NOTICE: The second round of the ANZ Premiership showed that we are in a tight season, with only one of the first round winners standing up. Thing looks at the big storylines before the third round.
The stars of the name – just stars.
The team that wears purple and made their home at Pulman Arena are currently at the top of the ladder with two wins to their name. But they would like us to get their name correctly, so they took the time this week to email and “remind the media of their name change, drop the word Nordic”. It’s just the Stars from here on out – a change made because Northern didn’t fit well with their goal of representing South Auckland, which we say: pretty well.
Shooting for the moon
Shooters always like to see a nine early in their shooting percentage rather than an eight (or worse), but hitting that mark is easier said than done. Aliyah Dunn (91%) and Maia Wilson (90%) were the only two to get there last season, while Dunn (91%) and George Fisher (a whopping 97%) are the only two currently, Fisher has made his 42 attempts in Southern Steel’s loss to the Northern Mystics last Saturday.
Don’t worry if you miss any of the matchups on this round – because you’ll have a chance to see them again in just two weeks. By the end of the fourth round, each of the six ANZ Premiership teams will have faced four of their five rivals. But instead of finishing the set in the fifth round, they will once again face the teams they played in the third round. It won’t be until the eighth round, on the Queen’s birthday weekend, that everyone has played against everyone, and we’ll get a real sense of the situation this season.
Are we wrong about the Tactix?
Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek admitted in pre-season that they might have already “pulled off a few wins from people who don’t expect too much of us” and that they can’t “squeeze in. now ”that they were ranked as favorites of the title. After two heavy losses, is it too early to reassess these expectations? The answer is yes, but they can’t get Te Paea Selby-Rickit back fast enough.
It must be the first to come up, between Southern Steel and Central Pulse at Southland Stadium in Invercargill on Sunday afternoon. The Steels have been the surprise package so far and will enjoy being back in front of their home fans, while the Pulse rebounded well from their first loss passing Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic last weekend.
ANZ Premiership third round
Sunday May 2, 4:15 p.m .: Southern Steel vs. Central Pulse; Southland Stadium, Invercargill
Sunday May 2, 6.15 p.m .: Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic v Stars; Trustpower Arena, Tauranga
Monday May 3, 7:15 p.m .: Northern Mystics vs. Mainland Tactix; Trusts Arena, Auckland
Points (games played): Stars 6 (2), Pulse 4 (2), Mystics 4 (2), Magic 3 (2), Steel 3 (2), Tactix 0 (2)
Stuff MVP Ranking
4 points: Gina Crampton (stars), George Fisher (steel), Anna Harrison (stars), Maia Wilson (stars)
3 points: Kelly Jury (Pulse), Grace Nweke (Mystiques), Sam Winders (Magic)
2 points: Caitlin Bassett, Aliyah Dunn (Pulse), Shannon Saunders (Steel), Peta Toeava (Mystics)