Netball’s Talking Points: Mainland Tactix secure second place and Melbourne Vixens fly

Securing Grand Final spots, stunning statements and plenty of drama filled the Southern Hemisphere’s netball weekend.

Over the past few days, the ANZ Premiership franchises all took another step towards the Finals Series on August 23 while Suncorp Super Netball returned for its second round.

Across the board there were thrilling contests, head-turning individual and team performances and as always, plenty of to discuss.

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Tactix secure second

Round Nine of the ANZ Premiership, the penultimate round before the Finals Series takes place Invercargill, was a strong one for the Mainland Tactix as they secured second position in the ladder.

Captain Jane Watson and her side first beat the Mystics 43-42 before pressing past the Pulse on Monday and that ensures that they will play in their first Grand Final.

The 2020 season, due to the coronavirus pandemic, goes straight to a Finals Series which will feature three back-to-back matches on August 23, live on Sky Sports.

ANZ Premiership – Finals Series – Live on Sky Sports on August 23

“It’s amazing,” Watson said after their 39-32 win over the Pulse. “The girls, I’m so proud of them. We’ve really worked hard and have built every week.”

Scheduling wise, the Tactix’s Round Nine was a brutal one with two matches on consecutive days, so fatigue was a slight factor in their second match against the Pulse.

From a Pulse perspective, they had to contend with needing to rest both Maddy Gordon and Ameliaranne Ekenasio due to an injury precaution and an illness.

The Tactix pushed through their fatigue, while the Pulse didn’t look as settled as they would normally do throughout the 48 minutes.

In Round Ten, the Tactix will meet the Steel and the Pulse will play the Stars on Sunday, followed by the Magic on Monday.

ANZ Premiership – Round Nine Results

Drama, drama, drama

Over in Suncorp Super Netball, the NSW Swifts – the defending champions – and West Coast Fever had a stormer of an encounter to complete the second round.

The Swifts found themselves eight goals down at half-time (41-33) however a stunning 27-11 third quarter put them in the driving seat (60-52).

Round ✌🏾 Renaissance 🖼 📸: @marcela_massey_photography

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After all of their hard work, Fever weren’t going to just hand victory to their opponents though. With a minute and 14 seconds to go, they got back to within one at 72-71, after Jhaniele Fowler’s Super Shot touched nothing but net.

The Fever converted their own centre pass with a single-goal but with time still available, the Swifts were able to do the same and the clock ran away from the Fever.

The intensity was sky-high across the board however the Swifts’ Sophie Garbin turned heads more than most. She scored 21 of 23 of her shots during their pivotal third quarter and finished with an 87.5 final conversion rate to goal.

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Garbo. How good 😎

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Garbo. How good 😎

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Suncorp Super Netball – Round Two Results

An expert opinion

If you are enjoying the ANZ Premiership netball live on Sky Sports, then make sure that you have a second screen with you.

Throughout the matches, some of the northern hemisphere’s top netball minds are continually posting their thoughts and analysis on social media.

Pamela Cookey has been sharing her views throughout the season, as has Scotland head coach and Sky Sports expert Tamsin Greenway.

Well worth waking up for this game. End to end action, multiply momentum swings as each team dug deep when needed to and a last quarter down to the wire finish. Nice. @SkyNetball @ANZPremiership

If you didn’t see it tactix mystics catch up is a must.
Highlights of the last qtr:
Workrate of Poi and pederson
Gray intercepts 👊🏼
Toeava just 👏🏼
Nweke takes 🔥
Experience of SR & Watson
Epic last 15 @SkyNetball

Equally Team Bath Netball’s head coach Anna Stembridge is a firm fixture during the early morning matches.

Also, a group of Vitality Netball Superleague experts and knowledge netball individuals, have come together to form a new club ‘Nogglebox’.

Another one goal victory with Magic having the opportunity to win but missed shots saw the Stars get the chance. Adding to the loss was what looks like a nasty injury to Holly Fowler, hoping it isn’t as bad as it looks.

Vixens make a statement

The second match of the second round in Australia featured the Melbourne Vixens and Queensland Firebirds and it was the Vixens who shone.

The 78-50 victory contained two quarters in which the Vixens notched up tallies of more than 20 on the board and in defence they held firm throughout with 16 gains, seven intercepts and 17 deflections.

A 90 per cent conversation rate to goal, off normal shots, provided the fountains of their work. Despite such a convincing final score, head coach Simone McKinnis still picked out a few things to work on.

“It’s the little things for us… you’ve got disciplined across the game, you don’t want to have those gaps or those moments,” she said, on the Vixens’ website.

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