ANZ Premiership: Mainland Tactix surge past Southern Steel
Watch more from Round Two on Sunday with the Stars taking on the Pulse at 6am on Sky Sports Main Event and Mix
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 20/06/20 8:23am
A powerful second-half performance ensured that the Mainland Tactix took the spoils 43-36 on derby day against the Southern Steel in the ANZ Premiership.
With all of the competition's first matches taking place in Auckland, this was the first derby between the two sides to be played outside of the South Island and the Tactix went into the encounter with just a one-from-10 record against the Steel.
After two close quarters and nothing separating them at half-time, the Tactix raced away and set themselves up nicely for their second match of the Round Two on Monday.
Jane Watson and her side will take on the Stars in the final match of Round Two while the Steel have a week to turnaround their fortunes before meeting the Mystics in Round Three.
ANZ Premiership Fixtures - Round Two [Live on Sky Sports Mix]
|Friday, June 19||Magic 40-47 Mystics||8am (BST)|
|Saturday, June 20||Steel 36-43 Tactix||6am (BST)|
|Sunday, June 21||Stars vs Pulse||6am (BST)|
|Monday, June 22||Stars vs Tactix||8am (BST)|
The Steel, the champions in 2017 and 2018, opened with the first couple of goals before Tactix's captain set the tone for her side to follow.
Watson used her experience to pick-off a pop out of the circle from Katlifa McCollin, the Steel's import shooter from Trinidad & Tobago. The Tactix rewarded their defender's work by converting through to goal, something that would become a familiar sight throughout the contest.
Mystics power to victory as netball returns
The Northern Mystics produced an all-court performance to beat the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 47-40 as the ANZ Premiership restarted.
Temalisi Fakahokotau, Watson's defensive partner, was returning to court after missing the whole of last season due to a a serious knee injury and she clearly wanted to make up for lost time.
In the face of defensive pressure, two-time ANZ champions remained cool though. The Steel problem-solved early on with Gina Crampton finding an energetic McCollin, who was growing with every minute.
Both teams had chances to develop a run in the first quarter but were clawed back and the Tactix's held a 12-11 advantage after the first 12 minutes.
They cancelled each other out for the duration of the second quarter too. The intensity remained high and there was no indication that it had been 95 days since both teams' last competitive match.
After being locked at 20-20 at half-time, the 'Championship' quarter arrived and it was the Tactix who grasped it with both hands. Erikana Pedersen arrived at WA and alongside Kimiora Poi they raised the tempo.
Te Paea Selby-Rickit continued to turn to post with confidence, she found Ellie Bird with ease and duly deserved the player-of-the-match award for an assured outing.
Across the board in the third, the Steel hesitated more than they had done previously and the Tactix didn't need to be asked twice to take advantage of that.
A 14-7 quarter provided the Tactix with a seven-goal cushion going into the last. A couple of attacking errors meant that they didn't keep their foot fully on the gas, but the hard work had already been done and a welcome victory was the result.
|43||Attempts at goal||53|
Round Two continues on Sunday with a 2019 Grand Final rematch between the Northern Stars and the Central Pulse, live on Sky Sports from 6am.
The final match of the round starts at 8am on Monday with both the Stars and the Tactix returning to court.