MATCH PREVIEW: (Round 10) MYSTICS v STARS
SKYCITY Mystics captain Anna Harrison was lost for words after her team’s 10-goal defeat to the Silvermoon Tactix last week. Outplayed across the board, the loss should set off alarm bells for their finals hopes and Harrison said the next few weeks would be a “test for everyone”.
“Our timing was out, people were early, people were late – we were definitely not connected. It’s just really disappointing,” she said after their latest performance.
Now they must pick themselves for the northern derby against a Northern Stars side riding high after upsetting the Waikato-BOP Magic. The new Barfoot & Thompson Northern Challenge trophy is on the line with the Mystics one up having beaten the Stars by six goals in Round 2.
The Stars will need victory to keep the challenge alive with the trophy to be awarded after their final match-up on Super Sunday in Round 12. The two Auckland teams hold up the bottom of the ANZ Premiership points table but it is the last-placed Stars which could go into this game as favourites after their performance against the Magic. They led at each quarter break and captain Grace Kara was delighted they could close out a tense final stanza.
WHO TO WATCH:
Jamie Hume (Mystics) – it has been a big season for the goal attack who made the shift north to join the Mystics. Will be looking to lift her shooting accuracy in a key role with the Mystics desperate to make a push for the finals series.
Bailey Mes (Mystics) versus Kate Burley (Stars) – the Stars defender was at the top of her game last week with nine gains for her side and faces an intriguing match-up with Mes. Both players are agile and have an impressive vertical jump.
Grace Kara (Stars) – her workload was in overdrive in the win over the Magic last week and her combination with centre Anna Thompson was pivotal. Could find the long reach of Anna Harrison in front of her this week.