Tactix only unbeaten team after day two of pre-season
The Pulse ended the Robinhood Northern Stars unbeaten run with a dazzling spectacle in the match of the tournament to complete day two of the Te Wānanga o Raukawa hosted ANZ Premiership pre-season netball tournament in Ōtaki.
1.73m Pulse wing attack Whitney Souness was the star turn after switching to the little-ventured goal attack role which proved the turning point of the game.
The match was tight all the way with the scores tied 12-all at the first break, 24-all at halftime, 42-41 to the Pulse at three-quarter time before the determined Pulse romped away in the final stanza to prevail 61-53.
Souness showcased her skills to lift the rest of her team, the Pulse digging deep to prevail over a well-credentialled Stars line-up.
That result left The Good Oil Tactix as the only unbeaten team with the Pulse and Stars sitting on one loss and two wins.
The Northern Mystics were made to work hard before securing their first win of the tournament, finally succeeding with a hard-fought 66-57 win over a gallant Southern Steel.
The defence work of Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley came to the fore as the Mystics broke the shackles in the fourth quarter after an even contest through the first 45 minutes.
Peta Toeava fired in some trademark touches of class with her feeding as the Mystics took time to build their fluency to the key target of lofty shooter Grace Nweke.
Until then, it was the Steel who held sway, taking a 32-26 lead into halftime and impressing with their grit and determined attitude. After the second day, the Steel were the only team without a win.
In something of a surprise move, usual shooter Jamie Hume suited up at centre in the Stars first match of the day. It proved no deterrence as the Stars delivered another compelling outing when dismantling Splice Construction Magic 47-27.
With the Stars defensive line of Oceane Maihi (wing defence), Anna Harrison (goal defence) and Elle Temu (goalkeeper), providing a brick wall-like resistance, the Magic could not get their attack end working. It took a long eight minutes to score their second goal as the floodgates opened for the Stars.
With the damage done after a blistering first half where shooters Wilson and Monica Falkner were offered a bucket-load of opportunities, the Stars were able to introduce a string of new players for the second term ahead of sealing a lop-sided win.
The Tactix kept their unbeaten record intact with a hard-fought 64-56 win over the Mystics.
In a closely contested outing, the Tactix held the slightest of edges throughout while showcasing their depth of talent with numerous combinations being run and finishing the game impressively with young shooting duo Jess Prosser and Hannah Glen taking charge.
Playing a full game at wing attack, Samon Nathan was an impressive contributor for the Tactix alongside midcourt dynamo Kimiora Poi.
``I was very pleased with the group today, that they just nailed it,’’ Tactix coach Marianne Delany-Hoshek said.
``It was quite a cool experience for the young ones to put them out there in that tightness, especially in the last quarter and they actually did the job. There’s plenty to work on but we’re happy with how we’re tracking.’’
It consigned the Mystics to their second straight loss, the northerners staying in touch and challenging hard all the way. In-circle defenders Sulu Fitzpatrick and Kate Burley gave a good account of themselves but it was on attack, where too many loose feeds to towering shooter Grace Nweke, proved their undoing.
Day 2 results:
Tactix 64 vs Mystics 56
Stars 47 vs Magic 27
Mystics 66 vs Steel 57
Pulse 61 vs Stars 53