MATCH PREVIEW (R5): MYSTICS V PULSE
This is the first meeting between these two teams this year – the unbeaten Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse will go into the game as hot favourites but they will be wary of a SKYCITY Mystics team gaining momentum. Mystics captain Anna Harrison wants her team to be able to build on any advantage they gain over an opponent but she was pleased with their latest win over the Silvermoon Tactix. “We worked a lot on maintaining possession of the ball when it got tough and I’m proud of the girls for that because we’ve had a tendency to drop off at the end of quarters.” There will be no chance to let up against the Pulse either with the Katrina Grant-led side showing no signs of slowing down. Just how the Mystics’ frontline functions will determine the outcome in this match and all eyes will be on Elisapeta Toeava and her connection with her shooters. Goal attack Jamie Hume stood up last week while Silver Fern Bailey Mes has shown glimpses of the form which saw her named Dame Lois Muir Supreme Award last year – both will need to fire against a Pulse defensive unit which was rampant in Round 4.
WHO TO WATCH:
Elisapeta Toeava (Mystics) – has been mesmerizing in the last two rounds and most impressively looks to be turning out 60 minute performances this season. Stood up on attack and defence in a tense fourth quarter in the win over the Tactix.
Katrina Grant (Pulse) versus Jamie Hume (Mystics) – the Pulse captain is fizzing in the early rounds of the ANZ Premiership and her match-up with Hume will be an important one. Hume was a calming presence when the pressure went on against the Tactix last week.
Karin Burger (Pulse) – was in the shadow of her two circle defenders who cleaned up on the stats sheet last week, but the long reach of Burger on the wing forces plenty of opportunities for her team-mates to grab. Faces an intriguing battle with Toeava.