Blow out wins aplenty ANZ Premiership

THE ladder is starting to come together as the ANZ Premiership reaches games that are do or die.

Stars get first win of the season

Northern Stars (63) defeated Southern Steel (46)

Thanks to an effective four quarter performance the Stars picked up their first win of the 2024 season. It was a relatively clean game by all Stars players with no one other than Maia Wilson giving away more than two turnovers. However, Wilson also shot 49 goals and had three rebounds so by several standards most of the Stars players had a relatively good game.

A 17 to 10 first quarter for the Stars was difficult for the Steel to counteract as the Stars continued to build on their confidence with the help of a nine-goal run.

The Steel have plummeted in performance over the last few weeks, which culminated in this 17 goal loss. Kate Heffernan (28 feeds and two intercepts) tried her hardest to lead the team into victory but no matter how hard she tried the Stars defence would find a way to win ball.

Kate Burley ended the game with six intercepts and five deflections, but gave away 17 penalties. This is in stark contrast to the Stars player with the next highest, who had six penalties. She did dominate the defence end though to keep the scoreboard ticking for the Auckland team.

Tactix spoil Magic party 25 years in the making

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (42) defeated by Mainland Tactix (60)

Although accuracy was never the issue for either side, the story was about the defence and the ability to convert on turnovers. The visitors didn’t have a ‘blowout’ quarter until the fourth so throughout the game they were putting on the scoreboard pressure by slowly adding on the goals, adding to their already established lead.

The Tactix scored from 69 percent of their turnovers and it helped that the shooters only missed three goals. Jane Watson played an extremely clean game with only five penalties while getting 10 gains, seven deflections, five intercepts, and one rebound. There was no doubt that Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit would look away from the post, shooting 39 and 18 goals respectively.

Ali Wilshier’s absence due to a knee injury sustained last round was clear as the Magic were missing her speed and punch up the court as well as her use of the middle channel.

Another connection growing stronger every game is between Saviour Tui (29 goals) and Ameliaranne Ekenasio (13 goals and 10 goal assists) who now just understand each other’s game and know exactly where each other are and are unafraid to release the ball.

Pulse run away with convincing win to keep them at the top

Central Pulse (54) defeated Northern Mystics (38)

An uncharacteristic game for the Mystics saw the Pulse take full advantage to take the win by 16 goals.

The visitors had a second quarter they will want to forget, going scoreless for 13 minutes, allowing the Pulse to score 14 goals in a row. The Pulse led by as much as 22 half way through the fourth quarter, but some turnovers saw the Mystics go on a four goal run to peg back the lead.

Claire Kersten (42 feeds and 19 goal assists) had the ball on a string and ran rings around the Mystics midcourt. She kept Katie Te Ao relatively quiet, therefore forcing Tayla Earle (36 feeds and 15 centre pass receives) to do more of the feeding.

The ball was going into new signee Martina Salmon nothing but accurately with her sinking 40 goals from all over the goal circle. It wasn’t easy though with Carys Stythe (five rebounds, three intercepts, and three deflections) hot on her trail and unafraid to go out for a fly outside the circle.

The Mystics drew the fourth quarter 13 all but it was too little too late as the Pulse took full advantage of the vulnerable visitors.

Tiana Metuarau returned for the home side, stepping out on the court for the first time this season after suffering from a foot injury.

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