Wellington Shakers 43 Waikato Magic 62
Capital Shakers may have questioned their reported rejection of the $1.45m asking price for Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic's superstar shooter Irene van Dyk, after she put in a million-dollar performance against the Wellington franchise yesterday.
The Silver Fern put up 55 goals in a game that saw the Shakers defeated by a Magic team fresh from their nail-biting encounter with the Southern Sting last weekend.
Van Dyk was only two goals shy of the perfect game, taking her missed shot count to a miserly four shots in the past two rounds.
Magic coach Noeline Taurua confirmed there was a team discussion held about the pay packet controversy but believed it didn't have any effect on the team's match preparation.
"We did discuss a lot of the things as a team and about the issue surrounding Irene. We were expecting the unexpected," Taurua said.
"We looked to offload too much instead of creating space. We needed to attack the ball better and, defensively, we needed to put the shots up," she said. "I have to be realistic about it. I have such high expectations of this team, so if I think they can do better, I will tell them - otherwise I am not doing my job as a coach."
Van Dyk's towering 1.90m frame gave her a significant height advantage over the Shakers' defence, benefiting from those characteristic lob-pass feeds to within one metre of the goal post.
Shakers coach WaimaramaTaumaunu was not satisfied with her team's effort over the full 60 minutes. "In order to be competitive in this league, you need to be competitive for four quarters, not three. We are capable of playing that sort of netball."
The Shakers fronted in the first quarter. At one point, they were able to string together an unanswered five-goal run for a 15-13 lead.
However, the second half saw the undoing of their promising start when the Shakers became visibly unsettled and committed a series of errors - stepping and failure to connect critical passes equalled valuable turnover ball for the Magic.