Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Netball: Magic confident ahead of Monday's netball semi

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Leana de Bruin, left, will lead the Cold Power Magic in Monday night's semifinal. Photo/File
Leana de Bruin, left, will lead the Cold Power Magic in Monday night's semifinal. Photo/File

NSW Swifts have won the past three games against Cold Power Magic but that counts for nothing when it comes to ANZ Championship playoffs.

Magic captain Leana de Bruin is confident her team will win Monday night's elimination semifinal against the Swifts at Claudelands in Hamilton.

"The most important part will be to focus on our own game but we must stick to them because our fourth quarters have been really good. That's how we beat them two years ago in the semifinal," de Bruin said.

"They will be coming in firing after losing last week.

"When you have lost you definitely look at your game in a bit more depth and see where you can change things. They will be disappointed with that loss.

"Like any game that is do or die you play your best netball and they will bring their best game to us."

Last week the Magic were superb in beating the Southern Steel in their home fortress in Invercargill.

That win clinched the New Zealand Conference title and a home semifinal against the Swifts.

It was set up by a brilliant first quarter of precise, fast-paced netball.

"We haven't been starting well in the past and we haven't actually played 60 minutes of good netball consistently," de Bruin said.

"I think we let ourselves down a little bit in the third quarter but it was great just the way we played our own game.

"We know that when we let the ball go that is when we play well and when we work together as a defensive unit we get some good ball off the opposition.

"That was really pleasing for me to see."

The Magic is the only ANZ Championship team to have played in all nine ANZ Championship Final Series and are in hot form after winning eight of their last 10 games.

De Bruin says early season injuries hit the team hard.

"It is always a little bit tricky when you have to train and there are only six fit players. It makes preparation for a game really hard.

"We have stepped up our training and we want to train like we play.

"So our training has been pretty intensive and when it comes to the games they have been a little bit easier than trainings and that is what you strive for in a team unit.

"In the last four weeks that has been especially good."

Claudelands is an intimidating venue for opposing sides when full to bursting which is what de Bruin is hoping for on Monday night.

"It is extremely important to us. It is like an eighth player.

"When you are playing at home it is always a buzz and you want to play your best and make people proud, especially your fans."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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