› Forums › Statistics Archive › ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP 2008-2016 › Reply To: ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP 2008-2016
Sun 8 May
Swifts 44 lost to Mystics 49
Cox 28/36 (78%)
Wild 8/8 (100%)
Pratley 8/10 (80%)
TOTAL 44/54 (82%)
Latu 25/27 (93%)
Tutaia 24/31 (77%)
TOTAL 49/58 (85%)
MYSTICS UPSET SWIFTS
Playing in their first Finals Series, the LG Mystics continued to rewrite the records when they beat NSW Swifts 49-44 in the sudden-death minor semi-final in Sydney today. The visitors couldn’t have picked a better time to register just their second win in Australia as they controlled the Minor Semi-Final for almost the entire match. Finishing the regular season in third place, Swifts certainly had their opportunities but lacked consistency and execution against the Mystics who hardly put a foot wrong. Finishing in fourth place, the underdog Mystics produced a mostly flawless and methodical team effort on the back of a smothering defensive outing, control on attack and the brilliant shooting of Maria Tutaia and Cathrine Latu.
There were no surprises in either starting line-up as the visitors edged their way to the lead after a succession of ebbs and flows during the opening 15 minutes. The match started at a cracking pace, the home team enjoying the better start with captain Catherine Cox’s shooting radar on target as the Swifts took an early three-goal lead. Both teams showed great ball movement through court, the Mystics helped by the play of Tutaia and Latu, who showed pin-point accuracy under the hoop.
Mystics defenders Anna Scarlett and talented teenager Kayla Cullen put the squeeze on Cox and Susan Pratley as the home team’s accuracy went off the boil. Sitting on 94 percent shooting accuracy compared to Swifts’ 85 percent Mystics pocketed a 15-11 lead heading into the first break.
It was all Mystics on the resumption, the visitors’ exploits on defence making life extra difficult for the Swifts’ attackers. Visiting captain Temepara George was in the thick of action, teaming expertly with Joline Henry on the edge of the circle to cut the supply of ball to Cox and Pratley. On attack, she was the guiding influence as the visitors made every post a winner, pouncing on opportunities presented by Swifts turnovers. Tutaia and Latu received a slick service from George and Megan Dehn, the pair in total control of the circle with an almost faultless first half.
Swifts had all sorts of trouble penetrating the midcourt, putting extra pressure on Pratley and Cox as their ball supply dried up while the visitors remained a model of calm and composure, executing with precision as they built into a handy 28-20 halftime lead.
Swifts made wholesale changes for the second half in a desperate bid to improve their drive on attack and garner some momentum. Amy Wild replaced Pratley at goal attack, Mo’onia Gerrard took over from Rebecca Bulley at goal defence and Kim Smith took over the wing defence bib.
Initially, the changes had little effect, Mystics undeterred as their almost impenetrable zone defence paid dividends and the accuracy of Tutaia and Latu helped stretch the lead out to 10. However, Swifts, on the back of a Gerrard steal rebounded back to life as the intensity lifted. Showing more movement on attack, the home team had the better of the quarter, as they reeled the deficit back to four but a late burst left the Mystics in the ascendancy with a 38-31 lead heading down the home straight.
Swifts made the best of starts in a willing final quarter, narrowing the gap to five and threatening on a number of occasions but ultimately were unable to break the efficiency and finishing of the well-drilled Mystics team.
Mon 9 May
Firebirds 50 def Magic 39
Aiken 30/33 (91%)
Medhurst 20/24 (83%)
TOTAL 50/57 (88%)
van Dyk 17/20 (85%)
Gupwell 16/18 (89%)
Naoupu 6/7 (86%)
TOTAL 39/45 (87%)
FIREBIRDS STORM INTO ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL
Upholding their fantastic unbeaten run of 2011, the Queensland Firebirds have stormed into the Grand Final of the ANZ Championship with an all-encompassing 50-39 victory over the First Windows Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic in the Gold Coast tonight. The Firebirds’ confidence and composure belied the fact that this is their first appearance in the ANZ Finals Series. From goal keep Laura Geitz shutting down the Magic attack, through to Romelda Aiken at ease under the goal post, the Queenslanders could hardly be faulted in their full-hearted effort across the court.
The Magic, missing injured wing defence Peta Scholz, showed fleeting signs of the form which carried them into the major semi, and will get a second chance to resolve their feeding glitches against fellow Kiwi team, the LG Mystics, in the preliminary final. After the game, Geitz said the Firebirds couldn’t have wished for anything more, and the strong start they had planned on ultimately cemented the win.
There were no surprises in the intense, but anxious start from both sides. The Magic got the first points on the board and looked the hungrier team, with two key intercepts from their attackers. But neither team appeared confident with their shots, and after five minutes only four goals were notched on the scoreboard – most of them to the Firebirds’ credit. From there, the Firebirds ramped up their defensive effort with Clare McMeniman effectively smothering Magic goal attack Julianna Naoupu, and goal keep Laura Geitz repeatedly snatching ball destined for Irene van Dyk, who was forced to come hunting out of the circle.
