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2022 ANZ Premiership Round 7 Preview

2022 ANZ Premiership Round 7 Preview

With Covid making an impact again this week, take a look at Sunday’s double-header match day.

Saturday, 23 April
Magic v Steel, postponed under the league’s Covid-19 Match Postponement Policy

The ANZ Premiership will confirm a new date for the fixture in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 24 April
Pulse v Tactix, 2.10pm at TSB Bank Arena in Wellington

The Trident Homes Tactix continue to improve with each outing, but it will take another mammoth effort if they are to upset Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in Wellington. The return of captain Kimiora Poi made an immediate impact for the Mainlanders through the middle and her match-up with former team-mate Erikana Pedersen, who wore Tactix colours last year, will be one to watch.

The Pulse have also welcomed back one of their midcourters with Maddy Gordon returning from injury and co-captain Tiana Metuarau said it was great to have her in the mix.

“Everyone knows that she’s energetic, she’s explosive, she’s aerial – it was great to inject something different,” she said of Gordon’s time at wing defence against the Magic last week.

Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek was pleased with much of her team’s performance against the Stars on Wednesday night but said ensuring they converted any turnover ball was an area to focus on in the quick turnaround to meeting the Pulse.

“That was the theme of the game (against the Stars) where we got enough ball, but we just didn’t convert it,” she said.

It will be another stern test for the Tactix frontline up against a Pulse defensive unit led by stand-out defender Kelly Jury who leads the league in deflections (40) and intercepts (16).

“It’s going to be a really good challenge for us – they’ve got that really hard man-on-man style, so we just need to get our mindset ready for that.”

Mystics v Stars, 4.10pm at The Trusts Arena in Auckland

Northern netball neighbours, the MG Mystics and Robinhood Stars, go head-to-head in the first instalment of this year’s Barfoot & Thompson Northern Challenge Trophy. The Mystics won all three matches between the two teams last year to claim the spoils, but captain Sulu Fitzpatrick is calling on an improved performance from their most recent outing, a loss to the Steel last week.

“I was disappointed in our performance in patches. We need to treasure the ball. We got really stagnant on attack, pulling wide and asking for the ball but not taking our feet. On defence we got really tight on the man and that’s not our strength,” she said.

The Mystics are still atop the Premiership ladder but the loss to the Steel will have given the chasing pack some hope of staying in touch with the defending champions. They will be hoping to have coach Helene Wilson back on the bench after she missed the trip south, but Fitzpatrick said there was no excuses for their form.

“It comes down to us on the court and we didn’t do our job.”

The Stars will also come into the Round 7 match with some confidence after completing a clean sweep over the Tactix on Wednesday – gaining momentum with every appearance on court. Coach Kiri Wills said playing two quick games had been good for the Stars after their disrupted start to the season and they were looking forward to meeting the Mystics.

“Every team has their niggly team and the Mystics, we didn’t beat them at all last year – if we can get the ball off them, we’re in with a chance.”