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International Player Watch – ANZ Premiership Round Two

Round two of the ANZ Premiership took place in New Zealand this weekend, with all six teams out in action for the first time this season.

In Round one, Pulse and Stars did not take to court due to COVID regulations, but both teams were back for the second round with Pulse taking to court twice over two days.

Let’s take a look at some of the results from the weekend…

 

Pulse vs Mystics

Pulse got their campaign underway against the reigning champions, Mystics in Round two. Mystics had played in Round One but were also still looking for their first win of the season as they had previously lost to Magic in their opening game. This week saw the return of international shooting star Grace Nweke for Mystics, and the Silver Ferns shooter did not disappoint upon her return as she shot at 96%, scoring 49 of her 51 shots and helping the away side to an eventual 60-66 victory. Despite losing the game, Pulse made a strong start to their campaign as they won the 1st and 3rd quarters against a strong Mystics side.  

Tactix vs Stars

Stars also took to court for the first time this season, and after a wobbly start they also managed to secure their first win of the season beating Tactix 57-52. It  wasn’t an easy victory for the home side though, as they lost the first quarter by 5 goals and had to come back strong in the final three quarters to secure the win. One Stars player that looked commanding on court from the start was centre and young Silver Fern, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan. Reuelu-Buchanan is part of the Silver Ferns Development squad for 2021/2022 and was also previously part of the 2017 New Zealand Under 21 World Youth Cup winning team. With her bullet passes in attack and ability to switch effectively into her defensive roles at centre too, she is one to look out for in the future!

Pulse vs Magic

Pulse were given a second chance to secure their first win of the season this weekend, as they took on Magic 24 hours after their defeat to Mystics. Magic went into the game in good spirits having beaten reigning champions Mystics in Round one, and now also welcoming back recent Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio into the shooting circle after she missed last season due to pregnancy. However, it was the Pulse shooting circle that stole the show, with Aliyah Dunn and Silver Fern Tiana Metuarau showing some real chemistry in the circle, with Dunn scoring 41 of her 45 shots, helping her team secure their first victory of 57-41 against Magic.

Steel vs Mystics

In the final match of round two, Mystics took to court for the second time in three says and made history when they beat Steel 70-50, at Steels home arena. The last time that the Mystics were successful in the Steel’s home city was 2015 in the trans-Tasman league. A first quarter mishap from Steel, allowed Mystics to go 10-goals ahead in the first 15 minutes and from then there was no way back. Once again Silver Fern Nweke shot at 96% for Mystic’s converting 50 of her 52 shots and looking very confident in the attacking circle alongside Monica Falkner who shot at 83%. With the clinical shooting and a few trademark intercepts form Sulu Fitzpatrick at Goal Keeper, Mystics ensured they kept Steel way out of reach in the closing quarter.

The next round of the season will begin on the 27th March, and you can view all the fixtures and results so far here.

International fans can watch all the matches live on NetballPass, here. 

To remind yourselves of which international players to look out for, click here.

To find out more about the other elite domestic leagues going on around the world, visit our domestic leagues page here.

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