Tag: Kate Burley

Mystics make light work of reigning premiers

NORTHERN Mystics remained in touch with the top of the table Northern Stars thanks to an imposing 13-goal win over Central Pulse, 64-51. They won every single quarter and emptied their bench with a couple of fresh faces getting some valuable court time.

A misplaced ball in the opening passage of play for the Mystics allowed the Pulse a chance to capitalise and that is exactly what they did, flying down the court to open proceedings as Maddy Gordon and Whitney Souness used their speed to open up Aliyah Dunn at the post. With the centre pass to follow, Souness found Dunn under the post once again and the Pulse were away. But the Mystics quickly caught up as Grace Nweke found her way to post to level the scores. There were turnovers aplenty for both sides to start the game as they settled into the match and found their rhythm in attack. The battle under the post between Sulu Fitzpatrick and Dunn was enticing as Fitzpatrick started to wear Dunn like a glove forcing Te Amo Amaru-Tibble to shoulder the shooting load, which she did with great ease.

Kelera Nawai was off to a hot start with the goal keeper using her leap and niggle to contest everything that came her way. Pulse were winning their fair share of ball back with Gordon snatching the ball in transition and Nawai a lynchpin down back, and the lead continued to chop and change as neither side was able to steady off their own centre pass with a wealth of uncharacteristic turnovers such as breaks and offensive contacts. A one-goal lead turned into three the way of the Mystics as the Pulse were riddled with bad passes. Kate Burley was having a field day down back, consistently getting hands to ball and creating opportunities for her side to punish as they extended out to a five-goal lead.

The Pulse ate into the margin to cut it back to three goals but the Mystics continued to find a way to score. Peta Toeava was crafty as ever around circle edge with her strength to outmuscle Claire Kersten while her pinpoint feeds into the circle were causing all sorts of chaos. Up the other end, Fa’amu Ioane was getting hands to ball and using her outside arm to cleanly regain possession. The Mystics really put the foot down pushing out to a whopping eight-goal margin with the ball continuing to fall their way despite the constant pressure from the Pulse.

A bit of magic from Dunn falling out of court was somewhat of a spark while Abby Erwood came on for all of a minute in wing defence before Gordon and Kersten switched bibs. Kersten provided plenty of composure in attack to feed the ball in with precision. The aerial dynamos started to come into play for both sides but it was the Mystics, in particular Fitzpatrick, that were running riot. The goal keeper was gobbling up every cross-court ball that came her way and sending the ball rocketing up the other end. Fortunately for the Pulse, Bailey Mes was well and truly off the boil and was unable to hit the scoreboard.

Up by nine goals at half time the Mystics extended that buffer to 10 nice and early in the third quarter converting off a Pulse centre pass. Filda Vui came on to replace Mes out in goal attack with the speedster using her playmaking skills to open up Nweke under the post. Gordon was trying her hardest out in wing defence while it was Fitzpatrick that was proving to be a thorn in the Pulse’s side stopping the ball from entering the circle. Things were not going to plan for the Pulse at all while the Mystics proved to be unstoppable with Ioane having an impressive game upon return while Tayla Earle was an unsung hero through the centre.

Nawai had her work cut out for her down in defence with the ball constantly flying over her head but using her leap to try and have an impact, while at the other end Dunn was struggling in goal shooter only converting at 68 per cent. The ball ping-ponged up and down the court with missed shots from both sides allowing the defenders to impose themselves. With the lead swinging out to a whopping 13 goals the Pulse made wholesale changes as Erwood re-entered the contest in at wing defence as Gordon pushed into wing attack and Souness into goal attack. But it took a while for the cogs to click into gear in the attacking third going into three quarter time down by 11 goals.

The final quarter saw much of the same from the Mystics as their silky transition down court continued to catch the Pulse off-guard. There was simply nothing the Pulse could do as the Mystics treasured possession and mounted pressure with their strong hands-over marking. Toeava was in a bit of discomfort with the wing attack leaving the court prompting Mes to pull on the bib instead, while with the game well and truly out of their reach Parris Mason came on in wing defence for the Pulse with the youngster contesting hard. With a tick under seven minutes on the clock Saviour Tui made her debut for the season while Ama Agbeze slotted into goal keeper shifting the defensive unit forward as the home side continued to purr along nicely.

Nweke was unstoppable once again nailing 54 goals from 63 attempts at 86 per cent as Vui played a strong accompanying role with her six from seven. Tui and Mes both managed two goals apiece with the latter racking up seven goal assists. But the main port of call was Toeava with the wing attack racking up 29 goal assists as Fitzpatrick had a game to remember in defence with five intercepts and a rebound. Dunn finished with 31 goals at 80 per cent as Amaru-Tibble registered 16 goals from 20 attempts. Gordon led the way with 12 goal assists as Jury and Nawai combined for seven gains.

2021 ANZ Premiership – Round 10 preview

WE have passed the midpoint of the ANZ Premiership season with Round 10 approaching and only five games of the home and away season remaining. With this in mind every game counts as the Stars look to maintain top spot and the mid-table logjam continues to intensify.

Southern Steel vs. Northern Stars
Saturday, June 19 @5:15pm

The opening game of the round sees a top three battle as the third placed Southern Steel hosts top of the table Northern Stars. It is set to be an enthralling battle with the least experienced team going up against one of the most experienced sides in the competition.

Steel goal shooter, George Fisher holds the mantle as the most accurate shooter in the competition and will need to be at her damaging best if she is to assert herself against an incredibly strong Stars defensive unit. Fisher’s combination with the crafty Tiana Metuarau is what keeps them ticking along and makes them hard to stop as the two have an innate connection that allows them to release the ball and time their movements with great ease and precision. However, the Stars are littered with versatility as Anna Harrison, Elle Temu and Oceane Maihi can all seamlessly rotate through the back court and win ball back. Harrison is a real aerial threat as is Maihi with the two likely to attack the high ball coming into Fisher.

The midcourt contest will draw plenty of attention with Kate Heffernan in ripping form for the Steel and Mila Reuelu-Buchnan a real livewire for the Stars with her constant give and go. The two have incredibly different styles with Heffernan more defensive-minded given her wing defence background while Reuelu-Buchanan boasts a real attacking and hunting mindset. Heffernan will be hoping to help out the likes of Taneisha Fifita, Te Huinga Selby-Rickit and even Sarahpheinna Woulf if she gets injected into the game to slow down the pace of the ball coming into Maia Wilson. The Stars goal shooter has been down on her volume to post in recent weeks but is still a force to be reckoned with while Jamie Hume has showcased her ability to kick it up a gear thanks to her long range shooting and silky movement.

