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2024 ANZ Premiership Round 11 Preview

2024 ANZ Premiership Round 11 Preview

Take a look at the three match-ups coming in Round 11 of the 2024 ANZ Premiership.

4pm, Saturday 22 June
Steel v Tactix at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill
Live on Sky Sport and free to air on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+
International streaming on 

Trident Homes Tactix fans are starting to believe after a come from behind extra time win over the Pulse last week and now the race for a direct pathway to the Grand Final must be on their minds. 

But they must also be wary of an Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel team with nothing to lose as they head into Round 11. The Tactix have two wins over their southern neighbours and on recent form would be expected to net a third in Invercargill. 

They showed last week that they could use their bench in clutch moments with both Kate Lloyd and Jess Allan having an impact when the heat went on against the Pulse. The Steel home court is familiar for Allan after she played a number of minutes for the side in last year’s Premiership as injury cover. 

After helping to open up the circle last week she may have earned more minutes, this time for the Tactix, when the red-and-blacks aim to hold their top position on the ladder.

The Steel are always stronger at home but will need to lift their shooting percentage if they are to challenge the Tactix – putting up more attempts than their opponents but netting just 67 per cent in the loss to the Magic. 

Captain Kate Heffernan said they were disappointed how their game fell away in the second half last week. 

“I think we just didn’t look after the ball as well as we said we were going to. It was a bit disappointing that we weren’t able to push on.” 

The match up between the two leaders in the midcourt will be worth watching with both Heffernan and Tactix captain Kimiora Poi in fine form.

4pm, Sunday 23 June
Pulse v Stars at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua
Live on Sky Sport
International streaming on 

The run into the Finals Series steps up a notch with just five games in the regular season left and Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse will be only too aware of their position and pushing for hosting rights for the Grand Final. 

A slip up in Porirua would not be in the plans but the Stars are a team which, despite just the one win this season, continue to push the league’s playmakers. Seven goals separated them the first time they met and just six goals when the played in Round 6. 

It would be a huge upset for the northerners to get up over the Pulse and captain Maia Wilson said her side would need to adjust to the “big bodies” in the defensive unit if they are to challenge. She said her midcourt struggled to “see into the circle” over the size of the Mystics defence in last week’s three-goal loss. 

“Our attack struggled to get around their big units - they’re tall, they’re long, they’re lanky and probably our midcourters were struggling to see into the circle,” she said. 

“For us it’s how can we consolidate around big bodies because we play the Pulse and it’s the same sort of lines.” 

The Stars will also need to shut down new Pulse recruit Martina Salmon who is taking the Premiership by storm with her strength under the post and accuracy. She was not fazed by her Silver Ferns opponent last week against the Tactix and had the better of the circle for much of the match. 

A strong hold and strong hands make her a tough shooter to get around and Salmon is matching it with almost 90 per cent shooting accuracy.

7.30pm, Monday 24 June
Mystics v Magic at The Trusts Arena in Auckland
Live on Sky Sport
International streaming on 

A key match-up in the race for the ANZ Premiership Finals Series with just two points separating these teams. The MG Mystics are two points clear of AVIS Magic and take a large slice of belief into this home game in Auckland after a win in Round 10. 

Captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson said they always had “faith” that they could pick themselves back up for victory and the three-goal win over the Stars last week also showed they could maintain their composure in a tight finish. 

“The fact that we could pull ourselves up was a testament to how much we actually love each other, and we have pride in our uniform and representing our region.” 

The match-up between Mystics’ defender Carys Stythe and Magic shooter Saviour Tui will be one to watch while the experienced heads of Phoenix Karaka and Ameliaranne Ekenasio will also bring the fireworks. Mystics’ fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that Silver Ferns shooter Grace Nweke isn’t too far away from returning to the court and could make her first appearance since Round 3.

Ekenasio said her team was looking forward to the key encounter. 

“We know where we’re sitting on the ladder, so we feel we’re coming for them. We know they’re such a quality team and they know how to win – we’re finding our way to win this year. We’ve got a big week of training but at the same time we’ve got to back ourselves and just be smart.” 

As the scramble for Premiership points heats up, this will be a match to watch