ANZ Premiership: Magic heap more misery on Tactix

Erikana Pedersen of the Tactix and the Magic's Casey Kopua perform an interpretive dance. Photo / Photosport
Erikana Pedersen of the Tactix and the Magic's Casey Kopua perform an interpretive dance. Photo / Photosport

The Magic have heaped more misery on the struggling Mainland Tactix, as the Canterbury side were dealt another hefty defeat in today's ANZ Premiership match-up.

Coming off a 49-goal hiding against the Southern Steel on Wednesday night, the Tactix again came up well short against the Magic, slumping to their fifth straight defeat.

A 16-11 final quarter effort proved the only bright spot for the Tactix, with the late rally saving the homeside another 20-plus goal rout on their home court.

Despite the fourth quarter lapse, the Magic will be buoyed by the 61-46 win having gone into the match on a two-game losing streak. The result boosted the Magic to the top of the table with two games still to be played in round five.

The Waikato-Bay of Plenty side will be particularly pleased with the output of their shooters, with import Lenize Potgieter and young goal attack Monica Falkner both returning impressive stats from the match.

Potgieter leapt to the top of the ANZ Premiership scoring list with a 38/41 (93%) effort, while Falkner had her best performance of her fledgling top-level career, notching 17/18 (94%).

With Ariana Cable-Dixon returning to the starting line-up, the Magic looked dangerous from the outset as the young centre combined brilliantly with silky wing attack Grace Rasmussen in driving the visitors attacking momentum.

The visitors also proved more than a handful on defence as captain Casey Kopua, her young sidekick Kelly Jury and livewire wing defence Samantha Sinclair left their imprint against a struggling Tactix. Turnovers hurt the Tactix, the Magic's extra volume evident on the scoreboard when the visitors took a 16-7 lead at the first break.

The Tactix made a strong start on the resumption, trimming the margin to five on the back of better attacking movement and defensive pick-ups from the hard-working Zoe Walker. But the swing in momentum was short-lived, the Magic responding in style to any threat the home team provided.

Tactix shooter Brooke Leaver held her own under the post in the face of an intense examination from Kopua and Jury but lacked enough ball in her hands.

At the other end, the placement of ball into Potgieter was outstanding as the Magic pulled out to a 31-18 lead at the main break.

The Magic continued to dominate proceedings through the third stanza, Sinclair making her presence felt with a string of turnovers while her teammates produced some sparkling passages of play.

Potgieter ruled the Magic's baseline under the hoop, potting most opportunities that came her way while 18-year-old goal attack Amorangi Malesala enjoyed her first run at this level with a highly successful cameo.

There was no relief for the Tactix, with the Magic continuing to exert relentless full-court pressure while making the most of their opportunities to lead 50-30 heading down the home straight.

- NZ Herald

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