Mystics VS Steel
MVP: Tayla Earle
With only two of five games going ahead in round four of the ANZ Premiership the four teams who took the court made sure that they were exciting games for fans to watch (from a distance).
The Mystics were able to secure another win against the Southern Steel in Auckland. The Mystics were teasing the rest of the league as they showed off their incredible bench depth with all of their bench players getting a run out on the court. The Steel however took to the court lacking in numbers with Saviour Tui and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit missing from the team.
The Steel were able to stay with the Mystics for the opening quarter, even when the Mystics went on a wee run, the Steel were able to peg it back with the home team only leading by one going into the first quarter break – 16-15
In the second quarter, the Mystics showcased their mouthwatering backline of Fitzpatrick, Karaka, and Sokolich-Beatson. They were able to slow the Steel down and make it a real challenge for them to score. Off the back of their outstanding defensive second quarter – the Mystics increased their lead. The home side went into the main break leading the Steel 35-27.
As the Steel started to look like they were coming back into the game – the Mystics added some star power into their team with the injection of Peta Toeava, Filda Vui, and Fa’amu Ioane in the second half. Toeava was able to find Nweke with ease as per usual – showing just how fast the Mystics are able to score with each possession.
As always Grace Nweke was a steady target for the Mystics shooting 45/46 goals across the game. The feeders were able to find Nweke with ease and when she has the ball in hand, the majority of the time it results in a Mystics goal.
Although the Mystics seemed to dominate this clash, there were areas that both teams could tidy up on. As fatigue set into the game there were a bunch of turnovers which the Mystics were able to better capitalise on.
Magic VS Pulse
MVP: Kelly Jury
The second and final ANZ Premiership game in round four took place at Globox Arena, Hamilton with the Magic taking on the Pulse. When these two teams battled last in round two, the Pulse collected the three points – taking victory over the Magic 57-41.
Just as the Steel had a depleted team on Saturday evening, so did the Magic. They called upon Magic veteran and legend, Leana de Bruin. This match makes her the oldest player to ever take the court in an elite domestic netball competition at the age of 44.
The Pulse attack was able to move around the court with ease early in the game. As the Pulse looked to be controlling the game early, the Magic came out firing and scored the final four goals of the quarter reducing the Pulse’s lead to only two goals – 14-12 at quarter time.
The Magic opened the second quarter as they finished the first one – scoring the opening five goals of the second quarter. The combination between Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio continues to grow and amaze fans with their incredible athleticism and ability to shoot from anywhere in the circle.
De Bruin was a key cog in the Magic attack as she was not only able to win back the ball but she was able to assist with through court transition play. Although this was not enough to stop the Pulse from making a comeback late in the second quarter, drawing back the Magic’s lead and snatching the lead to go ahead by one leading into the half-time break.
Kelly Jury was able to play with the feeder’s minds and her combination with Kristiana Manu’a is sure to give some attackers nightmares. Kelly Jury’s rangey arms were able to tip away key deflections and gain intercepts – allowing the visitors to stay within range of the Magic. Late in the third quarter the Pulse attacked and drew back the lead to maintain their halftime advantage – 36-35.
It was the last two minutes of this game that had the netball world talking. Just as the Magic looked to have drawn the game – with an amazing over-the-shoulder, no-look, falling out of court goal by Bailey Mes – the Pulse showed us just how fast they could convert a centre pass. With Aliyah Dunn drawing a contact penalty against defender Oceane Maihi, she was able to remain cool, calm, and collected as she took the final shot of the game after the final siren. Aliyah Dunn’s calmness secured the Pulse victory 51-50.
After the game, we caught up with Bailey Mes. She said that the result of the game was “very frustrating, those games are always exciting but obviously, we want to be on the other side of it. Given what happened the last time we played them (Pulse) there’s lots of good stuff we can take out of the game. This week we had a lot going on in our team so we were pretty proud of the way that we fought back after a big few weeks”.
Categories: ANZ Premiership