Commentator’s Call: Harsh lessons to be learned ahead of Super Sunday
Some harsh lessons were dished out in Round 5, and they’ll need to have been learned quickly as Round 6 is something of an action replay.
It’s a monster round with all six teams converging on Christchurch for a Super Sunday. The Steel stay there to play the Tactix on Monday night and then Tauranga gets its first taste of ANZ Premiership Netball for 2018 on Wednesday night, when the Magic hosts the Stars.
Sunday sees a repeat of the Round 5 match-ups and some teams will be keener than others about this.
The Stars will be champing at the bit to have another crack at the Steel – and secure their elusive first win. Leading by 2 at halftime in Invercargill, they had a disastrous final quarter, attempting just 13 goals as opposed to the Steel’s 22. The Stars were far more accurate, but with so many more attempts the Steel once again showed they know how to nail a win at the death – taking it 63-61.
The Mystics will be re-grouping after a whipping by the Pulse. It will be interesting to see what they change to avoid a repeat of the 60-38 scoreline. It was the Mystics’ biggest loss and lowest score of the ANZ Premiership. This Pulse side is looking impenetrable. Much has been said about the team’s shooting and defensive circles, but it was WD Karin Burger who put up a midcourt road block which made life so difficult for the Mystics.
The solution for the Tactix is simple. Put the goals in and they could beat the Magic on Sunday. The defence of Temalisi Fakahokotau and Jane Watson was outstanding on Wednesday night, but when a team shoots at 68%, winning is going to be a hard ask. The Magic were far more clinical, with Lenize Potgieter back to her best shooting 42/45. That win was big for the Magic, and perhaps signals a start of a climb up the ladder.
And while the Pulse are reigning supreme at the top of the table, the rest of the field is starting to condense. But plenty of questions remain. It won’t be until Round 8 – more than halfway through the competition – that each team will have played the other, and we’ll have a clear steer on how these teams really stack up.