Commentator’s Call: Finals make-up to be confirmed
There’ll be a mighty cheer from one end of the country or the other when the final whistle of Round 13 is blown. Either the Tactix or the Mystics will have made the Finals Series, joining the Steel and Pulse.
The latter two teams are dead certs with the Pulse already organising the Grand Final in Palmerston North on August 12. Just who the Steel will host in the Elimination Final on August 8 is a little more problematic.
As things stand, the Mystics are in third spot ahead of the Tactix courtesy of a superior goal percentage. This is the first time the Mystics have been in the top three all year, and they’re there on the back of an 18 goal win over the Magic on Wednesday night.
It was a margin that looked unlikely for much of the game at Trusts Arena, with both sides treating the ball as if it was diseased – throwing it away at any opportunity. It wasn’t till the final quarter when the Mystics poured on 19 goals while restricting the Magic to 10, that they put their foot down.
Round 13 begins on Sunday afternoon at Takanini where the Stars will host the Steel. The Stars will look back on a season of “what-ifs” while the Steel will no doubt be plotting how Wendy Frew can retire, having once again held aloft the ANZ Premiership trophy.
Nestled directly beneath the Mystics on the table, the Tactix play the Magic in Hamilton on Monday night. The equation for them is the same as it was for the Mystics – win and win big.
All eyes are then on the final game of the round in Wellington. Assuming the Tactix beat the Magic, only a win, and it may have to be a big one, will do for the Northerners.
You could argue which side is more deserving of a place in the finals until the cows come home. The Mystics have won more games, but then the Tactix have had more close finishes, earning 5 bonus points as opposed to the Mystics 3.
They’re also difficult to separate when it comes to statistics. The Tactix have the second best defensive record, but the worst attacking record and the worst accuracy.
The Mystics are slightly more middle of the road with the third best defensive record, second worst shooting record and second worst accuracy.
Check in for the answer at about 9pm Wednesday night!