International Player Watch – ANZ Premiership

It was a busy week in the ANZ Premiership with two matches re-scheduled from Round 5 and four matches from Round 10 all taking place.

In a pattern of events, the final 15 minutes of all the matches seemed to be the most eventful with last minute comebacks, one goal wins and sadly an unfortunate injury too.

Let’s take a closer look…

Magic 53 – 67 Stars

A second half come back from Stars saw them shoot past Magic with an important 67-53, which has kept their playoff final hopes alive.

The visitors were losing 31-29 at half-time but following the penultimate break they came out firing full confidence, making the most of every turnover and converting their shots at the other end through Silver Ferns duo Jamie Hume and Maia Wilson.

The win put Stars third in the league, seven points above 4th placed Steel, but there was still lots of netball to take place throughout the weekend…

Tactix 58 – 69 Mystics

Next up was a re-arranged fixture from Round 5, where Mystics extended their top of the table lead with a 58-69 victory over Tactix.

However, it wasn’t all celebrations for Mystics as their Silver Ferns shooter, Grace Nweke, took a fall and left the court injured with 7-minutes remaining.

This is a big loss for Mystics with Nweke currently the top goal scorer in the league, having converted 500 of her 542 shots this season.

World Netball would like to wish Nweke a fast recovery.

Tactix 61 – 56 Steel

Just 24 hours later Tactix were out on court again, as they managed to make a fast come-back from their top of the table defeat to see off Steel 61-56 in the southern derby.

It was all still to play for in the final minutes, as the score started at 45-45, however it was Tactix that stood up to the test with centre Kimiora Poi (Silver Fern) making an all-important turnover which changed the momentum of the quarter.

Tactix shooters, Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit, capitalised of all their teams hard work, converting 61 of their 64 shots between them ensuring they took the win.

Pulse 44 – 49 Stars

It was a winning weekend for Stars, as they took to court for the second time and once again came out on top, this time to beat Pulse 44-49.

Just like in the other matches this weekend, it was the 4th quarter that brought the drama and excitement to those watching on NetballPass.

Going into the last 15-minutes, Stars only lead by two leaving it all to play for, but the visitors punished the home teams mistakes and went on a 5-0 run to take the score line to 45-38.

From then, Stars never let Pulse back into the game and their shooter Maia Wilson (Silver Fern) showed no sign of fading as she continued to score many crucial goals in the dying minutes taking her tally for the game up to 36.

Another standout playert in this game was Stars wing defence Holly Fowler, who caused Pulse problems all match in the centre court.

The Stars win means they now sit 3rd in the table, on the same points as 2nd place Pulse.

Mystics 47 – 48 Magic

In the final match of Round 10 we saw top of the table Mystics take on bottom of the table Magic, but despite the league gap being the biggest , the result was the closest of the weekend with only one goal separating the two sides at the final whistle.

It was Mystics first match without standout shooter Grace Nweke, and it was clear from the off they missed her circle presence with Magic’s defenders Leana de Bruin and Erena Mikaere commanding the space.

Following the trend of Round 10, once again it was all still to play for in the 4th quarter as Mystics lead by 2, but the tables turned as the quarter progressed with a goal from Magic’s Bailey Mes, against her formed Mystics side, ending up as the winner.

Magic 49 – 51 Steel

To finish off a busy few days of netball in New Zealand, Magic welcomed Steel to the Energy Events Centre for a re-arranged Round 5 fixture.

The game was neck and neck throughout with the teams each scoring an equal number of goals for the first three quarters leaving the result at 14-14, 29-29, and then 38-38 doing into the final break.

Once again, this meant it was all to play for in the final 15-minutes of the clash and this time it was Steel who proved the strongest winning the 4th quarter and the match by two goals.

England Rose George Fisher contributed 33 goals to her sides winning tally of 51, shooting at 92% in the match, which was the highest shooting percentage out of all the other shooters involved.

Whilst you are here…

Round 5 of the ANZ Premiership was the ‘community round’ and to celebrate Netball New Zealand and the ANZ Premiership shared the stories of a few inspirational Members of the Netball Family in New Zealand.  

One story was of two umpires, Barb Styles and Judy Sutherland, who in their 80’s still take to court week in week out to officiate.

You can find out more about their story by watching the video below.

Coming up…

The next round of the season will begin on the 21st May 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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