2021 ANZ Premiership: Season review – Mainland Tactix

NOW that the ANZ Premiership season is done and dusted Draft Central casts an eye over each team and how they fared throughout their 2021 campaign. The next team under the hammer is the Mainland Tactix who progressed through to the grand final for a second year in a row but fell short once again.

Season overview:

The Tactix had a less than desirable start to their 2021 season, dropping the first three games before they steadily turned their season around, hitting their straps towards the back-end of the year. The real change occurred when Te Paea Selby-Rickit was available for selection with the goal attack missing a large chunk of the opening half due to a foot injury. Her inclusion into the side completely shifted the attacking dynamic as the Tactix kicked things up a gear and really rallied. Claiming a win over the Steel in the elimination final gifted them a chance to try for the all elusive championship but unfortunately fell short for the second year running.


“We don’t want to change what we are good at so it is just specifying and understanding what we’re really good at and making sure that we are 100 per cent with those type of things,” Karin Burger explained. “But we also need to look at being versatile and changing things up when we need to.”

“Obviously we want to win, we want to take the title.”

In a pre-season interview with Draft Central, new recruit Karin Burger made it incredibly clear what her intentions were at the club and while they got close to claiming that premiership trophy it eluded them once more.

Shining light:

Making the move from the Central Pulse to the Tactix this season could not have gone any better for both Burger and the Christchurch-based team, with the defender taking like a duck to water in her new role. Accustomed to playing wing defence and the occasional circle defence, Burger transitioned to being a full-time goal defence and did not skip a beat leading the league for intercepts with 48 to her name. She was a real barometer for the side with her tenacity, silky ball movement in transition and deceptive leap enabling her to get hands to ball time and time again.

Team breakdown:

There is no denying that the Tactix looked a much better and more composed side when Selby-Rickit was out on court, but their reliance on her playmaking skills cost them at times. A great player in her own right she also brings confidence to the likes of Ellie Bird under the post with the goal shooter having a season to remember with her increased versatility and range inside the circle a couple of major talking points. The flexibility in attack also gave the Tactix the upper hand at times with Erikana Pedersen and Samon Nathan able to seamlessly switch into wing attack while energiser bunny Kimiora Poi only got better as the season went on with her presence in attack and defence paramount.

Speaking of defence, one player that well and truly flew under the radar was wing defence Charlotte Elley who was often tasked with the job of setting up her defensive counterparts in Burger and Jane Watson. The captain took a while to readjust to the goal keeper role but that did not stop her from getting hands to ball with her read of the play, impressive elevation and spatial awareness evident every time she took the court.

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