With four ANZ Premiership Games occurring over the weekend, the ladder got a shakeup as the Mainland Tactix make a late run home.
In the round 13 preview, we discussed the challenge the Tactix would have in maintaining momentum for both of their games against the Central Pulse and the Northern Stars. The challenge they conquered in fantastic efforts.
Central Pulse def. by Mainland Tactix (49- 52)
After a disappointing game on Monday night, it was expected that the Tactix would take the win easily from the Central Pulse. However, with the return of Kelly Jury and some fighting words from head coach Gail Perata, the Pulse put every ounce of sweat into this game. Their pitfall was probably the rotation of their players as many of the oncoming players struggled to slot in nicely leaving the Pulse to rely on unforced errors and surges of play to make back the lost time.
The Tactix however, showed strength and patience throughout the court and just kept the goals ticking over, leading to a 3 goal win.
Central Pulse def. WBOP Magic (55 – 51)
Following their efforts on Friday night, the Central Pulse were asked to put it all on the line again against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic on Sunday afternoon. In the end, it was their impressive second quarter that landed them the win against the Magic.
After the first quarter tie, where the Magic looked to be settled and pulling away. Perata’s team came back on with a new sense of fire, scoring 12 goals to Magic’s two within minutes of the quarter. The connections to Caitlin Bassett and Khiarna Williams unravelled as no ball was left uncontested by Maddy Gordon, Kelly Jury and Kelera Nawai.
Southern Steel def. Northern Mystics (61 – 58)
It was a momentous occasion across the board, with the Southern Steel taking the win off the Northern Mystics potentially securing their finals position and Phoenix Karaka making her 2021 season debut.
It was yet again a schooling in shooter to shooter connections with George Fisher and Tiana Metaurua looking pretty much unbeatable the whole game. As the partnership has developed we have seen Metaurua become less of an additional feeder and share the load of shots with Fisher. Fisher again had an outstanding performance maintaining a 95% shooting accuracy with her 39 goals.
Despite the shooters having a fantastic game, Mystics defensive duo including Silver Fern Sulu Fitzpatrick and up and comer Kate Burley gave them a hard time. Every feed and shot was contested even when Karaka came on in the last 8 minutes of the game nothing was left to chance.
At the other end of the court, Taneisha Fifita, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and in part Saraphienna Woulff also displayed their dominance. By the end of the third quarter, the Steel looked to have figured out Grace Nweke putting doubt in the Mystics attacking line.
Mainland Tactix def. Northern Stars (52 – 39)
Foreshadowed to be the game of the round, the Mainland Tactix came out hard and stunned the Northern Stars into what would be their worst match of the season.
With Karin Burger and Jane Watson again in fantastic form the Tactix jumped out to an 8-2 lead. Maia Wilson just didn’t have her eye in and with the added defensive pressure from Silver Fern teammates she headed to the bench early in the second quarter. Jamie Hume and Monica Faulkner weren’t afraid to turn and shoot however the patience and the long limbs of Burger just was too much for the pair.
Kiri Wills during the third quarter break could be seen telling her team to man up as they outstretched to a 12 goal deficit but it was too little too late for the Stars as the Tactix surged on to win the game, 52-39.
Categories: ANZ Premiership