The Northern Mystics are preparing for a demanding weekend which will have substantial ramifications on their ANZ Premiership playoff aspirations.

The Southern Steel are locked into hosting the major final, but the fight to make the preliminary final will be contested between the Mystics, Central Pulse and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, with two spots up for grabs.

That race looks set for a close conclusion with three games to go, with the Magic and Pulse on 16 points, and the Mystics just a further point behind going into this weekend's Super Sunday triple header in Auckland.

After an inconsistent start to the season, the Mystics have found form of late, claiming crucial wins over the Pulse and Magic and giving the Steel their toughest challenge of the season before losing on a last-second goal.


They have a comparatively easy finish to their season with a finale next week against the cellar-dwelling Mainland Tactix, but they first have to navigate a busy weekend ahead, taking on the Northern Stars tomorrow and Magic on Monday.

Mystics assistant coach Jenny-May Clarkson believes the Mystics still will have to win all their remaining games to make the playoffs.

"There's a lot to be happy about in terms of the performance [against the Steel]. We've been building towards it and starting to see some consistency. We have to win all three of those games and then it comes down to mathematics after that," she told Radio Sport.

Despite the must-win mantra, Clarkson is wary about having to rest and rotate their squad with the upcoming two games in two days.

"There's no way around it. We can't afford to put their bodies under that much stress over the two days. We have to be smart about how we manage our players."

Super Sunday also sees the Pulse play the Tactix and the Magic take on the Steel. If everything goes to form tomorrow, Monday's game between the Magic and Mystics could double as a playoff decider.