ANZ Premiership wrap: Round 2

ROUND 2 saw some big wins, with the likes of the Southern Steel and Northern Stars asserting their dominance on the competition, while other teams are still toying around to find their best line-up.

Northern Mystics (48) defeated by Southern Steel (67)

The Southern Steel came out of the blocks firing, scoring 19 goals in the opening quarter to the Mystics’ 15. The Northern Mystics struggled to keep up with their opponents’ intensity, credit to the strong attacking play and defensive pressure that the Steel applied throughout the match.

Once again it was Lenize Potgieter that lead the way for the Steel, with 48 goals from 53 attempts. The South African goal shooter has proven to be a key asset in the attacking end for the Steel, credit to her accuracy under the post, smooth movement in the goal circle and clever timing. Wing attack, Gina Crampton lead the way with goal assists, racking up 21 for the game, while centre, Shannon Saunders did her part with 40 feeds. Defensively, Te Huinga Selby-Rickit and Abby Erwood dominated. Erwood impressed with her five gains, one intercept and two rebounds.

For the Northern Mystics, Bailey Mes and Jamie Hume did their part in the goal circle, with Mes slotting 25 goals going at 89 per cent. Though accuracy was not a problem, in the end it was the volume and delivery of the ball into the circle that caused issues in the attacking end for the Mystics. Defensive pair, Phoenix Karaka and Erena Mikaere worked well together as both players applied plenty of defensive pressure, but it was just not enough to quell the influence of the Steel’s shooting duo. Karaka picked up seven gains and three intercepts, highlighting her ability to read the play and get into the right position. In at goal keeper, Mikaere managed three loose ball gets, while wing defence, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson picked up two gains and two intercepts.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (37) defeated by Central Pulse (43)

In a low scoring affair it was the Central Pulse that came away with the narrow win against the home side, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic. Both teams struggled to hit the scoreboard, only scoring eight goals apiece in the third quarter, proving the intensity of defense across the court.

While defence was the key element for both clubs, the main difference was the accuracy to post for the Pulse, who utilised the attacking prowess of young gun, Aliyah Dunn. Dunn scored 25 out of 26 attempts sitting at 96 per cent accuracy, while goal attack, Ameliaranne Ekenasio played her part with 18 goals. Defensively, the trio of Katrina Rore, Sulu Fitzpatrick and Karin Burger starred, collecting 10 intercepts and 18 gains between them. Their ability to apply good hands over pressure and cover the movement of their opponent proved to be a main feature of the Pulse’s game.

Goal defence, Casey Kopua and goal keeper Kelly Jury worked tirelessly in the defensive circle, picking up combined 16 gains and seven intercepts, but it was not enough to worry Pulse shooters. The Magic made a few changes throughout the game in the hope of finding a winning combination but struggled in the shooting circle, only registering 37 goals for the game. Abigail Latu-Meafou slotted 12 from her 15 shots, while goal shooter, Monica Falkner only scored 16 goals from her four quarter effort. The ball struggled to penetrate the circle edge at times with wing attack, Ariana Cable-Dixon and centre, Simonn Howe well covered by their respective opponents.

Northern Stars (65) defeated Mainland Tactix (46)

The Northern Stars dominated from start to end, winning every quarter comfortably and proving why they are the team to beat this season. With an impressive 33 goals in the first half, the Tactix struggled to combat both the offensive and defensive pressure of the Stars, and eventually falling by 19 goals.

For the Stars, the regulars once again stood tall with Maia Wilson absolutely owning the goal circle. The 188cm shooter was a real presence in the goal circle, slotting an impressive 51 goals from 55 attempts at 93 per cent, credit to her accuracy under the post and clever movement to get into good scoring range. Ellen Halpenny played a good cameo with 14 from 18, while wing attack Mila Reuelu-Buchanan took control of the centre and attacking third. Reuelu-Buchanan had no trouble finding the circle edge, with 30 goal assists from a whopping 44 feeds. The defensive end held strong with the experience of Leana De Bruin, Storm Purvis and Kayla Cullen working well to apply pressure on their opponents. Purvis had a stellar game with five intercepts and seven gains.

The Tactix were pushed to make uncharacteristic errors, racking up 33 general play turnovers to the Stars’ 22, credit to the intense pressure applied. Defender, Jane Watson tried her hardest with four intercepts, four gains and four deflections, but it was not enough to dull the influence of the Stars shooters. In goal shooter Ellie Bird was a shining light, scoring 36 goals from 39 attempts, highlighting her accuracy under the post. Both Kate Beveridge and Brooke Leaver rotated through the goal attack position but neither worried the defenders too much, only scoring 10 goals between them for the match. Centre, Kimiora Poi worked tirelessly throughout the game but struggled to hit the circle edge.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments