The ANZ Premiership playoff race will come down to the final game of the regular season after a colossal chokejob by the Northern Mystics.

The Mystics merely needed to lose by less than five against the 10-1 outsider Mainland Tactix to secure their spot in the playoffs, while a win would have likely earned them hosting rights for the preliminary final.

Instead, a 57-46 humbling by the Tactix leaves the Mystics' playoff hopes out of their control. The Mystics sit in the third and final playoff spot on 19 points, but could be overtaken on goal percentage by the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

To do so, the Magic would have to beat the Northern Stars by 16 goals or more - an unlikely scenario, considering the Magic have lost six of their last seven games, but by no means impossible.


Potentially aiding the Magic is that the Stars will have nothing to play for, but neither did the Tactix, and they put in their best showing of the season to blow away the Mystics.

The Tactix had claimed just one win all season, but shone in their final game, earning 59 per cent possession and hoisting 21 more shots than the Mystics. It was a drastic turnaround after the two sides' earlier meetings, in which the Mystics claimed comfortable 12 and 24 goal victories.

"We've been hiding that all season, haven't we," joked Tactix goal attack Anna Thompson.

"We had nothing to lose and were much more consistent, I'm so proud of the girls."

The Mystics were without veteran defender Anna Harrison, but that didn't account for their sloppy display, with a slew of errors giving the Tactix deserved dominance.

"We didn't respond, it was incredibly painful to be watching," said Harrison, who will be a nervous observer on Wednesday night when the Magic take on the Stars.

"We can't be in a position where you're relying on other people, we needed to prove it and do it ourselves."

The Mystics only missed five shots, but their lack of ball retention saw them struggle to get the ball into the attacking third as they slumped to the stunning defeat.

The result means that the Central Pulse will host the preliminary final next Sunday. They can go into the playoffs on a high when they take on the 14-0 Southern Steel tomorrow night.