The Mainland Tactix have claimed their first back-to-back victory since round one of the 2018 ANZ Premiership season.
The Tactix snatched second place on the Premiership ladder from the defending champion Southern Steel, defeating the Northern Mystics 50-40 at Nelson's Trafalgar Centre.
Tactix on-court captain Jane Watson was pleased with her side's ability to "continue building" after a confidence-boosting win over the Steel last week. And despite finishing at the bottom of the league last season, the side now look on track to make the playoffs in August.
Although, a hefty win for the Tactix wasn't expected after goal-for-goal play dominated the opening quarter of the third and final fixture between the two sides this season.
And with evenly matched defensive line-ups, it was up to the midcourt and shooters to set the sides apart.
The feisty Tactix defensive duo of Temalisi Fakahokotau and Jane Watson were a threatening match-up for the Mystics, as the pair continued to prove why they lead in the league's defensive statistics.
Snatching the most rebounds of the clash, Fakahokotau made sure Mystics shooters Bailey Mes and Jamie Hume felt her presence.
A couple of back-to-back goal runs from the Tactix saw the Mainland side find a narrow lead in the second quarter, as the Mystics' rhythm became sluggish around the circle edge.
Meanwhile, Tactix shooter Ellie Bird was accurate and efficient under the hoop despite being stacked against the tough defensive efforts from Mystics captain Anna Harrison and Silver Fern Phoenix Karaka.
An eight-point lead to the Tactix in the third quarter saw the Mystics' frustrations rise, with the scoreline reflecting the Northerner's failed attempts to convert.
In a desperate bid to turn things around, Mystics coach Helene Wilson made an unusual change by moving Mes into goal attack while calling Hume on at goal shoot.
The shift in dynamic did see the Northern side claw back some lost ground in the final quarters of the clash, but it wasn't enough to threaten the Tactix's decisive lead.
While Fakahokotau and Watson showed no intention of slowing down, the Tactix played with passion and strength in the final minutes of the game. And with the midcourt providing flawless ball to their shooters, the Tactix eased their way to victory.
Katrina Grant's Central Pulse will face the Southern Steel tomorrow night at Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland.
The Steel will be desperate for a win in order to keep up with the pre-season favourites, who currently lead the league with 17 points.