NS Scoreboard: ANZ Premiership 2022, Rounds 5 and 6

NS Scoreboard: ANZ Premiership 2022, Rounds 5 and 6

A special thanks to our contributors Emily Bruce and Nicole Mudgway for their hard work on this Scoreboard. 

Note: Netball Scoop did not have photographers at every match over the weekend, so some of the below images are from earlier rounds. But, please enjoy the gallery of images at the bottom of this wrap, from photographer Graeme Laughton-Mutu who was at the Round 6 match between Tactix and Stars.


Match Results

Central Pulse 52 d Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 39 (12-8, 11-8, 16-11, 13-11) 

Southern Steel 64 d Northern Mystics 59 (12-17, 17-13, 19-16, 16-13)

Northern Stars 63 d Mainland Tactix 51 (15-12, 16-14, 16-14, 16-11)

Southern Steel 66 d Central Pulse 63 (11-18, 15-16, 14-17, 19-8, 7-4)


Stats Leaders

Most goals: 52, Aliyah Dunn (Steel v Pulse)

Most intercepts: 5, Sarahpheinna Woulf (Steel v Pulse)

Most feeds: 51, Shannon Saunders (Steel v Pulse)

Most turnovers: 10, Shannon Saunders (Steel v Pulse)

Most Gains: 8, Kelly Jury (Steel v Pulse and Pulse v Magic)

Most Pickups: 5, Kristiana Manu’a (Pulse v Magic) 

Most Rebounds: 11, Grace Nweke (Steel v Mystics)  

Most Centre Pass Receives: 32, Shannon Saunders (Steel v Pulse)

Most Goal Assists: 26, Gina Crampton (Stars v Tactix) 

Most Penalties: 15, Phoenix Karaka (Steel v Mystics) 



There are no new injuries to report (yay). We saw Maddy Gordon make her return to the court after almost 6 months away. Her patience and rehab efforts seem to have paid off as she looked as bouncy and energetic as ever in her 30 minutes out on court.


Shannon Saunders for Southern Steel

Shannon Saunders played her 150th national league match over the weekend. Image: Steve McLeod

Let’s Talk

A huge congratulations to Shannon Saunders, who over the weekend played her 150th game for the SAME franchise! That’s a huge achievement and a real testament to her loyalty to both the game and the Southern Steel. The Steel have played some of their best netball so far this season. Over the weekend, they mounted a sensational comeback against the Central Pulse and then surviving immense pressure to beat the table-topping Mystics. 

As Covid continues to wreak havoc with player availability and team schedules, one must assume that the season disruptions must slowly be coming to an end. Most teams have been struck once (if not twice) by Covid, and with the season concluding in early June, some teams have some serious ground to make up. We can expect mid-week games to become a regular occurrence, as teams work to clear their backlog of postponed games. 

Probably due to Covid-19, but pleasing all the same, is the current strategy of some teams (particularly the Pulse and the Steel) to make full use of their bench by giving most, if not all, of their players game time. A great example of this was seen in the Steel’s final quarter against the Mystics, where despite it being nail-bitingly close, coach Reinga Bloxham made multiple player substitutions and pulled off the win. A testament to the players’ ability to cope with pressure, this power move creates depth, confidence and cohesion within the team, as well as developing young netball players across the country.

There is only about 100 days until the Commonwealth Games start in Birmingham, so managing player load to avoid injury during the next months of the ANZ Premiership will be crucial. Some players are still returning to form (Ameliaranne Ekenasio for one) and others will be looking to maintain their current form under the watchful eye of Dame Noeline Taurua, who we can often spy on screen as she contemplates the court in front of her (oh to know what she is thinking!). With the Australian Diamonds squad being announced in the next few days, it will be interesting to watch how players continue to perform as the Ferns’ selection day draws closer.

Rookie of the Round

We have seen her playing mostly for the Northern Stars, but this season young gun Greer Sinclair has added a further two franchises to her list by playing for both the Mystics and now the Magic. Having previously been a part of the NZ U21 team, the versatile young defender favours the defence bibs (GD and WD), but this year we have also seen her dabble in C for the Stars. I think this positional shift came as much as a surprise to her as it did to us, but the hard-working, speedy defender made it look easy. A junior Kayla Johnson perhaps, who knows where we may see Greer Sinclair pop up next (and in what position)! 


Match of the Round

Southern Steel 66 d Central Pulse 63

It is impossible to not still be talking about the sole game of round four. The Steel stunned everyone by pulling themselves up from being eleven goals down at the end of the third quarter to stealing the game in a nail biting extra time (the first this season).

Amazingly, they also managed to achieve this outcome without the services of their senior defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and their coach Reinga Bloxham, both of whom were isolating at home with Covid. The win also followed hot on the heels of a tough week in which they travelled to Rotorua only to have their game against the Magic postponed at the last minute under the Covid-19 postponement policy.

What worked?

There was impressive shooting accuracy, as well as confidence to shoot from long range, for both of these teams. Both goal shooters, Aliyah Dunn and George Fisher, put up an impressive volume and had high shooting percentages (98 and 96% respectively). Tiana Metuarau and Georgia Heffernan also shot within the 90th percentile.

There were also some textbook examples from the goal keeps on how to hunt ball outside the goal circle, with both Kelly Jury and the young MVP Sarahpheinna Woulf securing a number of exciting intercepts. 


Sarahpheinna Woulf’s defence has grown over the season. Image Steve McLeod (from round 1)

Where the match was won and lost?

In the early stages of the game, the Pulse played a clinical game and took control by capitalising on small or “coach killer” type errors by the Steel. 

However, once the Steel found their feet (and perhaps shook off some nerves) they toppled the Pulse with their strong defensive efforts and the ability to convert those efforts into goals, particularly in the later stages of the game. The Steel secured sixteen intercepts to the Pulse’s seven, seven deflections resulting in a gain to the Pulse’s one and had 23 gains overall to the Pulse’s twelve.


Which players/combinations stood out?

Despite having had limited playing time together, the young defensive combination of Kate Burley and Sarahpheinna Woulf impressed with their fearless and relentless style of play. 

The injection of goal attack Georgia Heffernan into the game for the Steel was effective. Heffernan returned this season from injury but played with confidence and flair, demonstrating a clear shared understanding with her feeders, Shannon Saunders and her twin sister Kate Heffernan. She was not afraid to shoot from long range and did so accurately, which gave the Pulse’s defensive unit something to think about. 


Shooting statistics 

Southern Steel 

George Fisher 48/50 (96%)

Georgia Heffernan 15/16 (94%)

Saviour Tui 3/7 (43%) 


Central Pulse 

Aliyah Dunn 52/53 (98%)

Tiana Metuarau 11/12 (92%)



Sarahpheinna Woulf (Steel)



Northern Mystics. 6 played. 14 points.

Southern Steel. 6. 12.

Central Pulse. 6. 11. 

Northern Stars. 3. 6.

Mainland Tactix. 4. 4.

WBOP Magic. 5. 4.


Competition Stat Leaders after Round 6 

Most Goals: 258 George Fisher (Southern Steel)

Most Centre Pass Receives: 164 Shannon Saunders (Southern Steel)

Most Feeds: 262 Shannon Saunders (Southern Steel)

Most Rebounds: 14 Sulu Fitzpatrick (Northern Mystics)

Most Deflections: 40 Kelly Jury (Central Pulse) 

Most Intercepts: 16 Kelly Jury (Central Pulse) 

Most Penalties: 91 Kelly Jury (Central Pulse) 


Next Round

All matches will be shown live on Sky Sport New Zealand. Fans outside of New Zealand can view all matches on the NetballPass platform (www.netballpass.com).


Wed 20th April, Stars v Tactix, 7.10pm

Sat 23rd April, Magic v Steel, 4.10pm 

Sun 24th April, Pulse v Tactix, 2.10pm

Sun 24th April, Mystics v Stars, 4.10pm

Mon 25th April, Magic v Steel, 7.10pm

Gallery -Tactix v Stars

Kayla Johnson for Northern Stars. Image: Graeme Laughton-Mutu

Kayla Johnson in transition for Northern Stars. Image: Graeme Laughton-Mutu


Karin Burger tries for an intercept against Northern Stars. Image: Graeme Laughton-Mutu

Karin Burger tries for the deflection against Amorangi Malesala. Image: Graeme Laughton-Mutu


Samon Nathan for Tactix Image: Northern Stars v Mainland Tactix. Graeme Laughton-Mutu

Samon Nathan was a standout on the feed for the Tactix, notching 31 feeds with 17 attempts. Image: Graeme Laughton-Mutu


Stars v Tactix Image Graeme Laughton-Mutu

Congestion at the top of the circle. Image: Image Graeme Laughton-Mutu


Image Stars bench. Image: Graeme Laughton-Mutu

Stars bench enjoying the comfortable win. Image: Image Graeme Laughton-Mutu

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