Magic sneak into top three

THERE are only four more rounds to play in the ANZ Premiership home-and-away season, and things are starting to heat up with some unexpected results in the latest batch of fixtures.

Tactix keep their consistency

Southern Steel (47) def. by Mainland Tactix (71)

A clinical performance by the ladder leading Tactix saw them defeat the Steel by 24 goals. The Steel still sit at the bottom of the ladder and interestingly enough, both sides are the only teams this season to have no bonus points.

Grace Namana had a better night at the post, missing only three goals compared to last round’s nine. She had a tough night ahead of her though coming up against in form Jane Watson (three gains, six deflections and two intercepts).

It was an overall defensively a quiet night for the Steel and that just went to show how a well oiled machine the Tactix are and why they are currently premiership favourites. 

The turnovers really hurt the Steel as they gave up the ball on 28 occasions, significantly more than the Tactix’s 17. All of the Tactix shooters had an amazing night at the post, missing only five goals between them.

Aliyah Dunn returned from her knee injury and saw 24 minutes of court time shooting 18 goals at 100 per cent. Laura Balmer also made her debut for the Steel in goal keeper.

Stars give Pulse a wake up call

Central Pulse (46) def. Northern Stars (43)

An even second half showed how determined the Stars were to prove themselves against a Pulse side which was coming off the back of only its second loss of the season. It was the Pulse though who came out victors by three goals to remain comfortably within the top two.

The Stars surprisingly had no intercepts to their name as they were whistled out of the game with 56 penalties compared to the Pulse’s 45.

Whitney Souness (four pickups and one intercept) and her on court presence was immense, while her connection with Claire Kersten (31 feeds and two intercepts) was near unstoppable. Although, her connection into the circle though was a bit off with 26 feeds but only nine goal assists.

Maia Wilson had another great game in the purple dress shooting 27 goals alongside three rebounds. It was another tough contest with Kelly Jackson who had two rebounds of her own to go with three intercepts.

Magic take top three spot

Northern Mystics (42) def. by Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (54)

The Magic have now taken third on the ladder, overtaking the reigning premiers. Grace Nweke returned to the court from her knee injury to shoot 10 goals, but that spark was still missing without Elisapeta Toeava.

Magic’s defenders took full advantage causing plenty of havoc in the circle, helping the visitors take out the second quarter 7-17. A seven-goal run drew the margin out by the winning 12 at half time.

Georgia Takarangi (three gains, seven reflections, three pickups, and two intercepts) was massive for the Magic in both on and off the body defence. Her work rate off the ball to confuse the space caused Filda Vui (19 goals) to cough up nine turnovers.

The Mystics shooting end wasn’t as cohesive and confident as usual last night, by continually passing out the ball from the circle shown through Tayla Earle for example who had 41 feeds but 17 goal assists. She tried her hardest both in attack and defence to get the Mystics back into the contest, but the Magic were too good on the day.

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