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2024 ANZ Premiership Round 14 Preview

2024 ANZ Premiership Round 14 Preview

Take a look at the three match-ups coming in Round 14 of the 2024 ANZ Premiership.

4pm, Saturday 13 July
Mystics v Pulse at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland
Live on Sky Sport and free to air on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+
International streaming on 

The penultimate round of the ANZ Premiership regular season promises plenty of fireworks with the top four teams taking part in two key matches. The MG Mystics and Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse open the weekend of action in Auckland and the hosts must take plenty of confidence into the game following a convincing last week. 

Shooter Grace Nweke has had significant minutes back on court, but wing attack Peta Toeava continues to be eased back into her role in the midcourt. In fact, both coaches have a wealth of options on their benches now as they welcome back injured players – Maddy Gordon and Amelia Walmsley back in the mix for the Pulse. 

Coach Anna Andrews-Tasola said putting the pieces of the puzzle together, with a full arsenal for the Pulse, took some careful planning. 

“It can be difficult, just to get the timing right, making sure we’re putting the right strengths on at the right time, making sure that we’re also giving them court time so we can connect – multiple pieces of the puzzle to put together.” 

Mystics coach Tia Winikerei faces a similar puzzle and there will be interest in how both coaches play their squad with precious Premiership points on the line but also a need to ensure their guns are firing in time for the Finals Series. 

Watch out for the match-up between Tiana Metuarau and Phoenix Karaka in the Pulse shooting circle – the former showing her playmaking abilities when the heat went on against the Magic. Her offloads to her shooters have impressed over the last two weeks and Metuarau looks to have strong bonds with both Walmsley and Martina Salmon.

4pm, Sunday 14 July
Tactix v Magic at MainPower Stadium in Rangiora
Live on Sky Sport
International streaming on 

The race for the top three heats up in Rangiora when the second-placed Trident Homes Tactix take on an AVIS Magic desperate to get back into a playoffs position. Points matter and both teams know what this match means for the business end of the season. 

The Magic had the better of the Pulse last week before falling short in the final quarter and will now need maximum points in their final two games, and other results to go their way, if they are to extend their season. Captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio said they would “keep pushing” in their remaining two games after taking just the bonus point against the Pulse. 

“Any points we can get definitely will help. We’ll pretty much just have to scrap for whatever we can get.” 

They have shown big improvements across the board, but Ekenasio felt a few of their “basics” went missing went the Pulse tightened the screws.

Tactix captain Kimiora Poi was pleased with the way her team bounced back against the Stars last week, for a convincing win, but acknowledged they faced a big two weeks ahead. She said they allowed the Stars to get back into the match at different stages which was something they would address leading into the clash with the Magic. 

“The next two games are important so we can’t let that happen. Every point matters in this comp at the moment – it could come down to goal dif and we’re really gunning for that home final spot.” 

The midcourter, who grabbed five intercepts against the Stars, said they would continue to work on the “foot on the throat mentality” and pushing on when they had the lead.

7.30pm, Monday 15 July
Steel v Stars at Edgar Centre in Dunedin
Live on Sky Sport
International streaming on 

Pride is on the line in Dunedin when these two teams come together with the ledger at one apiece.  The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel are coming off the back of three hefty losses – to the Tactix, Pulse and Mystics – but captain Kate Heffernan said they were continuing to look for the positives and needed to take “belief” into their penultimate game of the season. 

“We know we can beat them (Stars). There’s some really good stuff out there, we just need to string it together for longer and bounce back when we do have those wee lulls.” 

It has been a tough campaign for the southerners who have been dealt a number of injuries. Despite having one more win than the Stars this season, they still find themselves at the bottom of the ladder thanks to their opponent’s ability to snaffle the bonus point – nine so far this year. 

The Stars have also been hit hard by injuries – the latest in the form of wing attack Emma Thompson (knee) – and been guilty of letting games slip. Captain Maia Wilson said they were still looking for another win, but they also wanted to enjoy their last two games of the season. 

“When you’ve got nothing to lose, why not just go out there and have some fun. We know we play our best when we have fun.” 

The sharp shooter said it was important her team-mates enjoyed “their last moments together as a team” and to play with fun and freedom.