Northern Mystics vs. Central Pulse
Sunday, June 20 @4:15pm

It has been a disappointing season for the Central Pulse while on the other hand the Northern Mystics are chugging along quite nicely and will be hoping to create some further ladder separation currently holding down second spot. It will all come down to whether or not the Pulse will be able to stop playmaker Peta Toeava with her sharp drives and speed.

In recent weeks, Claire Kersten has slotted back into the wing defence position which could be a good potential match for strength against Toeava however the Mystics wing attack also boasts exceptional take-off speed similar to that of Maddy Gordon meaning the Pulse have a big decision to make. Gordona and Kersten can play all three positions whether it be wing defence, centre or wing attack, making the midcourt highly versatile – something they will need to use in overdrive to eliminate the influence of Toeava who is renowned for her pinpoint feeds into Grace Nweke. The Mystics goal shooter is arguably one of the most consistent and prolific shooters in the business and it will take a team effort to stop her from single-handedly dominating the contest. Bailey Mes has proven to be a crucial cog with her crafty feeds while Filda Vui has also been a great addition with her ability and confidence to both dish off the pass or go to post. The Pulse have steadied into their new defensive look with Kelera Nawai down back and Kelly Jury out in goal defence and the two will be hoping to combine strongly and get a few early tips to put some real pressure on the Mystics.

Up the other end, speedster Whitney Souness is the main playmaker with her drive and dynamic movement to the top of the circle allowing her to feed into both Aliyah Dunn and Te Amo Amaru-Tibble. Dunn has increased her range this season while Amaru-Tibble has come along in leaps and bounds, knowing when to back herself to post or when to find a closer option to the ring. Sulu Fitzpatrick has been in hot form this season with the goal keeper able to gobble up anything that comes her way, while partner in crime Kate Burley also has a tendency to go out hunting for the cross court ball making the two hard to stop when they are up and about early.

Mainland Tactix vs. Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic
Monday, June 21 @7:15pm

The final game of the round sees Mainland Tactix take on Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic who have shown glimpses of brilliance but have been marred with an inability to put out a consistent four quarter effort. Both sides are coming off narrow losses once again and will be keen to put their best foot forward here to keep their slim finals chance alive.

Caitlin Bassett has really stepped up her intensity and control in the past few appearances, with the Magic finally looking confident to feed into her especially when Grace Kara has ball in hand. Bassett’s strong holds and clever footwork inside the circle enable her to edge closer to the post and complements the style of her fellow shooters who are both able to shoot from distance. Both goal attacks in Chiara Semple and Khiarna Williams offer different things inside the circle with Semple more of a smooth mover and Williams fast-footed and aerially creative. But they will not have it easy under the post with Karin Burger in scintillating form out in goal defence to create deflections aplenty while Jane Watson is a tough competitor down in goal keeper. Watson and Bassett are well known to each other and are both real warriors so expect the contest to be fierce and exciting.

The Tactix were without Ellie Bird last round and will be hoping the towering goal shooter is raring to go this round given her ability to score quickly. However, if she is unable to take the court the Tactix’s Round 9 debutants showed some real promise with Kate Grant bursting out of the blocks with her crafty court play and youngster Amelia Walmsley making a name for herself at the fresh age of 17. It will all come down to the output of goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit and whether or not she can craft enough goals and clever plays to keep her side in the hunt. The Magic are boasting an exceptionally strong defensive core with the return of Holly Fowler alongside reliable duo Erena Mikaere and Georgia Tong. However, all eyes will turn to whether or not Temalisi Fakahokotau takes the court after rolling her ankle last week and being sidelined.

Mystics continue winning form and keep Magic planted to bottom of the ladder

A DOMINANT final quarter gifted Northern Mystics the win as they toppled Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic by five goals (68-63). There were a couple of key figures that retuned to both sides as Khiarna Williams and Tayla Earle both made their way back onto the court for their respective teams after being sidelined with injury.

Grace Nweke quickly opened the account for the Northern Mystics to set the tone for her side who were keen to keep their winning ways happening. But after coming close last week, the Magic came out with a point to prove piling on three goals straight as Chiara Semple and Caitlin Bassett both combined seamlessly in the goal circle to create some real attacking momentum. The Mystics showed their class to hit back as Peta Toeava carved up the attacking third to find circle edge as Bailey Mes showed her ability to go to post. the scores were quickly tied up with the game shaping up to be a real tight battle. Midway through the term the intensity lifted a gear as Waikato Bay of Plenty went on a goal scoring spree nailing seven goals straight and forcing the Mystics to play catch-up netball with Sam Winders leading the charge through the centre third. Semple picked up where she left of last round with her sweet timing and hot handing causing all sorts of trouble for Kate Burley early on.

This momentum was short lived for the Magic as the Mystics steadily pegged their way back into the contest largely off the hand of Nweke. The towering goal shooter started to find some good space inside the circle bodying up nicely against Temalisi Fakahokotau and using her extra height to advantage. Toeava was a real lynchpin through the midcourt combining with the returning Earle as the duo used their vision to bypass the defence. But the Magic continued to find a way to keep their noses in front, scoring off their centre passes and staying composed to hold a two goal lead heading into quarter time.

The high tempo first term carried into the second quarter as both sides went full pelt on the scoring front. Bassett kicked things off early for the Magic with back to back goals as the two goal buffer turned into a four goal lead. it then turned into a goal for goal style with neither side willing to give up ball and working hard to treasure possession. But an inspired effort from Nweke saw the Mystics rally in attack as she single-handedly kept the side in it. Increased efforts from Sulu Fitzpatrick and Burley down back proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Mystics as they forged ahead and stole the lead for the first time in the game at the eight minute mark thanks to five consecutive goals.

With the game getting away from them the Magic made a couple of defensive changes as Erena Mikaere went to the bench and Georgia Tong pulled on the goal defence bib. Mystics snuck out to a two goal lead before once again the lead changed hands as the Magic wrestled their way back into the match. intensity was high as was goal scoring as both sides made their way to post with relative ease given the tall timbers at each respective end. Injury struck in the dying seconds of the quarter as Fakahokotau went down with an ankle injury forcing her to leave the court.

There were changes aplenty to start the third term with Semple pushed to the bench and Williams on in goal attack. for the Mystics Filda Vui was injected into the action as Mes took a seat on the sidelines and the move did not disappoint as Vui nailed a goal in less than a minute on court. Her partnership with Nweke was on song early as the duo kept Tong and Mikaere’s head on a swivel to find easy avenue to post. There was no denying the closeness of the game as scores were levelled almost instantaneously before the Magic’s new shooting combination took centre stage as Bassett and Williams combined. The home side maintained their two goal buffer, keeping the Mystics on the backfoot as they once again looked to the bench for a spark with Grace Kukutai getting the nod in at wing defence to try and stop Grace Kara who was having a strong impact credit to her deft passes and fancy footwork.

It was a frantic final five minutes of the quarter as the Magic and Mystics threw everything at each other. Toeava continued to win the battle against Holly Fowler with the wing defence able to squash her opponent’s speed and pinpoint placement on the pass. With neither side able to claim any real ascendancy and the lead swinging back and forth it was all going to come down to the final quarter.

Sitting at 52 goals apiece the game was there for the taking. The Magic were itching for a win but the class of the Mystics was starting to come to the fore as they nailed the first three goals of the game despite some inaccuracy from Nweke to establish a handy lead. From there on it was hard for the Magic to work their way back into the game as the Mystics flew down the court with their silky connections and transitional play leaving the Magic in the dust. Semple replaced Williams and shot the Magic’s last goal at the 13:30 minute mark as the Mystics put the foot down to grind out the game.

Bassett was the most dominant shooter for the Magic finishing with 36 goals from 41 attempts as Semple also plied her trade with 17 goals at 85 per cent accuracy. Williams was impactful when on court shooting 10 goals from 14 attempts, while Kara was the main feeder with 16 goal assists. Tong proved to have springs her feet picking up two intercepts for the Magic as Fitzpatrick and Burley combined for four gains for the Mystics. Nweke was unstoppable under the post sinking 57 goals at 93 per cent, as Vui managed eight goals in her half of netball. Toeava was in devastating form racking up a whopping 38 goal assists.

2021 ANZ Premiership preview: Round 9

ROUND 9 of the ANZ Premiership rolls around with the ladder continuing to chop and change given the unpredictable season so far. Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic will be eager to get another win on the board after falling agonisingly short last round.

Northern Stars vs. Central Pulse
Sunday, June 13 @6:15pm

The Northern Stars will be hoping to reverse their fortunes against Central Pulse and get one back here. Last time these two sides met the Pulse handed the Stars their first loss for the season and it was a hefty one at that going down by 13 goals. But it has not been smooth sailings for the Pulse who have struggled to find a level of consistency, so this is sure to be an enthralling match-up with the Stars and Pulse both coming in off narrow losses.

Maia Wilson was well held last round but the goal shooter never has two down games meaning she will be looking to punish in this clash. Wilson has added more strings to her bow this season, backing herself from range and getting on the move more often making her a prominent threat. But if she is not firing Amorangi Malesala has proven to be the Stars’ secret weapon with her ability to explode out of the blocks and play either goal shooter or goal attack. Jamie Hume is also highly dynamic and will be hoping to bounce back from a quiet performance last week. But the Stars shooters will have their work cut out for them with Kelera Nawai and Kelly Jury developing a really sturdy relationship. Nawai is a strong physical competitor but will need the long arms of Jury to really get in the head of Wilson and reduce the amount of ball that comes flying into the circle, while the key for the Pulse will also lie with stopping Gina Crampton and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan with the wing attack and centre wreaking havoc in attack thanks to their deft passes and impressive vision.

The Pulse will be hoping that Te Amo Amaru-Tibble is back in the fold this round with the goal attack severely missed under the post last week. Although Whitney Souness worked in overdrive to be an option with her scintillating speed, her lack of confidence to go to post mounted unnecessary pressure on Aliyah Dunn – and if double teamed by the Stars defence consisting of Anna Harrison, Elle Temu and Oceane Maihi, could spark trouble. The Stars defenders are in ripping form with their ability to compete especially when it comes to the aerial ball meaning Claire Kersten, Maddy Gordon, depending where she plays through the midcourt, and Souness will have to get crafty with their ball delivery.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic vs. Northern Mystics
Monday, June 14 @6:15pm

It was heartbreak for Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic while it was triumph for the Mystics who knocked off the top of the table Stars last round. Looking ahead to this game and expect it to be a good-old fashion arm wrestle. The Magic have proven they have the players and structures to compete with the best and just need to do so over a full four quarters while the Mystics will be riding a wave of success.

The Magic have no shortage of defensive options with Temalisi Fakahokotau, Georgia Tong, Erena Mikaere at their disposal plus the return of Holly Fowler only adding to their stocks. All four are capable of playing circle defence with their leap and long arms a couple of key characteristics. Fakahokotau will be hoping to redeem herself after receiving some unwanted attention from the umpire last round and will have to be on her A-game to combat Grace Nweke who continues to dominate at the post. Although Bailey Mes does not have a huge influence on the scoreboard the Magic defence will need to put some time into her out the front to reduce her impact on the feed. The Mystics also have the options of Filda Vui and Saviour Tui, with the latter yet to receive any court time this season. All eyes will turn to the midcourt with questions remaining about whether or not Tayla Earle will return to the mix of if Claire O’Brien will continue her run in at centre combining nicely with powerhouse wing attack Peta Toeava.

Caitlin Bassett was at her damaging best last round and the goal shooter will be hoping to keep that trajectory going as her partnership continues to blossom with Chiara Semple. The two proved they can shoot at an incredibly high accuracy with Grace Kara and Sam Winders real driving forces in the attacking third with their well-executed passes taking centre stage. With this in mind the Mystics combination of Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley will need to be in full-flight to shut down the easy passage into the circle.

Mainland Tactix vs. Southern Steel
Monday, June 14 @8:15pm

The final game of the round sees the Mainland Tactix play host to the Southern Steel who just notched up their first consecutive wins for the 2021 season. It took a while for the Tactix to find their groove but have played some good netball in the past couple of rounds while the Steel have been the underdogs this season and frequently stepped up to the plate. Both teams head into this clash coming off a win so expect a high-octane match.

Boasting two dominant goal shooters in Ellie Bird for the Tactix and George Fisher for the Steel it will be up to the workload of the goal attack as to who gets their respective side over the line. Te Paea Selby-Rickit is yet to hit her straps this season while Tiana Metuarau has proven to be a real playmaker but is at her best when she can balance that role with her shooting load. Through the midcourt there is speed to burn with Kimiora Poi and Samon Nathan leading the charge for the Tactix and the highly versatile and interchangeable Kate Heffernan and Renee Savai’inaea able to assert control for the Steel. The real contest will come down to whether or not Charlotte Elley can keep tabs on Shannon Saunders with the wing attack a real pillar of consistency and composure for the Steel in attack.

It is a contrast of youth and experience when looking at the two sides in particular down in defence with Jane Watson and Karin Burger a formidable unit with Silver Ferns experience. If the two defenders are able to replicate their form from last week it will go a long way in shutting down Fisher to post given both Watson and Burger are renowned for their ball-winning abilities. Conversely, the Steel defence consisting of Taneisha Fifita, Te Huinga Selby-Rickit and Sarahpheinna Woulf is quite young with Selby-Rickit the exception. Fifita is a physical competitor that does not take a backwards step which will be interesting to see how Bird shapes up against her with the Tactix goaler not a fan of the body-on-body style of defence.

Mystics get the job done over top of the table Stars

NORTHERN Mystics snuck over the line in their top of the table clash with Northern Stars to claim a three-goal win 63-60. It was always going to be an intense battle with neither side willing to take a backward step and with bragging rights at stake, but in the end the Mystics levelled the playing field to make it one win apiece in season 2021.

Jamie Hume wasted no time getting on the scoreboard for the Stars sinking the first goal of the game. But she was quickly answered by Grace Nweke up the other end signalling the intent from both sides. It was laboured in attack for the Stars with Mila Reuelu-Buchanan playing her 50th game and Gina Crampton having to play the ball around to open up Hume and Maia Wilson at the post credit to the work from Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley to shut down the space and make life hard. The lead swapped hands multiple times throughout the opening quarter with neither side able to stamp their authority on the game.

Each time the Mystics snuck out to a two-goal lead, the Stars found a way to work their way back into the contest and level the scores. Crampton was finding nice space on circle edge while Peta Toeava was using her speed to light up the attacking third for the Mystics. Nweke was doing her job under the post scoring all 10 goals up until the five minute mark. It was intercepts galore with Fitzpatrick going up nice and high to steal the ball before Crampton got involved. Toeava had the ball on a string, threading the needle to Nweke time and time again as the Mystics put the foot down to skip out to a four goal-lead with the home side nailing the last three goals of the term.

The Stars maintained their starting seven with Anna Harrison, Elle Temu and Oceane Maihi all taking out the defensive positions. Harrison had her work cut out for her against Toeava who was using her speed to avoid the long arms of the former Silver Fern who was playing out in wing defence. It was rough and ready in the circle between Maihi and Nweke but it was the latter who was winning the battle with her accuracy and volume to post. The ball continued to fall into the hands of the Mystics with Fitzpatrick bobbing up and winning ball back. But Maihi gave something for Stars fans to cheer about with the goal keeper streaming out and then doubling back into the circle to pick up a much-needed intercept. The lead was out to five goals with the Mystics dictating the play.

All of a sudden the margin was back to three goals as the defensive hustle increased from the Stars with Reuelu-Buchanan and Maihi rallying. Australian Claire O’Brien got the nod in at centre once again for the Mystics while Dani Gray was tasked with stopping Crampton. The two midcourters worked in tandem to keep Crampton busy and away from circle edge with the intensity well and truly up. In the blink of an eye the Mystics snuck back out to a seven-goal lead with the injection of Grace Kukutai adding an extra layer in defence. The ball speed from the home side was causing all sorts of trouble for the Stars who were unable to hold up Toeava in particular who was a real general in attack.

Looking for a spark in attack, Amorangi Malesala came on while Lisa Mather also made her way onto the court in wing defence to combat Toeava who was having a day out. The Stars came out with a real point to prove with the defensive pressure from Maihi and Harrison who switched back into goal defence. With the lead out to nine goals it was the experienced stalwarts for the Stars that stepped up to the challenge to peg away at the scoreboard with Crampton and Wilson leading the way. The issue still remained with Nweke an immovable force at the post and goal accuracy the other problem with the Mystics converting at 95 per cent and the Stars at a mere 79 per cent.

Kukutai’s cameo was short-lived with O’Brien sprung back into the action but that did not seem to faze the Mystics who were humming along nicely. Turnover ball from the Stars allowed them to stay in the hunt as Malesala and Wilson mounted a comeback thanks to three goals straight while Mather got her hands dirty with a good scrapping ball.

The raggedy finish to the third term filtered into the start of the last quarter with wayward passes and uncharacteristic turnovers dictating the first few minutes. the Mystics simply could not be stopped despite the best efforts of Harrison and Maihi with Nweke having a field day out on court. Fitzpatrick and Burley got fancy in defence with a signature ‘Harrison Hoist’ with their long arms getting in the head of Wilson. With five and a half minutes left to play the Stars got back to within two but the Mystics stood strong to maintain that winning buffer of three goals.

Nweke was unstoppable at the post once again posting a whopping 60 goals from 64 attempts. Although Mes did not feature highly on the scoreboard with her three goals at 100 per cent her workload out the front was crucial amassing 18 goal assists. Toeava was another crucial cog in the absence of Earle recording 29 goal assists while defensively Burley and Fitzpatrick got a hand to everything, collecting seven gains. For the Stars, Wilson was strong to post finishing with 34 goals to her name but was down on her usual output. She received plenty of support from the likes of Hume sinking 10 goals at a lowly 64 per cent before Malesala was injected and starred with her 16 goals from 17 attempts. Crampton was a menace around circle edge registering 32 goal assists while Maihi enjoyed her time out on court picking up six gains and four intercepts.

2021 ANZ Premiership preview: Round 8

ANOTHER round of ANZ Premiership action rolls around with Round 8 set to be an exciting one with the Northern Stars looking to maintain their spot on top of the ladder and Central Pulse hoping to extend their winning streak to three games.

Mainland Tactix vs. Central Pulse

The Tactix will be ruing their missed opportunities from last round and will be hoping to come out with a real pep in their step when they take on the reigning premiers who are just starting to find their groove having strung together consecutive wins. The Pulse have leapfrogged the Tactix on the ladder and will be eager to maintain that position with a potential third straight win here.

The combination between Karin Burger and Jane Watson is finally starting to gel and the duo are becoming incredibly damaging with their ability to go out and hunt the cross court ball and apply hands over pressure on the shot meaning Aliyah Dunn and Te Amo Amaru-Tibble will have to be weary. The Pulse are at their best when Amaru-Tibble is able to find the post and use her quick hands to create plays in attack while Dunn is most damaging when able to hold strong under the post. Whitney Souness has been in hot form with her speed and pinpoint passes into the circle while Claire Kersten has also been a driving force for the Pulse meaning Charlotte Elley will have to up the ante if she is to keep Souness busy and reduce her impact.

Kelera Nawai has well and truly found her feet in goal keeper using her long arms and read of the play to force turnovers aplenty. Nawai will have to use all of her aerial skill against Ellie Bird with the Mainland Tactix goal shooter using her height to full advantage to command the ball and put up a high volume of shots. Her confidence has grown since Te Paea Selby-Rickit came back into the fold with the goal attack not only shouldering the load in the goal circle but so too in attack. Selby-Rickit brings both Samon Nathan and Kimiora Poi into the game something the Pulse and in particular Kelly Jury will need to be aware of if they are any chance to secure the win. Expect Jury to implement some strong hands over pressure and fancy footwork to keep Selby-Rickit from finding Bird under the post while Maddy Gordon will be hoping to use her closing speed to shut down Nathan.

Southern Steel vs. Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic

The Southern Steel have been in damaging form throughout 2021 and while they have lacked consistency at times to win back-to-back games they definitely have the calibre to do so. Conversely the Magic have only registered the one win this season and will be hoping to put out a dominant performance and really ruffle some feathers.

Many fans were left confused when Grace Kara got the nod in at goal attack as opposed to shooting dynamo Khiarna Williams or Chiara Semple last round. Although Kara is a great playmaker it is fair to say that the accuracy and volume needed to put up a competitive total was lacking thus it will be interesting to see whether or not the Magic opt for this same dynamic against the Steel who are renowned for their physical and ball winning defence. Speaking of the Steel defence, goal keeper Taneisha Fifita has been in ripping form but will have work cut out for against the highly-experienced and classy Caitlin Bassett who had her best game to date last round. Fifita will need support from Te Huinga Selby-Rickit while Sarahpheinna Woulf has also proven to be an explosive option in defence for the Steel with her tenacity and  hunt for the ball key.

The Magic welcomed back defensive midcourter Holly Fowler adding another string to their bow through the centre third to compliment the likes of Sam Winders, Erena Mikaere, Georgia Tong and Temalisi Fakahokotua. In fact, Waikato Bay of Plenty are brimming with defensive talent and will be hoping that their aerial ability and pressure is enough to offset the fast growing connection between George Fisher and Tiana Metuarau. The Steel shooting duo are slick, able to rotate the circle with ease and are not afraid to back themselves range making them a handful for the Magic defence. The other interesting contest will be through the midcourt with Kate Heffernan showcasing her versatility to effectively ply her trade in centre or wing defence much like Winders while Shannon Saunders is a real driving force in attack and someone the Magic will need to shut down if they are to secure their second win of the season.

Northern Mystics vs. Northern Stars

A top two battle is set to round out the action as the Northern Mystics host the Northern Stars. The Stars have been unstoppable despite their blip against the Pulse while the Mystics have also strung together some convincing performances and will be hoping to put out a strong performance in this clash.

It will be a battle of the dominant goal shooters with Grace Nweke up one end and Maia Wilson down the other end. Nweke is a lynchpin for the Mystics and has proven time and time again to be an aerial threat but will have to take the ball strongly up against Elle Temu and Anna Harrison. The Stars defensive duo have developed at a rate of knots able to seamlessly switch between goal keeper and goal defence with their ball winning capabilities and read of the play second to none to swat ball away. Nweke will need the likes of Bailey Mes, Filda Vui and even Savior Tui who has seen little court time so far in season 2021 to draw some attention off her if the Mystics are to put up a competitive score. Jamie Hume has really come into her own for the Stars, partnering with Wilson to drain the long bombs and use her silky movement to keep defenders busy and will have to be on her a-game against Kate Burley and Sulu Fitzpatrick with the latter a great physical matchup for Wilson.

Missing Tayla Earle last week the Mystics will be hoping to have the dynamic midcourter back to allow Peta Toeava to get down to business around circle edge. But the Stars have key cogs of their own through the midcourt with Lisa Mather able to grind out the game in wing defence and a real unsung hero for the defensive unit while Mila Reuelu-Buchanan is a livewire through the midcourt with her run and gun style. Speaking of midcourters all eyes will turn to the influence in which Gina Crampton can have for the stars with her connection between Wilson steadily growing. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Stars are able to weave their magic against a slick defensive combination.

2021 ANZ Premiership preview: Round 7

THE Northern Stars’ winning streak has ended while Mainland Tactix have found their winning formula with three consecutive wins. ANZ Premiership Round 7 is set to bring some exciting matchups as Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic hunt for their second victory of the season.

Northern Mystics vs. Southern Steel

The contest between the Northern Mystics and Southern Steel is set to be a thriller as both sides boast a prolific goal shooter. The Mystics currently hold onto second spot on the ladder while the Steel have slipped down the ladder and will be eager to work their way back into the mid-table logjam.

With Grace Nweke up one end for the Mystics and George Fisher up the other end for the Steel it will ultimately come down to the output from the goal attacks. The Mystics have a plethora of options such as Bailey Mes, Filda Vui and Saviour Tui. Mes has struggled to find her form as of late while Vui proved to add that element of energy and dynamism in attack and could be an option once again in this clash. For the Steel, Tiana Metuarau has been a handy pickup with the youngster starring thanks to her change of direction, classy feeds into the circle and spatial awareness. Nweke is a pillar of strength at the post while Fisher is incredibly versatile in the sense she is willing to venture further out than directly under the ring. The midcourt battle between Tayla Earle and Peta Toeava and the developing Kate Heffernan and Renee Savai’inaea will be intriguing with Toeava the real mastermind in the Mystics attack end.

Looking at the defensive units and both sides boast plenty of star power. The combination between Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley is steadily developing as the two look to take advantage of their ball-hunting ability while Ama Agbeze is a handy option off the bench given her class, experience and skillset. The Southern Steel have a mix of youth and experience in their defensive circle in Te Huinga Selby-Rickit and Taneisha Fifita. However one area they will be hoping to address is the number of penalties they rack up week on week as both Fifita and Selby-Rickit have been given warnings in their past two outings with Fifita sent off in Round 5. They will need to be on their A-game if they are to upset the Mystics shooters and most importantly win ball back cleanly to provide the Steel with a chance to capitalise.

Central Pulse vs. Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic

The Pulse will be riding high after knocking off the undefeated Northern Stars last round while the Magic will be eager to get back on the winners list after a couple of close shaves. It has been a trying season for both sides who have shown glimpses of what they are capable of but have been unable to unlock that full four quarter performance to consistently win games.

Aliyah Dunn was in scintillating form last round with her strong holds, volume and accuracy. She will be hoping to continue that form in this game as will partner in crime Te Amo Amaru-Tibble. The goal attack is a real barometer for the front end with her timing, strong drives along the baseline and playmaking skills able to allow Dunn to come into the game and alleviate pressure from the midcourters in Claire Kersten and Whitney Souness. The Magic have a multitude of defensive options with Temalisi Fakahokotau, Erena Mikaere and Georgia Tong all aerial specialists and able to build a wealth of pressure on the Pulse shooting duo. if they are able to get into their heads early and cut off the shooter to shooter interplay it will go a long way in them collecting their second win of the season.

The influence of Grace Kara is instrumental in the Magic attack with the wing attack oozing confidence, class and execution to deliver the ball on a silver platter to Caitlin Bassett. That was evident last week and the Magic will be hoping she brings that high level output this round to bypass speedster Maddy Gordon. The wing defence was in just about everything last round and will be eager to once again impose herself and slow down the entry into the circle. Bassett, Khiarna Williams and Chiara Semple are building a strong connection with Williams growing in confidence every time she steps out on court but potentially up against the long arms of Kelly Jury could have to diversify her game while Kelera Nawai seems to have found her groove for the Pulse.

Northern Stars vs. Mainland Tactix

The final game of the round sees a highly anticipated matchup as the Stars look to bounce back from last week’s loss while the Tactix will be keen to keep their winning form rolling with a fourth straight victory. Last time these two sides met it was the Stars that had the last laugh and exposed the Tactix in all areas of the court, something the Tactix will be hoping to rectify this time round.

Maia Wilson is the lynchpin in the goal circle for the Stars with the goal shooter a clear and commanding target. Her fancy footwork, body positioning and strong holds put her in good stead to take on the defence but she will have to up the ante against the likes of Jane Watson and Karin Burger who know just about every trick of the trade. Burger has really started to settle into the line-up with her closing speed, read of the play and spatial awareness causing all sorts of havoc and if she is able to take her connection with Watson to the next level then it could spell danger signs for the Stars. Goal attack, Jamie Hume has stepped up to the challenge in the absence of Monica Falkner while Amorangi Malesala proved she can be a real impact player thanks to her long bombs and composure. The real difference will come down to whether or not Gina Crampton can get free reign around circle edge to thread the needle into Wilson or if Charlotte Elley will be able to contain her.

Up the other end of the court Ellie Bird has come to life ever since Te Paea Selby-Rickit made her way back from injury. The towering goal shooter has found her rhythm and confidence to demand the ball and most importantly score at a high accuracy and quickly. Meanwhile, Selby-Rickit has alleviated the pressure from Bird under the post and her midcourters in Kimiora Poi and Samon Nathan credit to her playmaking skills. Expect the Stars defenders in Anna Harrison, Elle Temu and Oceane Maihi to look to shut down the drive of Selby-Rickit and wear her like a glove to force the Tactix midcourt to up the ante and shoulder the attacking load.

Mystics topple Magic with last quarter fightback

NORTHERN Mystics survived a scare from the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic to record their fourth win of the season and secure second spot on the ladder (67-59). It was heartbreak for the Magic after leading at every change but falling short in the final term credit to the class and stamina of the Mystics to close out the game.

The Magic raced out of the blocks with Australian Diamonds shooter, Caitlin Bassett eager to repent for her less than desirable showing last week. The now Magic shooter commanded the ball from the opening minute of the game and while Khiarna Williams was the first to sink a goal, Bassett piled on the next two. It was a fast start from the Magic as they skipped out to an early three-goal lead as the Mystics were caught on the backfoot. The Mystics did not hit the scoreboard until a minute and half of play had gone with the Magic defence working in overdrive to confuse the space and reduce the easy transition into the goal circle. Bailey Mes had her opportunities but her shooting woes continued gifting the home side with a wealth of chances to put the foot down. Magic went on another goal scoring spree as Williams and Bassett wasted no time and the return of Grace Kara was exactly what the doctor ordered as the experienced campaigner delivered the ball on a silver platter.

Waikato Bay of Plenty opened up a handy five goal lead with Erena Mikaere proving to be a real spark in defence and winning back some important ball. After a rocky start Mes started to find her groove with the Magic defenders in Mikaere and Temalisi Fakahokotua doubling back on Grace Nweke and forcing the Mystics goal attack to shoulder the load in attack. Up the other end, Williams seemed to have the ball on a string, carving up the goal circle with her leap and drive into the circle. Uncharacteristic sloppy hands from the Mystics in transition cost them opportunities to go forward and score meanwhile the Magic weaved their way down the court to hit circle edge and keep the scoreboard ticking over. Georgie Edgecombe came out strong against Peta Toeava, contesting hard around circle edge to swat ball away and clog up space.

Holding a six goal lead, the Magic looked to go one step further. Sam Winders was in the thick of things around circle edge, scrapping hard and capitalising with their speed down the court to bypass the Mystics defence. Bold plays from the Mystics were starting to pay off as Sulu Fitzpatrick went out hunting and Toeava backed herself from distance to hoist it into Nweke. The Mystics went on a goal scoring spree of their own culling the margin back to six goals after it got out to eight. Fa’amu Ioane upped the ante against Kara, forcing her into the pockets while Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley increased the footwork to shut down all the attacking options. The Mystics nailed five goals in a row before, Bassett landed a much needed steadier to give the home side a bit of breathing space.

In a surprise move, Chiara Semple came on to replace Williams in the dying minutes of the term but it did not seem to disrupt the Magic attacking end. Edgecombe got up nice and high to provide support in attack for the Magic while for the Mystics things started to turn in favour of them. The combination between Toeava and Nweke started to really come to the fore as they pegged the margin back to four goals.

There were changes aplenty for the Magic to start the third quarter with Williams re-entering the game and Georgia Tong pulling on the goal defence bib. The move of Mikaere onto Nweke had an immediate impact with the defender’s extra centimetres causing the feeders to second guess the pass in. The Mystics started to find their mojo while Kara started to labour in attack for Waikato Bay of Plenty throwing away a couple of costly passes. Tayla Earle showcased her sheer athleticism managing to pull in a ball while falling out of court and rocketing the pass into Nweke under the post. they really started to rally with the margin to two goals. The speed came off the Magic frontend with their transition becoming somewhat predictable and allowing the Mystics to read the game.

The Mystics chipped their way back into the game levelling the scores at the seven minute mark. Filda Vui was injected into the game for the Mystics with her speed and playmaking skills coming to the fore. But the Magic were not about to bow down as they hit back with a couple of big goals off the hand of Bassett to propel them back out to a three goal lead. Burley really came to life as the goal defence used her aerial smarts to have an influence but the home side retained their three goal buffer for majority of the term.

With it all to play for in the final term the  wheels started to fall off for the Magic as the visitors kicked it up a gear. Vui’s level of composure allowed her to draw attention of Nweke as they not only pegged away at the lead but stole it. Nweke utilised her strength on the rebound while Bassett took a huge hit up the other end of the court. Fitzpatrick’s dominance sparked her entire side as the Mystics blew out to a five goal lead. A costly penalty from Fakahokotau saw her receive a warning and the penalty advanced with things well and truly starting to unravel. Unfortunately the Magic were unable to maintain their hot start to the game while the Mystics showcased their ability to grind out games and prevail.

Williams was in scintillating form sinking a 30 goals from 36 attempts and 11 goal assists while Bassett also impressed thanks to her 26 goals at 93 per cent. Kara was the missing link the side needed thanks to her 13 goal assists as Winders was a strong driving force thanks to her 24 goal assists. Mikaere was a nuisance with her four gains and five deflections. For the Mystics, Nweke was the prominent shooter with 47 goals from 55 attempts at a lower than usual accuracy of 86 per cent while Vui was the difference when she came on thanks to her 12 goals at 86 per cent.  Toeava was a real livewire with ball in hand thanks to her 31 goal assists as Fitzpatrick and Burley combined for eight gains and eight deflections.

2021 ANZ Premiership preview: Round 6

NORTHERN Stars will be looking to make it six wins straight heading into Round 6 of the 2021 ANZ Premiership season while the Mainland Tactix will be hoping to increase their winning streak.

Northern Stars vs. Central Pulse

Coming in hot the Northern Stars will be looking to inflict more pain on Central Pulse with a win here. It has been a disappointing start to the season for the reigning premiers who have only managed one win from five appearances and will have their work cut out for them against a roaring Stars unit which is yet to drop a game. Both sides boast dominant goal shooters meaning it will really come down to which midcourt can deliver.

Speaking of dominant goal shooters it is hard to go past Stars captain, Maia Wilson who has been rock solid inside the ring. Wilson has added more strings to her bow throughout her 2021 campaign with her movement and long range shooting a focal point. While Wilson has been a lynchpin there is no denying that Jamie Hume has elevated her game further, doubling not only as a playmaker but a damaging shooting option. It will be interesting to see how the Pulse match up and whether or not Kelly Jury gets the start in at goal keeper to immediately shut down Wilson or if they will opt with their more favoured option of Kelera Nawai in keeper and Jury in goal defence.

The midcourt battle will be one to watch with speedster Maddy Gordon up against seasoned campaigner Gina Crampton. Although Gordon will have Crampton for speed, the Stars wing attack boasts wisdom and a damaging connection with Wilson – one the Pulse will need to shut down. Throw in the form of Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and the Pulse will have to be on their A-game through transition. With Aliyah Dunn securing the goal shooter position and Te Amo Amaru-Tibble in goal attack, the Pulse have scoring options that have proven to be damaging when they can get going but will be up against it given the calibre of players down back. The return of Anna Harrison from retirement has been monumental, while Elle Temu knows the game of the Pulse inside out after defecting this season, not to mention the aerial presence of Oceane Maihi – meaning the Stars are rolling in defensive talent to combat whatever the Pulse throw at them. The Stars will go into this game favourites and deservedly so given their current form and the Pulse’s poor start.

Southern Steel vs. Mainland Tactix

After a slow start to the season the Tactix have found their groove, winning their past two encounters. That is mainly due to the return of Te Paea Selby-Rickit. The goal attack has made a world of difference both through the midcourt and in attack providing her side with nothing but confidence. Having gone down to the Steel by a goal in her return game this match-up will be an enthralling one as the Tactix will be hoping to overturn the result. On the other hand the Steel are coming off a strong win and will be riding a wave of confidence.

Having already touched on Selby-Rickit it is only fair to bring up partner in crime, Ellie Bird. The towering goal shooter looks at ease with Selby-Rickit and benefits off her pinpoint precision passes and ability to draw the attention of the defender. Bird is prolific to post meaning Taneisha Fifita and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit will need to shut her down, although Fifita will need to adjust her attack on the ball if the Steel are to secure a win after getting sent off for the final two minutes of last week’s game.

The Steel are not without a power shooter of their own in George Fisher. The England international has been a revelation since crossing over to the ANZ Premiership, with her fancy footwork, range and versatility a couple of key attributes. Her combination with Tiana Metuarau has developed at a rate of knots while Shannon Saunders and Kate Heffernan have become a power duo through the centre with their silky movement and spatial awareness. But the Tactix have game winners of their own especially in the defence end to combat Fisher with Jane Watson and Karin Burger steadily building. Yet to fully hit their stride, the defensive duo will be eager to pick up a wealth of ball and cause chaos down back with support from the likes of Charlotte Elley and Kimiora Poi.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic vs. Northern Mystics

The final game of the round sees the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic host the Northern Mystics in what is sure to be an exciting battle. The Magic have been a step off the pace while the Mystics will be ruing missed opportunities coming off a one-goal loss in overtime. After securing their first win way back in Round 1 the Magic have shown glimpses of brilliance but are yet to unlock that full four quarter effort. As for the Mystics they have depth aplenty and will be keen to get back on the winners list.

Caitlin Bassett played less than a half of netball in Round 5 and will be keen to make amends for her poor showing, putting up an accurate performance but struggling to find the volume. But the Magic will take great confidence in knowing that Khiarna Williams and Chiara Semple are both more than capable of holding their own in the circle, despite really thriving with Bassett under the post. The Mystics have a number of seasoned campaigners in Sulu Fitzpatrick and Ama Agbeze amongst the mix but would be remiss not to talk about Kate Burley who has not skipped a beat since crossing over, with the goal defence a real workhorse for the Mystics and providing strong drives through the centre.

With Bassett down one end, the Mystics boast Grace Nweke down the other end. The teenage shooting prodigy gets better and better every time she steps out on court with her strength in the air and body positioning pivotal to the Mystics’ success. Bailey Mes will be out to redeem herself after a poor showing last week, but in saying that the Mystics have options aplenty inside the circle with Filda Vui and Saviour Tui viable options to accompany Nweke. The real gamechanger however is Peta Toeava. The wing attack controls the proceedings in attack for the Mystics, receiving just about every second pass and most importantly could thread the needle into Nweke with her eyes closed. The Magic defenders in Erena Mikaere, Temalisi Fakahokotau and Georgia Tong will need to be on their A-game to shut this down. They will also need the likes of Sam Winders and Georgie Edgecombe to shut down the midcourt if they are any chance to topple the Mystics.

Tactix pip Mystics at the post in overtime thriller

A NAIL-biting finish saw Mainland Tactix pip the Northern Mystics at the post in an overtime thriller last night, 64-63. It was a tight contest throughout, with neither side willing to give an inch and both teams relying heavily on the accuracy and volume of their goal shooter under the post. But in the end it was the composure of Silver Ferns and Tactix goaler Te Paea Selby-Rickit that came to the fore sinking the winning shot for the home side.

Back in front of their home crowd for the second consecutive week, the Tactix came out with a point to prove as Ellie Bird immediately opened proceedings with a strong take under the post and a quick conversion. It was not long until rival goal shooter, Grace Nweke levelled the scores equally impressing with her aerial capacity and strength to reel in the high looping passes. The game went goal for goal for majority of the term as neither side could pull away and gain any sort of momentum credit to the immense defensive pressure all the way down the court. Samon Nathan had her eye well and truly in, delivering pinpoint passes into both Bird and Selby-Rickit as she hit circle edge with pace and kept Fa’amu Ioane guessing.

A costly turnover midway through the term from the Mystics provided the Tactix with an opportunity to switch into attack and score to open up a handy buffer. The Tactix piled on four goals straight, creating some much needed scoreboard separation which they held onto throughout the remainder of the term as the front-end really started to hum and kept the likes of Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley on the backfoot. The duo could not afford to leave Bird unattended at the post but at the same time had to put in a wealth of work to limit the impact of Selby-Rickit out the front as the Tactix shooting pair were on song early.

Down by three goals at quarter time the Mystics came out with a real fire in the belly as Nweke levelled the scores nailing three goals in just over a minute. Peta Toeava came to life, threading the ball into Nweke as their connection started to warmup forcing the likes of Charlotte Elley out in wing defence to up the ante. With scores all tied up it was once again Selby-Rickit that stepped up to the plate converting off the centre pass to steady the ship. But the Mystics would not be denied going on another mini three goal run, but this time Bailey Mes injected herself into the contest landing her first goal of the game, after an inaccurate opening term.

The Mystics really started to motor, finding their momentum across the court and using their signature speed to slice through the Tactix defence and keep Jane Watson and Karin Burger off the scent down back. Toeava’s precision passing was undeniable and forced Watson and Burger to constantly reposition and double-team Nweke under the post. the visitors snuck out to a four goal lead midway through the term before the Tactix put a halt to their attacking momentum. Bird and Selby-Rickit fell off the boil with consecutive misses before the latter found her groove once more. In fact, Selby-Rickit nailed four of the last five goals of the quarter to overtake the Mystics who had dominated the entire quarter.

After an enthralling opening half of netball, players and fans alike were gearing up for a bumper second half. Nweke was unstoppable under the post, not missing a single one of her 17 shots while Mes increased her workload out the front for the Mystics. Tayla Earle was her usual dynamic self, impressing with her two-way running and hot hand to dish off cleverly and well-weighted passes into Nweke who was simply on fire. Burger and Watson had no answers for the young goal shooter who was beating them in the air credit to her strength and leap.

The Mystics really turned the screws as the Tactix’s fluidity in attack dried up with Selby-Rickit rendered incredibly inaccurate forcing Bird to shoulder the load inside the goal circle. Just as Earle kicked it up a gear, so too did Kimiora Poi as their battle intensified through the centre, working in overdrive to give their respective side a much needed edge. But in the end it was the Mystics that had the last laugh as they strung together as they nailed six of the last 10 goals of the quarter to take a four-goal lead into the final break.

Having been so close for so long the Tactix were not prepared to let this slide through their fingers. Both sides opted to stay with their same lineup for the final 15 minutes of the game with the Tactix digging deep to steadily eat into the margin. The home side shut down the connection between Toeava and Nweke and looked to attack as Watson came up with a highly important gain to gift possession back to the Tactix. Sinking three consecutive goals saw the Tactix back within striking distance and they did not stop there, tying things up with less than two seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime for the first time this season.

With three minutes of overtime to be played, Nweke struck first to give the Mystics plenty of belief before Selby-Rickit once again levelled the scores. The atmosphere was palpable as both sides looked to treasure possession and capitalise off their centre pass. A game-changing error from Mes all but gifted the Tactix with the win as the Mystics goal attack broke at the centre pass and the Tactix flew down the court to seal the deal.

Bird finished with 44 goals from 53 attempts at 83 per cent while partner in crime Selby-Rickit had a more profound impact to post sinking 20 goals but at a lowly 69 per cent. Nathan led the way with goal assists racking up a team-high 23 while Selby-Rickit and Poi were hot on her heels with 15 apiece. Nweke was her usual dominant self for the Mystics posting 59 goals from 63 attempts as Mes failed to fire under the post with a mere four goals. Toeava once again was the connection between the midcourt and goal circle racking up 23 goal assists while down in defence Fitzpatrick worked relentlessly to finish with five deflections, three gains and two rebounds.