hold strong and take the ball at full strength. Brooke Leaver showcased her versatility switching between wing attack and goal attack. Kimiora Poi and Samon Nathan were also effective through the midcourt with 21 and 32 feeds effectively. Jane Watson stood up in defence winning plenty of the ball and keeping her side in it with five gains, two intercepts and seven deflections. She was ably assisted by partner in crime Kate Lloyd who applied strong hands over pressure picking up two intercepts and two gains.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments