Mystics thump Tactix in netball’s big upset

The return of Grace Nweke and Peta Toeava in the Mystics starting line-up has spurred them to a surprise 61-49 ANZ Premiership win over competition leaders the Tactix.

The Mystics signalled they can be a force in the netball playoffs, with their win taking them just one point behind the third-placed Magic, with three rounds in the regular competition remaining.

The Tactix had only lost one match this season, while the Mystics had lost four of their last five matches, but that counted for nothing as they mounted an irresistible first quarter onslaught, providing Nweke with clean possession, which she converted into easy points.

Nweke had 15 minutes of court time in their last match, in her gradual return from a knee injury, but her effect on her own team – and conversely her opponents – as she took the court from the outset this time was telling.

She scored 19 from 20 attempts in the first quarter as the Mystics led 21-11.

Nweke and Toeava were given a breather in the second quarter and the Tactix were able to pull back to be seven points adrift at halftime.

But the pair returned in the second half, and Tactix could not come up with good enough answers to change the course of the match.

A crucial part of the Mystics victory was also the defending by Phoenix Karaka in cutting down the number of attempts Tactix shooter Ellie Bird had at goal.

The 12-point loss will cause plenty of soul-searching for the Tactix, whose coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek announced this week she is stepping down at the end of the season. They struggled without Erikana Pedersen who suffered an ankle injury leading into match.

The Pulse will have the chance to join them at the head of the table when they play the Steel on Monday evening.

Mystics skipper Michaela Sokolich-Beatson said that having Nweke and Toeava on court for 30 minutes was a boost. “It allows us to do our roles,” she told Sky Sport.

“To get all of our 12 players on the court is a real team effort and that is how I like to win.”

Tactix skipper Kimiora Poi rued the first quarter, and said even though they were expecting the speed and flair of Toeava and Nweke, they couldn’t contain them.

“We just let them come out and walk all over us.”

Poi said the team would learn from the loss and make the players hungrier for the next three matches.

Nweke shot 42 from 47 attempts in the match and had good support from Filda Vui with 13 from 16, while Bird was still impressive, landing 19 from 21.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button