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2024 ANZ Premiership Round 13 Preview

2024 ANZ Premiership Round 13 Preview


Take a look at the three match-ups coming in Round 13 of the 2024 ANZ Premiership.

4pm, Saturday 6 July
Stars v Tactix at Pulman Arena in Auckland
Live on Sky Sport and free to air on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+
International streaming on 

The Stars are on the verge of an upset and now with nothing to lose in the race to the Finals Series, pose a major threat to a Trident Homes Tactix team licking their wounds after a big loss to the Mystics.

The four-goal loss to the Magic last week was the nail in the coffin for the Stars playoff hopes but captain Maia Wilson said they were still “in it to win it” and as “Queen of the bonus points” were still in the hunt for another win which could upset the points ladder. 

“You can fault intent,” she said of her team’s performances this season. 

“I like mucking it up for other people – it’s quite entertaining. So we’re in it to win it and we’ve got to do it for a bit of pride.”  

Defensively the Stars have picked up enough ball, the unit of Kate Burley, Holly Fowler and Lisa Mather working well together.  Backed by home crowd will also spur the Stars on having headed south for the first two encounters – two narrow defeats – against the Tactix. 

But expect the second-placed Tactix to bounce back from a below-par performance last week. Captain Kimiora Poi said the loss to the Mystics was disappointing, but they were determined to learn from it. 

“You learn things from losses – it sets us up for a big three games coming up.” 

She said the late loss of midcourter Erikana Pedersen (ankle) had an impact, but the Tactix still strayed from their game plan which they would need to stick to this week. 

“We’re hungry for next time and being better.  We’ll watch some video, go back to the drawing board and go back to what we’re good at.  Bring on the Stars.”

4pm, Sunday 7 July
Mystics v Steel at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland
Live on Sky Sport
International streaming on 

The MG Mystics are back. A comprehensive win over the Tactix last week with the return of Peta Toeava and Grace Nweke – both grabbing significant court minutes – showed they remain a force with the Finals Series in sight. 

The connection between Toeava and Nweke was as strong as ever despite both players having had time on the sidelines through injury. Captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson said the return of the “impressive” duo allowed the rest of her team to focus on their roles. 

“With them back that’s how we’re used to playing. We’ve kind of had that combo for five years.” 

But she said it was also pleasing to be able to use a full bench during the victory over the Tactix which puts them just one point behind the third-placed Magic. 

“To get all of our 12 players out on court in a real team effort, that’s how I like to win.” 

With Nweke and Toeava back in action, it would be hard to imagine the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel getting another one over their northern opponents this season. The last time they met was in Round 7 when they pulled off a four-goal win. But two big losses in recent weeks has been tough on the Steel and captain Kate Heffernan their goal was to improve with each outing. 

“We want to be able to convert the ball that we get. We’re either scoring our centre pass and not our turnovers or vice versa.” 

She said they had been struggling for an “all-round performance” with too much “disconnects” through the court. The return of Taneisha Fifita from injury has boosted their defensive stocks which will need to be at full strength against Nweke.

7.30pm, Monday 8 July
Magic v Pulse at Globox Arena in Hamilton
Live on Sky Sport
International streaming on 

AVIS Magic are timing their run of form down to the minute and this week’s match up against Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse will be a good gauge of where they sit edging close to the Finals Series. 

They remain in third spot on the points ladder after a gritty win over the Stars last week and captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio said she was pleased with the way her team stuck to their task. 

“We had to stay in it for every single minute,” she said. 

The form of experienced defender Erena Mikaere – who is second in the league for defensive rebounds and third for deflections –  has been a standout for the Magic and her combination with Georgia Takarangi. 

“She playing some really unreal netball,” Ekenasio said of her vice-captain and goal keep. 

“Our whole unit worked really well together – they create for each other but (Mikaere) she’s got some crucial steals for us.” 

The Magic will be out to put some distance on the chasing pack and victory over the Pulse would set them up well for the playoffs. But they are up against a Pulse side which is also hitting its straps with the return of key players. 

The combination between Tiana Metuarau, who is back from injury, and Martina Salmon was at its best against the Steel – watch out for the match-up between Metuarau and Takarangi in particular. 

Pulse captain Kelly Jackson was also at her disruptive best last week when she snaffled an incredible 15 gains for her team.  She admits they are eyeing up the home Grand Final and it was important to get the “numbers on the scoreboard”.