Tactix upset Steel in come-from-behind win

AFTER trailing the Southern Steel for the most of the season, Mainland Tactix have drawn level with their opponents on the 2022 ANZ Premiership ladder following a five-goal win yesterday. The Round 10 clash at Christchurch Arena saw the Tactix fall four goals behind at quarter time, but the home side gradually caught up to level the scores at 45 goals apiece heading into the fourth quarter. It was the home side that rode the momentum home, scoring 16 goals to 11, and coming away with the 61-56 victory.

MAILAND TACTIX 13 | 15 | 17 | 16 (61)
SOUTHERN STEEL 17 | 13 | 15 | 11 (56)

Southern Steel made the trek to Christchurch Arena and came out firing, scoring 17 goals to 13 in the opening term to kick-start the match off on the right note. George Fisher scored 14 goals from 15 attempts, as Shannon Saunders was getting on top in her matchup with Charlotte Elley, producing eight goal assists from 14 feeds. Renee Savai’inaea and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit were doing well in defence, as Selby-Rickit’s sister Te Paea Selby-Rickit – who would go on to win Most Valuable Player (MVP) scored two goals at 100 per cent efficiency, and had four goal assists. Ellie Bird managed 11 goals at the same perfect rate, whilst Kimiora Poi had a team-high six goal assists running hard.

After coming off late in the second term, Kelera Nawai-Caucau replaced Kate Lloyd to start the second term for the Tactix, and the pair would swap again 10 minutes later, For the Steel, Ali Wilshier got her chance on court, with Sarahpheinna Woulf also coming on late in the term, with Kate Burley and Savai’naea rested. The Tactix won the quarter 15-13, as Bird (10 goals from 11 attempts) and Te Paea Selby-Rickit (five from six) were firing well. Samon Nathan was superb with nine goal assists, whilst Poi had five, meanwhile Georgia Heffernan had five goal assists to go with five goals from seven attempts.

The Tactix hit the front four minutes into the third term, as they piled on 10 of the first 13 goals to go from two goals two to two up. Whilst the home side only kept swapping Nawai-Caucau and Lloyd in goal keeper, the Steel opted to rotate Saviour Tui and Burley on for Heffernan and Would respectively. Fisher would finish the term with 11 goals at 100 per cent efficiency, and Ali Wilshier having seven goal assists from her seven feeds. For the Tactix, Bird and Selby-Rickit shot at 100 per cent again with 11 and six goals each. Nathan put up seven goal assists in another strong quarter.

Southern Steel rolled the dice in the final term with changes galore, but after hitting the front in the first five minutes, Bird went haywire and scored five consecutive goals to give the Tactix the buffer they needed. It would be enough to win the term 16-11, as Bird (11 goals at 100 per cent) and Selby-Rickit (five from six and four goal assists) were strong in the goal circle, whilst Nathan had another nine goal assists. Fisher (eight from 11) and Saunders (five goal assists) were productive for the Steel.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit won the MVP for her 18 goals from 20 attempts, as well as 13 goal assists from 15 feeds. Bird shot 43 from 44, whilst Nathan had 28 goal assists from 41 feeds. Poi (17 goal assists, two intercepts) also worked tirelessly. For the Steel, Fisher (41 goals from 46 attempts), Saunders (21 goal assists) and Savai’inea (two intercepts) were all strong, with Heffernan also having 10 goal assists to go with her seven goals from 11 attempts.

Southern Steel will take on Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic on Wednesday, whilst Mainland Tactix will have until Saturday before suiting up again, this time taking on top of the table Northern Mystics.

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