Last weekend saw the beginning of the inaugural ANZ Netball Premiership with all the teams in action on the first Super Sunday held in Hamilton.
The Central Pulse held their nerve to close out a close 56-55 win over the Mystics in the opening round of the national netball Premiership. The Pulse’s Phoenix Karaka was named most valuable player.
The seconds match saw the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic beat the Mainland Tactix 71-48. Defender Casey Kopua returned to the Magic after a season on the sidelines and showed her competitive edge had not been dulled.
The new shooting combination of South African import Lenize Potgieter and Monica Falkner were deadly accurate, not missing a shot as the Magic took a 16-14 lead into the first break.
The Tactix struggled to cope with the Magic’s long-limbed defenders as the home team pushing out to a 30-24 lead at half time.
A number of changes, including the switch of Grace Rasmussen from wing attack to goal attack, were seamless as the home team moved into overdrive and sealed the win. Rasmussen was named most valuable player.
Another match saw the Southern Steel defeat the Northern Stars 75-57. As the best New Zealand side last year in the final season of the trans-Tasman championship and with four Silver Ferns in their mix, the Steel showed the benefits of a settled line-up.
Both teams netted 16 goals in the third quarter before the first Fijian import, shooter Afa Rusivakula, lifted energy levels with the Stars following her fourth quarter substitution, shooting eight goals from 10 attempts.
A late flourish from the Steel saw them post nine more points than their opponents in the final quarter, with Jhaniele Fowler-Reid top scoring in the match with 52 goals from 54 attempts.
The Steel’s Gina Crampton was named most valuable player.
The final match of round one saw the Magic claim their second victory over the Northern Stars with a score of 67 – 47.
Round 2 begins on 2 April 2017.