Round 5 of the ANZ Premiership was Heritage Round, which celebrates the evolution of the league, its teams, where they have come from and what they are today.
In a true demonstration of just how brilliant the league is Round 5 saw the league leaders change, individual milestones celebrated and multiple New Zealand Silver Ferns shine.
International fans can now catch up on all the action via NetballPass.
Here is a quick summary of just some of the international players that made their mark in Round 5:
Steel 48 – 64 Mystics
A second quarter masterclass from Mystics, allowed them to fly past Steel in the opening match of the heritage round.
Steel made the first turnover of the game, but they then weren’t able to produce when it mattered most in the final third, as they failed to convert their shots on goal.
Mystics on the other hand were clinical in the shooting circle, with New Zealand Silver Fern Grace Nweke missing just one shot all game and finishing the hour with 47 more goals taking her up to 2nd in the leagues goal scoring charts.
The Mystics attack were moving the ball with speed and accuracy throughout the court, with New Zealand Under 21 squad member’s Katie Te Ao and Tayla Earle showcasing their athleticism and skill as they linked up beautifully throughout the midcourt.
Steel dug deep in the final quarter to try and cut the margin down, and their efforts were very nearly rewarded with a quarter win as the 4th quarter score finished 12-13 to Mystics.
No comeback would have been enough to catch this Mystics side in Round 5 though, as they closed out the game at 48-64, having won all four quarters.
Pulse 47 – 48 Magic
The second match of Round 5 was a fiercely contested battle between two teams fighting to stay in touch with the top three of the league, and it was clear from the off just how much both teams wanted the win.
The lead changed hands continuously throughout the clash with the teams sharing the quarter victories evenly, as Pulse won the first and the last, and Magic the second and third.
Going into the final quarter, nothing could separate the teams as the score sat at 37 – 37, leaving it all still to play for.
As the final 15-minutes went goal-for-goal, the match was crying out for an individual to step up and steal the show, and this time that was Magic and New Zealand’s, Claire Kersten.
Kersten made a vital interception which Magic then went on to score from, denying Pulse the opportunity to take the match to extra time.
Despite being on the eventual losing side by a one goal margin, another Silver Fern that deserves celebrating following this match is Whitney Souness.
This was Souness’ 100th match in the ANZ Premiership, and whilst the result might not have been what she was looking for she certainly put out an 100th performance to be proud of making 30 feeds and 15 goal assists.
Stars 57 – 48 Tactix
Stars shot into their match against Tactix, getting off to a flying start which eventually secured them the victory despite a second half come-back from Tactix.
The hosts won first two quarters 16-12 and 16-11, in a first half that was a true example of “teamwork makes the dream work”.
Dynamic Silver Ferns duo Gina Crampton and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan were untouchable, keeping the ball safe as they took it through court to their shooters, who were then clinical under the post.
Reuelu-Buchanan was eventually rewarded for her standout performance with the Most Valuable Player Award, as she finished the match with 42 circle feeds, two gains and two interceptions.
In the second half as Tactix sparked a come-back it was then Stars defences’ time to shine, with Silver Fern Elle Temu a key part of that defensive unit that saw out the match for Stars, as they won 57-48 putting some all-important points on the board.
Pulse 51 – 56 Mystics
For the second time this week Pulse and Mystics took to court for the final match of round 5.
With Pulse the leagues defending champions and Mystics the current league leaders, this match-up was expected to be heated and it did not disappoint.
Despite having taken to court, and lost by one goal, just over 24 hours ago Pulse started the strongest of the two teams with New Zealand Silver Fern’s Kelly Jury and Tiana Metuarau working tirelessly at opposite ends of the court.
However, as the partnership between New Zealand’s Grace Nweke and Samoa’s Peta Toeava continued to flourish Mystics began to pull ahead, following a second quarter blip.
The battle between the two Ferns, Jury and Nweke, was one international fans loved to watch and it was eventually young gun Nweke that came out on top with 46 goals to her name, helping Mystics win 56-51.
International fans can catch up on any of the action they have missed on NetballPass now.
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