Injuries sour Magic result in ANZ Premiership

VISITING sides came away with the points in the ANZ Premiership over the weekend, with a spate of injuries in the Magic’s win over the Stars souring the game.

Pulse remain ones to beat

Southern Steel (37) defeated by Central Pulse (57)

There was no stopping the Pulse after a breathtaking 20-goal victory against the Steel. A 20-6 opening quarter set the tone for the win in what would be a comprehensive outing for the visitors.

Martina Salmon in only her third game for the Pulse is already knocking on the door of Silver Ferns selectors after her 50-goal performance against the home side. The whole Pulse attack line looked unstoppable. Kiana Pelasio, Whitney Souness, and Claire Kersten all shared 20-plus feeds each with Souness finding Salmon in perfect shooting position 77 per cent of the time.

The visitors made minimal errors ending the game on 16 turnovers but the Steel gave it their all with 14 gains. The Steel won the second quarter by two goals, but it was all yellow and black as the Pulse continued their reign at the top of the ladder.

Crystal Maro and Ella Southby earned their national league debuts for the Pulse and Steel respectively.

Tactix remain title contenders

Northern Mystics (42) defeated by Mainland Tactix (56)

A convincing 14-goal win by the Tactix pushed the Mystics further out of finals contention, handing them their third loss of the season.

The Tactix put their foot down in the third quarter going on a seven-goal run to significantly extend their already established lead. Even though the visitors had three more turnovers, the Tactix only missed four goals to the Mystics’ 12. The hustle from Karin Burger (seven gains — six deflections, three rebounds and  two intercepts) as well really surged the mainland team forward to stay second on the ladder in percentage.

Peta Toeava (32 feeds and 13 goal assists) did not look comfortable after a minor collision with Jane Watson (six gains — four deflections, two rebounds and one intercept) in the third quarter, leaving Toeava limping and subbing herself out of the rest of the game. The Mystics improved in the last quarter but all the damage was done in the first to give the Tactix the victory.

Magic win on a sour note

Northern Stars (56) defeated by Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (60)

It was a case of the walking wounded during the Magic’s tight win over the Stars at Auckland Netball Centre. The match featured two suspected anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and a couple of minor injuries in a brutal contest.

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan landed awkwardly after contesting the ball near the start of the second quarter and Ali Wilshier’s left knee gave way nearly in the same spot as Reuelu-Buchanan. Wilshier suffered an ACL injury in the same knee in 2021.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio (23 goal assists and 12 feeds) and Erena Mikaere (four gains — seven deflections, one intercept and one rebound) had some minor knocks throughout the match but were not as serious. Ekenasio went on to dominate the goal circle alongside Saviour Tui (37 goals and six feeds), both ending the match with only one miss each.

The Magic led by 10 at the last break, but a 14-8 last quarter by the Stars kept them within touching distance, earning them a bonus point thanks to 100 per cent shooting by Maia Wilson (32 goals) and collecting five out of their eight gains in those 15 minutes alone. The visitors also began to rack up the penalty count with the whistle blown 20 times in the fourth quarter, therefore releasing the built up defensive pressure.

There was also a suspected ACL in the curtain raiser National Netball League hit out between the Northern Comets and WBOP.

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