MATCH PREVIEW: (Round 11) MAGIC v MYSTICS
Two teams struggling as the screws tighten in the second half of the ANZ Premiership – the Waikato-BOP Magic need a win to stay in the running for the finals series while the SKYCITY Mystics are hoping to haul themselves off the bottom of the ladder.
Injuries have hampered the Magic’s campaign and with captain fantastic Casey Kopua ruled out for the remainder of the season, they need to rally as they continue their push for a place in the finals.
Captain Sam Sinclair said their 16-goal loss to the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel was “really disappointing” having been in the game for three quarters.
“Going back to the drawing board is not a place we want to be at this end of the season,” she said.
The mid-courter put it down to a loss of focus when the pressure went on – something they’d need to rectify before meeting the Mystics.
“We’ve got to take responsibility for all those bad passes and miss connections we had and sort that out.”
The Mystics are also searching for some answers after yet another loss. Captain Anna Harrison says the “heart” is still in the Mystics but is not translating to the scoreboard. Despite experiencing a slump they are still only three points adrift of third spot.
WHO TO WATCH:
Sam Sinclair (Magic) – the stand-in captain has been blunt in her assessment of where the Magic are struggling and will need to lead by example in the absence of Casey Kopua. Plenty rests on her shoulders as the Magic look to spark their miss-firing front line.
Elisapeta Toeava (Mystics) versus Hayley Saunders (Magic) – Saunders role on the wing becomes even more important at a time when the Magic are bedding in a new defensive combination. Her ability to drive the ball through the mid-court will be crucial without Kopua, and disrupting Toeava will be a big ask.
Anna Harrison (Mystics) – the talented defender has hinted this will be her last year and is desperate to help her side rediscover the form they showed earlier this season. Could find herself on the wing again this week in a bid to slow ball into Lenize Potgieter.