Outside of NZ? Watch via Live Stream!

2022 ANZ Premiership Round 12 Preview

2022 ANZ Premiership Round 12 Preview

Take a look at the match-ups in Round 12 of the ANZ Premiership.

Sunday, 29 May

Steel vs Stars, 2.10pm at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel will have had a full week under their belt to rest, recover and return to the training court ahead of this must-win ANZ Premiership clash against the Robinhood Stars.

Captain Shannon Saunders was pleased with their “collective” performance against the Magic which resulted in maximum points and kept their chances of reaching the top three alive.

“Everyone stepped up when they needed to but we’re still having those lulls which is a bit disappointing,” she said.

Retaining possession against the Stars will be key however and Saunders said they had to stick to the “Steel way” of taking as many passes as needed to get ball into their sharp shooter George Fisher.

“We’ll need to treasure ball because their defence is super rangy and they like to confuse the space,” she said.

They will also be up against a Stars unit which recorded its biggest win in franchise history when they dismantled the defending champion Mystics last week.

Defender Elle Temu has come into her own in the absence of Anna Harrison and is third on the league ladder for deflections and second for intercepts while at the other end of the court, attacking midcourter Gina Crampton looks to have found her spark late in the season delivering the most circle feeds so far this season and third for centre pass receives.

Tactix vs Magic, 4.10pm at Christchurch Arena in Christchurch

Pride will be on the line for both of these teams when they meet in Christchurch in the last round of the regular season. Both the Trident Homes Tactix and Splice Construction Magic may be left wondering what their seasons could have been – the Tactix finding form in the latter stages of their campaign while the Magic have pushed all teams to the brink but struggled to deliver the final blow.

With just two wins under their belt so far, Magic captain Sam Winders described it as a “funny old season”, but her side would be working hard right until the final whistles of their campaign.

“The last few years have taught me that each game brings something new, so you have to be ready to go again every game regardless of what happened the last week.”

She said her side had shown moments of urgency in every game, but they were still searching for a full 60-minute performance.

The battle in the midcourt promises plenty with Silver Ferns hopefuls Claire Kersten and Winders likely to square off against Tactix captain Kimiora Poi at some stage during the match.

Poi’s reliability through the middle has been a strength this season and she has helped ignite the Tactix’ attacking end in recent weeks.

Monday, 30 May

Tactix vs Pulse, 7.15pm at Christchurch Arena in Christchurch

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse have dominated the Trident Homes Tactix this year and with the direct route into the Grand Final still in their sights, the visitors have plenty to play for in their last regular game of the season.

But the Mainlanders are a different team when they line up in front of their home crowd and with nothing to lose, they may have enough firepower to produce an upset. They will have to get the better of the Pulse defensive duo Kelly Jury and Kristiana Manu’a who grabbed 11 gains between them when the two teams met just under a week ago.

Shooting accuracy was not an issue for the Tactix but getting quality ball into the hands of Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit is a must if they are to turn the tables.

A five-minute spell in the second quarter proved their undoing in the previous round when the Pulse netted eight unanswered goals and defender Karin Burger said it was crucial they stayed in touch with their opponent.

“We were trying to play catch up in the rest of that game and we can’t allow that kind of stuff to happen, especially when it’s so hard getting ball off them.”

Friday, 3 June (Rescheduled)

Mystics vs Pulse, 4.10pm at The Trusts Arena in Auckland

Hosting rights for the ANZ Premiership Grand Final are on the line and the MG Mystics look likely to be without key shooter Grace Nweke for another week, with this match rescheduled after Covid cases within the Mystics camp.

Two losses in the previous round has put the brakes on the Mystics points gathering on the league ladder and their spot at the top has come under threat. But captain Sulu Fitzpatrick believes they have the players there to get the results with Nweke still out of action.

“We just take it week by week with Grace but to be honest I think what we have out there is good enough, we just need to do our own jobs,” she said.

The Mystics will need to be better when they host Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse for their last game of the regular season with their opponent hitting form at the right time of the season.

They dominated the Tactix last week and co-captain Kelly Jury said the chance to host the Grand Final on 12 June was now a possibility.

“It hasn’t been spoken about, but it is in the back of our mind, and we do know we have the opportunity to grab that if we win our next two games.”