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Tactix relentless in victory over Magic

The Tactix were relentless in the defeat of the Magic in Hamilton
The Tactix were too strong across the court for the Magic in the latest ANZ Premiership match. PHOTO: NETBALL NZ/MB PHOTOGRAPHY

The Mainland Tactix have scored a comprehensive 60-42 win over the Waikato-BOP Magic in Hamilton to continued their challenge for the top of the ANZ Premiership.


The Tactix side, were accurate and showed few weaknesses from start to finish, increasing the distant between the sides through each quarter and held sway through all areas of the court.


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Defensive gains helped the side to 16 more shots at goal and with just three misses from 63 attempts.


With injury ruling Ali Wilshier out of the contest, young midcourt talent Reeghan de Bono got her first start at the top level in an otherwise settled Magic line-up.


Consistent with their selection options in recent weeks, it was Greer Sinclair who got the nod at wing defence in a familiar Tactix side.


The Tactix held the upper hand from the outset. Polished in their execution with seamless links on attack meant there was plenty of quality early ball for shooters Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Ellie Bird, who needed no second invitation.


The visitors were just as influential at the other end with the experienced defensive firm of Jane Watson and Karin Burger providing an almost impenetrable wall in keeping the Magic shooters under close wraps.


Struggling to penetrate on attack, the Magic introduced Ariana Cable-Dixon in place of de Bono at centre while captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio was on song with her long-range shooting to keep the home side in the contest.


But with more ball in their hands, the Tactix headed to the first break with a 16-11 lead.


The Magic made the best of starts on the resumption, narrowing the gap to two but calm, patient and unflustered the Tactix were able to blunt any challenge the Magic presented.


The shooting connection between Bird and the crafty Selby-Rickit paid off handsomely with their movement, positioning and accuracy remaining a feature.


Needing to slow the Tactix effortless flow, the Magic made wholesale positional changes late in the piece with Oceane Maihi going to goal defence, Georgia Takarangi to wing defence and Georgie Edgecombe to centre.


The Tactix remained unfazed and with a greater share of the possession were handily placed when leading 29-22 at the main break.


It was more of the same during a competitive third stanza, the Magic having their moments but unable to absorb the constant pressure delivered by the Tactix. A run of four straight goals gave the home side hope but the Tactix had all the answers.


Both sets of shooters showed great accuracy but for the Magic it was a constant battle of getting enough ball into Ekenasio and Saviour Tui’s hands. With the damaging Watson, Burger, Sinclair and latterly Paris Lokotui constantly squeezing and hustling, the visitors enjoyed the advantage of more turnover ball.


Showing their intent, the Tactix finished with a strong statement in powering into the last turn with a healthy 42-32 lead and leaving the Magic with plenty to ponder.


The cumulative pressure eventually took its toll, the floodgates opening in the final quarter with the Tactix delivering a storming and emphatic finish to put a dent in the Magic’s 25th birthday celebrations.

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