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2024 ANZ Premiership Round 9 Preview

June 6, 2024

2024 ANZ Premiership Round 9 Preview


Take a look at the three match-ups coming in Round 9 of the 2024 ANZ Premiership.

4pm, Saturday 8 June

Stars v Steel at Pulman Arena in Auckland

Live on Sky Sport and free to air on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+

International streaming on www.netballpass.com

A captivating match awaits at Pulman Arena with one team looking bounce back from a large loss and the other continuing to go close but still searching for their first win of the season. The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel got the better of the Stars when they met in Round 4 but this time the northerners will be at home.

There will be a nervous wait for the hosts on the outcome influential midcourter Mila Reuelu-Buchanan who was carried from the court in their narrow loss to the Magic last Monday night.

Captain Maia Wilson admitted to the “missing connection” when her “workhorse” centre left the court, and they would need to work on their “first and second phase” on attack to ensure the ball made it into the shooting circle with less stress. But the shooter continued to believe her side was not far away from shaking the monkey off their back this season.

Every game I have the belief that we can win. The fight is there the ability is there regardless. We just need to be able to do it for 60-minutes.”

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The Steel may also be searching for a bit of their own belief after a disappointing 20-goal loss to the Pulse. The Steel will take some solace in taking the second quarter but will need to bounce back having been outplayed across the board.

Despite having grabbed two more wins than the Stars this season, the two teams sit on the same points at the bottom of the table – the latter recording six key bonus points in their string of narrow losses.

4pm, Sunday 9 June

Magic v Tactix at GLOBOX Arena in Hamilton

Live on Sky Sport

International streaming on www.netballpass.com

It’s hard to go past this match for Round 9 with the Trident Homes Tactix sitting second on the Premiership ladder but meeting an AVIS Magic side that continues to produce the goods. The Magic are breathing down the neck of the top three in the league and will be targeting this game at home to continue their rise through the ranks.

The loss of midcourter Ali Wilshier late in their match against the Stars will be of concern with what looked like a serious knee injury. They will look to their experienced heads to step up if Wilshier is out of action and Claire O’Brien was one to stand out last week.

“I think Cob (O’Brien) is awesome,” captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio said.

“She’s a real workhorse, she does what needs to be done and she’s got that little Aussie flair in her as well.”

The Tactix will take plenty of confidence into the match after dominating the Mystics last week. The attack end were on song, but it was the defensive duo of Jane Watson and Karin Burger who caught the eye and the two will again be key to shut down the Magic shooting circle.

“They just bring that experience, the loud noise, that confusing of the space, and they come up with some good ball for us,” captain Kimiora Poi said.

She was pleased with the win over the Mystics but was calling for more from her team, edging ever closer to the elusive 60-minute performance.

“I feel we got close, but I think we could have pushed on and gone for a 20-goal lead,” she said. “We let them come back a little bit and just some sloppy errors there.”

7.30pm, Monday 10 June

Pulse v Mystics at Te Raupahara Arena in Porirua

Live on Sky Sport

International streaming on www.netballpass.com

Only six points separate these two teams on the points table, but they seem worlds apart with how they are travelling at the midway stage of the league. Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse produced an all-round team performance in an impressive victory over the Steel last week while the MG Mystics are struggling to find the positives from their latest outing.

The Pulse entered the ANZ Premiership record books in Round 8 delivering the highest-ever opening quarter in the league and pushed on for a comprehensive display. Watch out for injury replacement player Martina Salmon, who has earned a fulltime contract with the Pulse for the rest of the season and will face a stiff challenge against Mystics defenders Phoenix Karaka and Carys Stythe.

Karaka, who was the stand-in captain during the loss to the Tactix last week, could not hide her frustrations with the Mystics’ performance and felt the Auckland-side was struggling to find “the enjoyment” in their game.

“We know we’re better than that,” she said after the 14-goal defeat.

She said there were many factors in their recent form.

“Self-responsibility, ownership, accountability of yourself and I just don’t think we’re showing that at the Mystics at the moment. We showed it in preseason but it’s almost like we’ve relaxed during the season and it’s just frustrating.”

The loss of star shooter Grace Nweke hasn’t helped, and they must be hoping the Silver Fern is close to returning to the action.

© Scoop Media

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