Tactix upset Mystics, keep finals hopes alive

FIFTH placed Mainland Tactix have taken down the top of the table Northern Mystics to keep their faint ANZ Premiership finals alive thanks to a five-goal win last night. The result was the second time in as many weeks that the seemingly settled Mystics went down to a bottom two sides, further illustrating the massive hole in the lineup that is Grace Nweke. Without her, the Mystics struggled to put together a winning score, managing no more than 13 goals in a quarter, and though the defenders did their best to limit the Tactix, it would not be enough, losing 54-49.

NORTHERN MYSTICS 13 | 12 | 12 | 12 (49)
MAINLAND TACTIX 13 | 14 | 15 | 12 (54)

In a neck-and-neck contest all game at The Trusts Arena, neither side could really gain much of an advantage in the first term, with the teams heading into the break all square at 13 goals apiece. The Mystics had more shots on goal (16-14), but Filda Vui fired off eight goals from 11 attempts, though Monica Falkner nailed all five of her attempts. Te Paea Selby-Rickit was instrumental in getting her side going, scoring six goals at 100 per cent and three goal assists, whilst Kimiora Poi and Tayla Earle were having a fantastic battle in centre.

Northern Mystics started the second term better, scoring nine of the first 14 goals to take a 22-18 lead off the back of a well-balanced effort rom Vui and Falkner. It prompted the Tactix to give Kelera Nawai-Caucau a rest, bringing on Kate Lloyd in the fifth minute. Up the other end, Selby-Rickit went ham midway through the second quarter, piling on five consecutive goals to give her side the lead again. After that early advantage to the Mystics, the Tactix scored nine of the last 12 goals to lead by two at the main break, 27-25. Selby-Rickit scored 10 goals from 11 in that second term and also had four goal assists as Sulu Fitzpatrick had done a great job keeping Ellie Bird to just goals that term.

The Mystics opted to swap Falkner and Vui’s bibs to start the second half with Vui moving into goal shooter, whilst later bringing on Grace Namana into goal shooter midway through the third term. Carys Stythe also got her chance with Fitzpatrick rested, as Bird got on top midway through the quarter. The lead got out to as much as seven goals with three minutes remaining, though three of the last four goals going the way of the Mystics ensured the deficit was a more manageable five goals at the last change. Bird shot 13 goals at 100 per cent for the Tactix in the quarter as Samon Nathan (seven goal assists from 11 feeds) continued her great form in midcourt. Karin Burger used all of her experience against younger shooters to get the Tactix into a winnable position.

Facing a challenging last term, the Mystics rolled the dice with Fitzpatrick coming back on alongside Filda Vui, while Claire O’Brien gave fresh legs in the wing attack position relieving Elisapeta Toeava. Despite their best efforts, it did not matter in the end, as the Tactix managed to keep them between the five bad seven goal margin, to eventually win by that five goals, 54-49. Bird shot 10 goals at 100 per cent to really step up in the last term with Selby-Rickit held, while Poi (seven goal assists) and the defensive pairing of Burger and Nawai-Caucau were very good. Credit has to be given to Phoenix Karaka who nullified Selby-Rickit in the last term, picking up two intercepts and only allowing her opponent two goals and one goal assist for the quarter.

Selby-Rickit still won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from the match, shooting 20 goals from 22 attempts and having 11 goal assists. Bird (34 from 35) was deadeye accurate, whilst Poi (21 goal assists) and Nathan (18) both played their roles to perfection. In the back half, Burger and Nawai-Caucau combined for three intercepts and three rebounds. For the Mystics, Vui (28 goals from 35 attempts) and Falkner (18 from 20) tried hard but were up against quality opposition, with Karaka (three intercepts, one rebound) and Fitzpatrick (one intercept) having moments without necessarily consistency.

Northern Mystics will play again shortly, taking on Northern Stars today, whilst the Mainland Tactix will lock horns with the Central Pulse tomorrow.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments