It was a tough hit out between the Northern Mystics and the Mainland Tactix but in the end, the Mystics prove why they are in the Grand Final, defeating the Tactix 63-59.
The Northern Mystics have just gone from strength to strength this season, and their connections are unrivalled.
It came as no surprise to avid fans that Filda Vui got the nod ahead of Bailey Mes to start in Goal Attack alongside youngster Grace Nweke, who finishes the season as the top goal scorer.
In previous games, Vui has had amazing vision threading the needle to Nweke without hesitation, and today was no different with 17 feeds and 8 goal assists in just 30 minutes.
In the second quarter, the pair figured out defensive duo Jane Watson and Karin Burger and helped their team to a 9 goal lead before halftime, which was the defining moment of their win.
For the second half of the game, we saw the Mystics swiftly move through their bench, with every player getting at least one minute of game time.
This not only shows the array of talent they have sitting on their bench, including Ama Agbeze (former England captain), Phoenix Karak (Silver Fern) and Claire O’Brien (former GIANTS Netball player) but is potentially a game tactic as they figure out the best combinations to play out against the Tactix in the Grand Final (if the Tactix make the Grand Final).
As the final whistle blew and four of the Mystics starters sat on the bench, it almost looked like a training run for them.
The Tactix, however, had everything to win this game; a sell-out crowd, the chance for a home preliminary finals and an opportunity to spook the Mystics prior to their finals series.
Yet despite a strong start and some great runs at the win, it was all too much for the Tactix, who let the game get out to a 9 goal lead.
Burger and Watson had their hands full trying to contain Nweke and stop some on-point passing, so it was up to the midcourt to turn the game around.
As always, Kimiora Poi had her work cut out for her against youngster Tayla Earle and Fa’amou Ioane as they played a brilliant zone defence to block some of her pinpoint passes.
Injecting Erikana Pederson to support Poi in the second half seemed like a wise option. It paid dividends almost immediately as she provided a calmness to the somewhat erratic game Tactix were trying to play.
In just 30 minutes, she provided 29 feeds and 15 goal assists to help steady the score.
Bringing Charlotte Elley off for a quarter also proved to be a critical move as she watched Claire O’Brien closely and effectively attempted to shut her down in the last quarter.
As this game could potentially be a grand final match up, the Tactix have a lot to learn in two weeks and now doubtfully go into the preliminary final against the Southern Steel.
Categories: ANZ Premiership