For the first quarter there was realistically only one shooter in the match, with Firebirds goal attack Natalie Medhurst dominating from the top of the circle with nine decisive shots. The Magic became more at home as the quarter progressed, cutting the difference from seven to four at close of the first break, but still trailing 12-8. In an effort to free up van Dyk, Magic coach Noeline Taurua moved her kingpin out to goal attack. But immediately McMeniman and Geitz flummoxed the rejigged attack, and the Firebirds launched a forceful new assault.
The long bombs into Romelda Aiken came into the play, drilled in expertly by Chelsea Pitman and Medhurst, and the gap opened to double figures. In the final five minutes of the half, the Magic made a desperate attempt to get back on track moving van Dyk back into the driving seat, supported by a new goal attack in Jamilah Gupwell; and switching Casey Williams to goal keep to sit on Aiken, joined by Jodi Tod in the defensive circle. Gupwell added four from four attempts to bolster the Magic’s confidence, but still the Firebirds held the upperhand going into the second half, ahead 23-16.
The changes didn’t end there: Frances Solia’s introduction at wing attack for the Magic still could not solve their feeding woes, and little could be done to stop Firebirds wing defence Keirra Trompf’s sustained control of the midcourt. Incredibly, van Dyk – one of the most prolific shooters in the league – was restricted to just seven goals for three quarters of the match, unable to break from the shackles of a storming Geitz.
Going into the final quarter with their largest advantage of the match, up 39-26, the Firebirds took the opportunity to run a different defensive pattern with Amy Steel at goal defence. And it only went to prove that the Firebirds were in control throughout the court no matter what combination coach Rosalee Jencke put out there.
Sun 15 May
Magic 42 lost to Mystics 43
van Dyk 26/27 (96%)
Naoupu 15/20 (75%)
Gupwell 1/3 (33%)
TOTAL 42/50 (84%)
Tutaia 28/30 (93%)
Latu 15/17 (88%)
TOTAL 43/47 (92%)
MYSTICS HEAD TO THE GRAND FINAL!
The LG Mystics sealed their first Grand Final appearance with a pulsating 43-42 win over First Windows Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic in the Preliminary Final in Hamilton on Sunday. Contesting their first Finals Series, a big second quarter from the Mystics provided the impetus for the win. It was the only quarter the Mystics won as Magic kept coming back at them but superior shooting percentages, with Maria Tutaia having an outstanding game, proved the difference in the end. In the history of the competition, Mystics are the only team to have finished fourth in the regular season and advanced to the Grand Final where they will meet the unbeaten Queensland Firebirds, in Brisbane, next Sunday.
Magic welcomed back hard-working wing defence Peta Scholz, the Australian import being sidelined for the past two weeks with a knee in jury while Frances Solia, who had much of her season derailed by illness got the nod at wing attack. There were no surprises from the Mystics, talented teenager Kayla Cullen taking her place at goal defence after being troubled by a calf injury.
Magic made a perfect start playing patient, error-free netball as they secured the first three goals. Magic’s back three of Casey Williams, Jodi Tod and Scholz were impressive in slowing down the Mystics on attack. Threatening goal shoot Cathrine Latu was well-contained, having to wait 7-1/2 minutes before scoring her first goal but Tutaia picked up the slack, her radar well-honed to keep the visitors in touch. At the other end, goal attack Julianna Naoupu provided impetus in the playmaking role for shooter Irene van Dyk, who was all poise under the hoop as Magic went to a 13-9 first quarter lead.
With irrepressible captain Temepara George leading the charge, Mystics lifted their intent on the resumption, scoring four goals on the trot to draw within one. Sparkling play on attack and slick interplay under the hoop helped them hit the lead for the first time with Tutaia’s finishing from long range pivotal. Things became more difficult for Magic as they struggled to penetrate the Mystics’ suffocating midcourt defensive wall. Jess Tuki replaced Solia in Magic’s attacking line as fortunes ebbed and flowed before Mystics grabbed the initiative. Showing more spark in their play, the visitors achieved a nine-goal turn-around as they went to the main break with a 25-20 lead.
With Magic’s shooting falling away in the second quarter, Jamilah Gupwell replaced Naoupu for the second half as the home team stormed out of the blocks. The third quarter became a real battle of attrition, huge defensive pressure from both teams dictating the course of the match. Cullen and Anna Scarlett proved a real thorn for Magic’s shooters while Williams and Tod had their moments at the other end. Tutaia continued to be the main point of difference with an exemplary showing under the Mystics post before the home side staged a late quarter rally. An injured Gupwell did not last long with Naoupu re-entering the fray as strong contributions from Williams, Scholz and Laura Langman kept Magic in the frame, Mystics keeping their noses in front 35-31 heading down the home straight.
In a last throw of the dice, Magic introduced teenaged defender Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick at goalkeeper with Williams going out to goal defence. The home team threw everything into a pulsating final quarter, slowly clawing back the deficit in a frantic and willing final quarter. Mystics did just enough to hold them out – a couple of crucial intercepts from the ever-prominent Cullen and Scarlett and the overall play from an impressive Tutaia sealing a spot in the Grand Final.