A RECORD-breaking performance from the Mainland Tactix gifted them a commanding 17-goal win over Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (68-51). It was the largest winning margin the club has secured in its 14 years, in what was a comprehensive display of netball across the four quarters.
It was goal for goal to start the term with Ellie Bird back in the side after missing last round with a concussion, while Chiara Semple got busy down in the goal circle for the Magic. The Tactix started to open up a handy lead with the Magic producing three turnovers in the first five minutes of play. Kimiora Poi was finding good space through the midcourt using her speed and drive to hit circle edge to dish the ball off to Bird under the post. Te Paea Selby-Rickit was showcasing her impressive ball skills to release the ball with great speed and set-up the attacking forays for the home side. the Magic refused to lie down though with Erena Mikaere coming up for a huge block but they simply could not capitalise. The defensive pressure from the Tactix was immense as Karin Burger snatched a huge intercept up against Caitlin Bassett and within a blink of an eye the Tactix were out to six goals.
A three goal spree to the Tactix was ended by Bassett as the confidence to release into the circle started to grow. The speed of play from the Tactix was catching the Magic defenders off guard as Samon Nathan was having free reign at the top of the circle to feed into Bird and Selby-Rickit. There was simply no stopping the Tactix as they exploited the space with Selby-Rickit running riot against Georgia Tong and blowing out to a whopping 11-goal lead.
Mikaere came out with a point to prove in the first minute of the game with a well-timed intercept. The goal keeper was rewarded for her efforts with Bassett landing the goal and then answering the call moments later to reduce the margin to nine. The tussle under the post between Jane Watson and Bassett was intensifying with the former swatting ball away with ease and using her aerial ability to wreak havoc. She was proving to be a real menace not only against Bassett but so too Semple while up the other end Bird was finding plenty of space against Mikaere. It was a clinical performance from the Tactix with only two turnovers to their name five minutes into the second while the Magic were proving to be costly with eight.
Tori Kolose steadily worked her way into the game with the wing attack not afraid to dish off a long bomb into the circle. tong was throwing herself at everything down in defence while Burger proved anything you do, I can do better reeling in consecutive intercepts. Looking for a spark in attack Khiarna Williams entered the game in goal attack but a sloppy pass from the youngster handed ball straight back to the opposition. Charlotte Elley was a real driving force in wing defence bursting through the midcourt to spear the ball into attack while Burger continued to put on a show in goal defence with her aerial ability. The Taxtic made a couple of changes inside the circle with Kate Grant pulling on the goal attack bib and Selby-Rickit pushing back into goal shooter to close out the term ahead by 13 goals.
Georgie Edgecombe got the nod at wing defence replacing Holly Fowler but that did not seem to slow the Tactix down as Nathan utilised her fancy footwork to dance around her opponent. There was a little bit more fight in the Magic line-up, nailing three goals in a row to get back to 12 but the Tactix had a steadiness about them to maintain their buffer. Sam Winders upped the ante through the centre holding strong around circle edge to try and shoulder the load given Kolose was being worn like a glove by Elley.
Every time Waikato Bay of Plenty got back into contention the Tactix managed to find a way to forge ahead with their midcourt craft a real standout. The lead blew out to 15 goals with a tick under seven minutes to play with the Magic defence really suffering from the absence of Temalisi Fakahokotau who sustained an ankle injury last round. Wholesale changes were made by the Tactix as Sophia Fenwick pulled on the wing defence bib and Erikana Pedersen swung into wing attack to provide some fresh legs for the home side.
A turnover off the centre pass gifted the Tactix with a chance to propel the ball forward and score as they extended the three quarter time buffer to 12 goals and followed it up with another goal immediately after. Momentum once again started to favour the Tactix before Bassett steadied the ship with a much needed goal. Some Watson magic stunned the Magic attack end as she rocketed the ball down the court with Poi helping to lead the charge before once more the lead ballooned out to 15 goals. Bassett sent a huge injury scare through the Magic camp with the goal shooter forced from the court after landing awkwardly on her heavily strapped knee forcing a re-shuffle in the circle. Incredible defensive work from the Tactix kept them ticking along as they flew home with a scintillating win.
Bird was in fine form in her return game slotting 47 goals from 58 attempts while Selby-Rickit showcased her class sinking 19 goals at 83 per cent along with 24 goal assists. Nathan had a hot hand on the feed racking up 14 goal assists while defensively Burger had a night out amassing a whopping six intercepts and nine gains with Watson also finishing with five gains to her name. Prior to her injury Bassett was a pillar of consistency shooting 32 goals from 33 attempts while Williams also showcased her accuracy nailing 12 goals from 13. Winders was a real driving force thanks to her 21 goal assists as Mikaere and Tong combined for 11 gains.