ANZ Premiership: Round 4 Review

IN wake of the tragic events in Christchurch over the weekend the ANZ Premiership continued with all clubs paying their respects to those who lost their lives. Despite the traumatic situation the Southern Steel continued their dominant performance in front of their home crowd while the Magic managed to make their way back into the winning books.

Northern Mystics (34) defeated by Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (42)

It was a relatively low scoring game with neither side able to post a large total but in the end it was the Magic who claimed an eight goal victory. The Mystics once again struggled across the court losing their fourth straight game. The shooting circle seemed to be the main source of their pain, unable to penetrate with ease and convert when under the post.

In hope to find the winning combination in the circle the Mystics rotated Bailey Mes, Jamie Hume and Grace Nweke through goal attack and shooter, but seemed to miss the shooter to shooter interplay and accuracy to post with Hume only managing six goals from 14 attempts at 43 percent. Further up the court, wing attack Elisapeta Toeava did a wealth of work with 36 feeds and 13 centre pass receives. Defensively the Mystics were strong with keeper, Erena Mikaere and defender, Phoenix Karaka racking up 19 gains and 11 intercepts between them. Wing defence, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson was also important with her hands over pressure, work at the transverse line and ability to get hands to ball.

Magic shooters, Abigail Latu-Meafou and Monica Falkner combined well in the goal circle with their smooth movement, clever rotations and accuracy. Latu-Meafou shot at 75 percent with her 18 goals, while Falkner managed 17 from 23. Kelly McPhee also impressed in the last quarter nailing seven goals from her eight attempts. In the defensive circle Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury combined for a whopping 17 gains, eight intercepts and nine deflections proving their defensive dominance. Gut running centre, Samantha Sinclair impressed with her two-way running and pressure up the court. She racked up 22 feeds, one intercept and two deflections while Simmon Howe was influential in the attacking end with her timely passes into the goal circle.

Southern Steel (70) defeated Mainland Tactix (52)

The Southern Steel dominated from start to finishing, winning every single quarter and posting some big totals. At half time the Steel edged out to a nine goal lead before putting on the afterburners and running out 18 goal winners.

Week in and week out the combination between Lenize Potgieter and Te Paea Selby-Rickit is improving, with both working exceptionally well together in the circle. Their clever movement, impressive range and ability to share the ball around is second to none, with Potgieter shooting 45 and Selby-Rickit nailing 25. Through the midcourt the rotation of Shannon Saunders and Gina Crampton impressed, finding the circle edge with ease and driving hard across the court to open up space. Crampton starred with 40 feeds and 25 goal assists, while wing defence, Kate Heffernan showed her versatility slotting into centre for a stint in the last quarter. The defensive rotation between Taneisha Fifita, Te Huinga Selby-Rickit and Abby Erwood was impressive with 11 gains and five intercepts.

Accuracy proved to be no issue for the Tactix, with goal shooter Ellie Bird nailing 35 goals from 37 attempts going at 95 percent. Her partner in crime, Brooke Leaver played her part with 17 goals but it was not enough to outscore the Steel. Centre, Kimmiora Poi was once again her dynamic self, using her speed and agility to create space and deliver the ball into the shooting circle. She led the way for her side with 19 goal assists and 25 feeds. Goal keeper Jane Watson shone against a star-studded attacking line with seven gains, two intercepts and two rebounds. Watson paired well with defender, Sophia Fenwick who made her presence felt on the court with her defensive pressure.

Northern Stars (50) defeated by Central Pulse (61)

The Northern Stars were unable to keep up with the intensity of the Central Pulse, who ran away 11 goal victors. The Central Pulse dominated the second quarter scoring 18 goals to the Stars’ nine, credit to their clever and quick transition down the court. With key shooters for both sides, it was a battle of the goalers with both Maia Wilson and Aaliyah Dunn leading the way for their respective sides.

Wilson posted a whopping 35 goals sitting at 81 per cent, working well in the circle with youngster, Charlee Hodges and the experienced Ellen Halpenny who combined for 15 goals between them. However it was not enough to quell the defensive pressure applied by the Pulse who limited the transition into the goal circle. Through the midcourt, wing attack Mila Reuelu-Buchanan was impressive with 35 feeds and 16 goal assists, while centre, Holly Fowler was solid with 23 feeds. Defensively, Leana De Bruin and Storm Purvis combined well for five gains and an intercept.

Pulse rotated everyone on the bench with all 10 players featuring on the court. Dunn impressed with her accuracy to post, nailing 43 goals from 45 attempts sitting at 96 percent, while goal attack Ameliaranne Ekenasio chipped in with her 17 goals. Ekenasio paired well through the midcourt with Whitney Souness delivering the ball well into Dunn. Souness racked up 38 feeds, 23 goal assists and 20 centre pass receives showcasing her work at the transverse line. Youngsters, Elle Temu, Maddy Gordon and Tiana Metuarau made their presence felt on the court in the last quarter. Meanwhile the experience of Katrina Rore, Sulu Fitzpatrick and Karin Burger worked wonders down in defence, credit to their smothering pressure and ability to get hands to ball with 10 gains, three intercepts and six deflections between them.

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