ANZ Premiership Round 6 preview: Top of the table clash highlights round

AFTER a COVID-19 affected Round 5, the ANZ Premiership returns to what should hopefully be a standard Round 6 of action with three games in three days. All six sides will play one match apiece, making it just as simple for list management purposes after juggling the first weeks of the season.

  • Team
  • Mainland Tactix
  • Northern Stars

Saturday, April 16 @ 4:10pm
Christchurch Arena

Ultra-fresh after not playing last week, the Mainland Tactix and Northern Stars will open the round of action in the first weekend that will allow crowds back. These sides faced off back in Round 2, with the Tactix having a positive start to the game, before the Stars came home strongly to get the five-goal win (57-52). As it stands the Stars have only played two games and the Tactix three, with the former on the bottom, but can leapfrog the Tactix into fourth with a victory here. The key for the Tactix will be trying to stop Maia Wilson who was key last time these sides faced off, with veteran Anna Harrison set to take that task. The Tactix midcourt of Kimiora Poi and Samon Nathan can be very damaging, and Gina Crampton will be looking to provide higher quality feeds than her opponents up the other end.

  • Team
  • Southern Steel
  • Northern Mystics

Sunday, April 17 @ 4:10pm
ILT Stadium

In a top of the table clash, the Northern Mystics (4-1) take on the Southern Steel (3-2) with not much separating the sides. The Mystics are on a four-game hot streak since losing in Round 1, whilst the Steel have been up and down. The last time these sides faced off, the Mystics cruised to a 20-goal win, really deflating the wind in the sails that the Mystics had built up from a great Round 1 win. The Georgia Salter Memorial Trophy is up for grabs yet again for these sides, with both wanting to take it home in honour of the legendary coach. The Steel bookends of leading shooter George Fisher and Kate Burley have been impressive, with Sarahpheinna Woulf pairing well with Burley in the defensive goal circle. Fisher will have a tough job against the defensive pairing of Sulu Fitzpatrick and Phoenix Karaka, whilst Burley will try and limit the influence of young shooter Grace Nweke.

  • Team
  • Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic
  • Central Pulse

Monday, April 18 @ 7:15pm
Energy Events Centre

Completing the weekend’s action is an Easter Monday contest between third placed Central Pulse and fifth placed Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic. The former have a 2-3 record with the Magic able to achieve that win-loss differential with a victory in this contest. It was not that long ago when these sides last faced off – in fact it was Round 4 – when it looked almost certain to go to extra time after Bailey Mes some how landed a goal whilst falling out of court. Despite the Magic having the centre pass, it was turned over, raced down the other end and Aliyah Dunn slotted the winning goal after the whistle. No doubt the shooters will be keen to impress once again, with Mes having Silver Fern Kelly Jury for company again, whilst Dunn will be greeted by Erena Mikaere. The midcourt battle with Claire Kersten and Whitney Souness will be key to victory given the reliability of the two shooters.

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