International Player Watch – ANZ Premiership

It was the final round in the ANZ Premiership before the Finals begin with the Elimination Final taking place on Wednesday 8th June. The final match of this round will now take place on Friday 3rd June due to being postponed under the league’s Covid-19 Match Postponement Policy.

Extra-time was needed in two of the matches to separate the sides, and Pulse defeated Tactix to snatch top spot.

We’ve taken a look at which international stars stood out this week… 

Steel 60 – 62 Stars

Steel led the Stars by six goals early in the final quarter, however they could not stop the ever-persistent Stars from drawing level with 10 seconds to go in a do-or-die match for Steel as their opportunity to progress to Finals Series ended.

Despite being on the losing side, England Rose George Fisher was clinical under the post scoring 21 from 21 in the first half and ending the match with 45 from 46 (98% accuracy). Fisher is currently 2nd in the ‘Goals Scored’ table.

Midcourter Gina Crampton maintained her strong presence throughout the match for the Stars finishing with 50 feeds and 29 goal assists, and Crampton sits top of the ‘Feeds’ table.

Stars built on their last quarter success and propelled to a 6-4 victory in extra-time and this victory meant that Stars have confirmed their Finals Series spot. 

Steel 49 – 59 Pulse

An energetic start from Pulse, along with some sensational shooting saw them beat Steel in the opening game of Round 11.

Right from the off Pulse put on the defensive pressure and made sure they capitalised of every turnover they made taking the ball down the court to their ever accurate Silver Ferns shooting duo: Aliyah Dunn and Tiana Metuarau.

Dunn only missed one shot all game, adding 44 goals to her season tally and taking her to the top of the goals scored charts with 508 goals this season.

Whilst Metuarau sits 8th in the leagues shooting charts, having missed just two goals in this fixture.

Tactix 51 – 57 Magic  

The second match of Round 12 again had to be decided in extra-time with both teams ending on 51 goals after 60 minutes.

Silver Fern shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio scored the equaliser for Magic with just four seconds to spare and netted 33 out of her 36 attempts throughout the match. 

Magic dominated throughout extra-time, keeping the home side scoreless to complete an exciting win, with hard-working centre Claire Kersten in the middle of the action both on attack and defensively.

Both teams are out of Finals Series contention. 

Tactix 43 – 51 Pulse

Pulse’s victory at the weekend means that they now sit in top spot. The two teams were evenly matched up until the final quarter, however Pulse dominated the final quarter 14-7, meaning they came out as eventual winners 51-43.

Pulse goal keeper and Silver Fern Kelly Jury, who leads the premiership in deflection
and intercepts
, took another MVP award after making 4 interceptions and 9 deflections during the match.

In the attacking end, Whitney Souness did a great job of feeding her shooters throughout the match with 30 feeds and 15 goal assists to her name, as well as 25 centre-pass receives. Souness has received the most amount of centre passes so far in the league.

The Pulse now top the ladder, and a victory over the Mystics on Friday will secure them the right to host the Grand Final.

Coming up…

The final match of Round 12 will take place on Friday 3rd June between Mystics and Pulse at the Trusts Arena in Auckland, and there are a few re-arranged fixtures due to take place from the 1st – 4th June before the Finals Series begins on the 8th June.

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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