Outside of NZ? Watch via Live Stream!

2021 ANZ Premiership Round 12 Preview

2021 ANZ Premiership Round 12 Preview

Sunday, 4 July

Mystics v Stars at 4.15pm at The Trusts Arena in Auckland

The Northern Mystics have two trophies in the cabinet this year - the Hobbiton Cup and the Barfoot & Thmopson Northern Challenge - but their eyes are firmly on the big prize and a third straight win over the Robinhood Stars would confirm their red-hot status for the ANZ Premiership title with the Finals Series on the horizon.

Captain Sulu Fitzpatrick said they had plenty to work on ahead of the match against the Stars and believed the score line - an eight-goal victory in Round 11 - didn’t reflect how hard it was to get that win.

“I know they’re going to come at us again,” she said.

Fitzpatrick said her side continued to focus on consistency on both attack and defence.

“We’re also trying to be better at being disciplined in terms of knowing whether you can contest the ball or not on D and then on attack, treasuring possession.”

Consistency was also the catch-cry from Stars captain Maia Wilson following last week’s loss to the Mystics and ensuring they nail the “critical moments”. But the shooter was looking forward to having another crack at their cross-town rivals.

“It’s a great opportunity,” she said of backing up against the Mystics. “We’ll be looking at a lot of analysis this week and in particular on ourselves – what we can tidy up in those critical moments.”

Tactix v Pulse at 6.15pm at Trafalgar Centre in Nelson

Third place on the ANZ Premiership ladder remains in the sights of both The Good Oil Tactix and Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse and much interest will be in how the teams return to the court after an extended break.

A COVID-19 disrupted Round 11 means the two teams have a game in hand but with the Steel getting the jump on them with a big win over the Magic last week, the points in Nelson are crucial to their play-off hopes.

The Tactix may be ruing the changed schedule the most having found their mojo at Trafalgar Centre back on 21 June when both their attacking and defensive ends fired at the same time producing a record-breaking result. Their 17-goal victory did wonders for their goal difference and was their biggest ever winning margin in Premiership history.

Shooter Ellie Bird was back on board as was wing attack Erikana Pedersen who made a welcomed return after a lengthy injury absence. Now the Tactix must regroup to reignite that spark against a Pulse team desperate to stay in touch with the competition leaders.

The defending champions remain in the race for a top three spot but with the finish line fast approaching cannot afford to drop any more games. Only three goals separated the two teams when they met in Christchurch in Round 8 and the Pulse will take confidence in that they came close to victory without goal attack Te Amo Amaru-Tibble for that game.

Monday, 5 July

Magic v Steel at 7.15pm at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel barely missed a beat to move back in to third place on the ANZ Premiership ladder despite the absence of English international George Fisher.

National Netball League shooter Grace Namana stepped into the shooting circle like a seasoned professional and her performance will leave Steel fans feeling somewhat comforted if Fisher is again ruled out this week for the return match against the Splice Construction Magic in Hamilton.

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham was pleased with the way Namana “did her job”, slotting in comfortably alongside goal attack Tiana Metuarau.

“We knew we had the right combination,” she said of the partnership.

Metuarau continues to turn heads with her mature performances and was a stand-out in the Steel’s seventh win of the season - her name now being bandied about for Silver Fern honours.

Meanwhile, the Magic have plenty to play for with coach Amigene Metcalfe this week announcing her departure from the role at the end of the season. Sending the Magic stalwart out on a positive note could conjure up something special from a side which started the year so strongly.

Injuries have plagued their recent efforts which captain Sam Winders said had been a struggle. “It does shake the boat a wee bit. But big ups to these young girls who are out on court getting some very valuable experience.”