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Stars Men overcome Mystics Men to draw series

Stars Men overcome Mystics Men to draw series

The Robinhood Stars Men have defeated the MG Mystics Men 41-37 in the second men’s invitational match at Pulman Arena in Auckland on Sunday.

The result sees the two match series end in a tie for the second consecutive year, after the Mystics Men won the first game earlier this month.

Stars Men’s captain Dan Rich said it was pleasing to come away with a win in front of a home crowd.

“It’s so good to be able to get the result in front of our home crowd and to inspire young boys and girls who have come out today to watch us play,” he said.

“There’s some older ones of us in the group so it’s nice to see the youth coming through who are going to take the sport forward.”

Played as the curtain raiser for the Round 12 ANZ Premiership match between the Robinhood Stars and MG Mystics, the match got off to an end-to-end start.

The hosts looked up for the challenge with defenders Timothy Apisai and Dan Rich disrupting play in the circle while goal shoot and eventual match MVP Manase Vaka controlled play at the other end.

As both teams warmed into the match though, the Mystics began applying pressure through some quick midcourt play and strong positioning from shooter Quintin Gerber, taking a 12-9 lead into the quarter break.

Defence proved to be the theme of the first half with both defensive units coming up with big turnovers and making it tough for any clean looks at goal, leaving the game locked up 20-20 at halftime.

Handling errors and loose passes crept in throughout the third quarter, allowing the Mystics to add just six goals while the Stars were able to pull ahead by four going into the final term.

With Vaka taking a break after a tweaked knee, Jakob Mahutariki-Fakalelu injected himself into the match flawlessly to help the Stars keep momentum on the scoreboard, building an advantage the Mystics were unable to chase down.