Pecking order starts to settle across the ditch

ROUND TWO of the ANZ Premiership saw the pecking order start to settle a little bit, as the picture of how the season will pan out became that little bit clearer.

In the game of the round, the Northern Mystics have gone two from two in 2023 after they downed fellow round one winners the Tactix, 54 goals to 45.

It was a tight contest for much of the match, but the Mystics were able to break the game open in the third quarter and never looked back.

Both sets of defenders were strong early, with plenty of deflections from both pairs and they kept their respective opponents on their toes.

The Tactix were the first ones to break off an opposition centre pass, but their lead did not last long as the Mystics broke back straight away.

It was a tight and tense opening quarter, as neither side could shake the other and one top could make all the difference in being able to nail a goal or not.

Both sides traded blows throughout the quarter, but as the quarter time buzzer sounded, it was the Mystics with their noses in front.

The two teams continued to trade blows in the second term, with neither side able to break free of the other.

It took almost 10 minutes but finally someone was able to build a little bit of a lead, and it was the home side who were the ones able to do so, getting out to as much as three goals ahead.

However, a couple of minutes later it was all gone as the Mystics tied things up again.

Just as things were looking like they were going to be all tied up at the major break, the Mystics pinched a goal late to ensure the half time margin was the exact same as the previous break.

The third term was where things finally started to open up.

The Mystics began the quarter with the first five goals to open up a six goal margin, but then just as they started to wrestle control of the game the Tactix went on a three goal run to halve the deficit.

The Mystics maintained their lead for the rest of the quarter, but considering it was only three goals at most for a large part of the quarter – ultimately six at the final break – they could hardly take their foot off the gas considering how easily the Tactix could come back at them.

Ultimately, the third quarter changed the course of the entire game, because in the final term not only could the Tactix not completely bridge the gap, but the Mystics grew their lead even further to take the nine goal win. The Tactix were their own worst enemy at times as their lack of confidence in attack came back to bite them.

For the Mystics Grace Nweke (46 goals from 52 attempts) was again the focal point in front of the ring, while Elisapeta Toeava (39 feeds, 25 assists, one intercept) was also busy though midcourt.

Meanwhile for the Tactix Kimiora Poi (33 feeds, 13 assists) had another great game, as did Jane Watson (five gains, four deflections, two intercepts).

In other results:

  • The Stars bounced back from last weekend’s shock loss with a solid 19 goal win over the Magic.

The win was all set up in the first half, with the Stars scoring 34 goals to 20 in the first half.

Maia Wilson (44 goals from 48 attempts) spearheaded the win for the Stars, while Gina Crampton (55 feeds, 37 assists) was stellar in midcourt.

Meanwhile Claire Kersten (35 feeds, 22 assists) and Georgia Takarangi (seven gains, nine deflections, one intercept) were among the best for the Magic.

  • The Pulse went two from two in season 2023 after they defeated the Steel by 20 goals.

The Pulse dominated from go to woe to run out comfortable winners.

For the Pulse, it was Amelia Walmsley up one end (42 goals from 45 attempts) and Kelly Jury up the other end (13 gains, seven deflections, five intercepts) who starred.

Meanwhile for the Steel it was their midcourters who starred, namely Kate Heffernan (31 feeds, eight assists) and Sam Winders (29 feeds, 12 assists).

  • The Stars made it two from two for the weekend and the Steel made it zero from two when the two clashed yesterday evening, with the Stars winning by 34 goals.

The Stars really put the squeeze on the Steel early, with the South Islanders only able to put up nine goals a quarter in each of the first two quarters.

Wilson (59 goals from 61 attempts) again starred in front of goals for the Stars, as did Crampton (38 feeds, 29 assists) and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan (46 feeds, 28 assists).

Meanwhile it was Winders (21 feeds, eight assists, one gain, one intercept) and Heffernan (19 feeds, nine assists, one gain, one intercept, four deflections) who were again the best for the Steel.

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