Commentator’s Call: ANZP wide open after round of upsets
Few would have picked the Tactix, Steel and Stars to come out of Round 9 with the two points from their respective games, but that they did. It was the Round of the Upset.
Perhaps most meritorious was the Steel’s 51-47 win over the Pulse. Take a bow Reinga Bloxham. The decision by the Steel coach to ditch a zone defence in favour of man to man worked a treat. Not only did it smother the young Pulse shooters, it brought out an MVP performance in GD Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit.
And speaking of defensive strength, Kate Burley deserves mention for her stand out efforts at GK against the Magic on Wednesday night. Her five intercepts were pivotal in the Stars picking up their second win of the season 56-51. It also helps when Maia Wilson and Paula Griffin are shooting so well.
The Magic’s Round 10 clash against the Steel throws up a crucial match-up as the season progresses towards the finals. The Mystics were poor in their 10-goal loss to the Tactix last week. Captain Anna Harrison could barely find words to describe their performance in her post-match interview.
Round 9’s win by the Steel over Pulse goes a long way to sealing the defending champions’ place in the top three, so it looks like the Mystics or the Magic will miss out on finals netball.
Round 10 starts at The Trusts Arena on Sunday afternoon when the Mystics face the Stars in the second round of the Barfoot & Thompson Northern Challenge. The Mystics won the first leg, but don’t count the Stars out from taking the second.
Wednesday night’s clash between the Tactix and Pulse at Horncastle Arena should also be one to watch. For the first time ever, the Tactix have a sniff of making the finals, and will know that to make that a reality, they have to keep winning.