Round 14 of the ANZ Premiership was the round that the three playoff teams were decided. Ladder leaders, the Northern Mystics cemented their position on top of the ladder and will now play off in the Grand Final at Spark Arena in Auckland. Meanwhile, second and third placed Mainland Tactix and Southern Steel, both had wins to book their place in the Preliminary Final.
Iona St Joseph looks at who will step into the shoes of Silver Ferns captain and stellar goal attack, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, after the recent announcement of her pregnancy. It's an intriguing question, and one that will most likely be solved in a typical Dame Noeline Taurua manner - by thinking outside the 'square' using a blend of tactical nous and creativity.
There are just two rounds left in the ANZ Premiership before the finals begin. At this stage, there are four teams still in contention. Round 13 saw the ladder really take shape and it began on Friday with a match postponed from round 11.
Round 12 may go down as the round when Northern Mystics really put their stamp on the competition. Having beaten Stars, the previous ladder leaders, by eight goals just seven days earlier, they went out and did exactly the same again on their home court.
The first game of the round saw the much awaited top of the table clash between Stars and Mystics. Stars had just the better of a very tight first half. They won the first quarter by two goals, while Mystics won the second by one. But the second half was a completely different story
Round 10 of the ANZ Premiership saw the competition's two leading teams, Stars and Mystics, put a handy gap between themselves and the chasing pack.
In a recurring theme of this year's competition, round nine of the ANZ Premiership proved to be another close one, with all three games once again going down to the wire and being decided by margins of five goals or less. That's now seven straight games (and almost 60% of all this year's games) that have resulted in the loser taking away a bonus point.
Round eight of the ANZ Premiership was the tightest of the 2021 competition so far. Just seven goals in total separated the winners from the losers, with all three defeated teams picking up a bonus point.
Round seven of the ANZ Premiership concluded with a thriller, but it began with an upset. Coming into the match in fifth place, Southern Steel travelled to Auckland and accounted for the second-placed Northern Mystics on their home court.
Well, what a turn up we saw in Round six of the ANZ Premiership. It seems strange to call a match an upset when the two-time defending champions win, but that's exactly what it was as Pulse defeated the previously unbeaten Stars very comfortably 57-44.