Tactix 62
Magic 60

The Mainland Tactix have been long known as one of New Zealand's weakest franchises having never made the playoffs in their 11-year history.

But the Christchurch-based side are now on the brink of securing a spot in the ANZ Premiership elimination final after defeating the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 62-60.

In the tightly contested clash at Hamilton's Claudelands Arena, the Tactix claimed their first ANZ Premiership victory over the Magic to overtake the third-placed Northern Mystics on the ladder and put themselves back in contention for the playoffs.


The wait is now on to see whether the Mystics will pull off a miracle win over the Central Pulse on Wednesday night. Should the Northerners claim victory over the league leaders, the highly-contested finals spot will be decided by percentage and as things stand, the Mystics hold a 1.62 per cent advantage.

Meanwhile, injured Magic captain Casey Kopua will undoubtedly be disappointed with her side's final standing in fifth on the Premiership ladder after an injury-ravaged campaign.

The Magic defence unit continued to waver without their influential skipper while leading Tactix duo Temalisi Fakahokotau and Jane Watson caused early problems for the Waikato shooters.

Working in unison to contain the accurate Lenize Potgieter, the defending duo limited the Magic's opportunity to score. And with sharpshooter Ellie Bird in sublime form, the Tactix secured an early lead.

Briefly widening their advantage in the second quarter, the Tactix returned to the court with energy and passion. Meanwhile, the Magic proved they were just as desperate as they kept the pressure on their Mainland rivals.

Providing plenty of speed and spark throughout the midcourt, Tactix center Kimiora Poi ensured her side gained momentum, but it wasn't enough to shake the resilient Magic with only a slim one-goal lead at halftime.

The Tactix struggled to decisively pull ahead on the scoreboard in the final quarters as the Magic clawed back to set the match at goal-for-goal play.

As the battle continued, on-court Magic captain Sam Sinclair was in the thick of the action for her side, while Poi and Charlotte Elley were equally effective in the middle for the Tactix.


And although the Magic put up a fight, the Tactix held their ground with grit and determination.

With a stunning run of goals from Bird in the final minutes of the clash, the Tactix secured victory in what could be considered one of the most exhilarating matches of the season.

The Mystics will play the Pulse on Wednesday night at Wellington's TSB Bank Arena ahead of the elimination finals hosted by the Southern Steel on August 8.