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Trident Homes Tactix Defeat Avis Magic 53-52 In Hamilton

6 May, 2024

The Trident Homes Tactix clung on by their fingernails to defeat Avis Magic, 54-53, in Hamilton and remain unbeaten after four rounds of the ANZ Premiership.

It was a game where the lead see-sawed back and forth, right down to the final minutes, and one in which neither side was able to establish any control, under constant defensive pressure.

Tactix sit unbeaten with the Pulse – who they will meet on Sunday – but the Magic could easily have claimed their second scalp of the season.

The game was marked by impressive shooting across the board – especially Magic captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio, who shot 30 from 33 at goal attack, well supported by Saviour Tui on 23 from 26.

But it was ultimately the established heads in the Tactix defence, led by the versatile ANZ Fans' Player of the Match Karin Burger, who saw them through by the smallest of margins.

Both sides took almost a quarter to really settle into their work. But it was the Magic, coming off their first victory of the season over the Stars, who were all over the Tactix at the centre pass, and the home side took a quick three-goal lead.

At goal shoot, Tui held her own on the baseline against an energetic Jane Watson, but it was her shooting partner, Ekenasio, doing the majority of the leg work – from collecting centre passes, to shooting at goal attack.

Erena Mikaere had some early wins in the Magic defence, with Georgia Takarangi successful as a nuisance, but at the opposite end, Karin Burger responded in kind for the Tactix.

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Towards the end of the second spell, the Tactix fell into their rhythm, drilling long passes into Ellie Bird, and a couple of well-timed turnovers pushed them ahead by five. The Magic brought that back to trail 15-12 at the first break.

The Magic came out firing to snatch the lead after the break, forcing the Tactix to make a defensive change swapping Greer Sinclair out for Paris Lokotui – who straightaway fired in a beautiful long bomb into Bird’s hands under the hoop.

That’s when the momentum swung back the Tactix way, through the combined pressure of Watson and Burger, and the vision of the Tactix midcourters led by Kimiora Poi into their shooters.

Down 28-24 at halftime, the Magic again started the quarter strongly, and through clever feeds from Claire O’Brien and Ekenasio and a couple of impressive rebounds from Tui, got back within two. Then a Takarangi intercept – her third of five in the match - helped tie the scores.

At 37-all, Watson went to the bench replaced by Kate Lloyd at goal keep, but it wasn’t enough to break the deadlock and the Tactix led 41-40 going into the final stanza. (At 16-13, it was the Magic’s first second-half quarter win of the season).

Another Takarangi intercept and smooth long shots from Ekenasio put the Magic back on top. But when the Tactix changed their circle defenders, introducing Lokotui at goal defence with Burger at goal keep, it immediately paid dividends.

The Magic gave everything they had left, and brought the scores level with a minute left. But a brave intercept by Lokotui then made sure they held on at the bitter end.

Official Result and Stats:

Avis Magic:


Trident Homes Tactix:


Shooting Stats - Magic:

Ameliaranne Ekenasio 30/33 (91%)

Saviour Tui 23/26 (88%)

Shooting Stats - Tactix:

Ellie Bird 36/40 (90%)

Te Paea Selby-Rickit 18/22 (82%)

ANZ Fans' Player of the Match:

Karin Burger

© Scoop Media

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