It was the last round of the ANZ Premiership this weekend before the Elimination Final, between Pulse and Stars takes place on the 28th May.
Mystics were crowned the 2023 Minor Championship winners after finishing top of the league, meaning they have already secured their spot in the Grand Final against the winners of the Elimination Final.
All teams were out in action in the final round, and here is our International Player Watch so that you can find out more:
Pulse 45 – 54 Tactix
Tactix came out on top against the odds to beat top of the table Pulse in the first match of Round 12.
Tactix went into this match knowing that to keep their own finals series dream alive they had to win, but things did not look to be going their way with their wing defence being suspended in the final quarter, and their Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson having her minutes limited due to injury recovery.
A quick turnover from Pulse continued the series of unfortunate events for Tactix, as the home side were able to take a 2-0 lead.
However, Tactix soon responded fired on by none other than their captain and Silver Fern Kimiora Poi, who was eventually awarded Most Valuable Player for her performance at wing attack, and by the first break the score was back at equal at 13-13.
The second quarter then promised more of the same, with the game resuming and going goal-for-goal until Tactix defenders Kate Lloyd and Paris Lokotui teamed up to make a series of deflections allowing their side to take a 22-27 lead into half-time.
It was not until the fourth quarter that Tactix managed to secure the win though, with Pulse never giving up, but the visitors did just enough to get over the line.
Stars 58 – 63 Mystics
Mystics won the 2023 Minor Championship this weekend, securing themselves a guaranteed spot in the Grand Final, after they beat Stars 58-63 to finish top of the table even with one game in hand.
The visitors got off to a flying start, shooting past Stars to take an early 18-13 lead into the first break, however from the second quarter onwards the contest became heated.
Although Mystics remained on top when the match resumed after the first break, Stars soon warmed up with Silver Fern Elle Temu and Fijian Pearl Kelera Nawai-Caucau teaming up terrifically in defence to cause Mystics problems for the first time.
The duo’s hard work paid off as the eventually drew the second quarter, leaving the score at 28-33 to Mystics with a big second half ahead.
After Mystics won the third quarter battle, with Silver Fern shooter Grace Nweke making her presence known under the post, Stars then went on to make a final quarter comeback winning the 15-minutes 17-15 but it was too little too late, and they could not catch the league winners.
Steel 52 – 53 Magic
Magic gave Mes a send-off in style this weekend as they beat Steel in the final second 52-53 in what was to be Bailey Mes’ final national league match as she this week announced her retirement from the Silver Ferns and domestic league netball.
In terms of league positions, neither team had anything left to play for this season but it was clear they both still wanted to finish their seasons on a high.
Steel certainly started the strongest with all hands-on deck when it came to defence and winning the ball, as they produced a number of deflections and intercepts throughout the court.
Magic slowly began to grow into the game, and brought the score back to 13-12 with 45 minutes still to play.
The second quarter saw both teams produce very similar performances once again, but the calm heads of Mes and fellow Silver Fern Ameliaranne Ekenasio under the post for Magic allowed them to claw their way back into the contest and keep the deficit to just 1 goal going into the final 30 minutes of their season.
When it mattered most in the second half it was the experience of players such as Mes and Ekenasio that won the match for their team with a last gasp winner.
Mystics 64 – 61 Tactix
In both teams second match of Round 12, it was Tactix that fell short despite battling until the end against the already confirmed 2023 Minor Championship winners, Mystics.
Following four closely contested quarters, with each team winning two each, this match required extra time to decide the winner thanks to Silver Fern and Tactix shooter Aliyah Dunn scoring a final second normal time equaliser.
Another Silver Fern that played her part for Tactix was Jane Watson, who despite her injury managed to put the Mystics shooters under immense pressure.
However, in extra time it just wasn’t to be for Tactix as once again Mystics experience and confidence from a winning season proved too much with the Minor Champions winning extra time 7-4 and the match 64 – 61.
International fans can catch up on any of the action they have missed on NetballPass now.
To view the full fixture list, click here.
To find out more about the ANZ Premiership, click here.
To find out more about the start date of the other domestic leagues around the world, visit our Domestic League page here.