ANZ Premiership: Round Three preview

Coverage starts on Friday at 8am, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Mix, with the Tactix taking on the Magic

Last Updated: 25/06/20 4:05pm

The Magic face the Tactix in the first match of Round Three, live on Sky Sports

After returning to court for the first time in 95 days last weekend, all six ANZ Premiership franchises will be looking to build on their performances in Round Three.

The competition’s return saw the defending champions underline their title credentials in Round Two with a 24-goal victory over last year’s runners-up the Northern Stars.

The Pulse looked like they’d never left the court and were on point from the first point. The fact that they generated a 21-goal tally in just 12 minutes during the second quarter said it all.

Across the board individuals, both recognised and new, re-announced themselves to their team-mates and opponents with standout performances. Maddy Gordon, Peta Toeava and Ameliaranne Ekenasio, in particular, shone.

In Round Three, the Southern Steel and the Northern Mystics are the two franchises who will be playing more than one match over the four days, and every contest of the round will be shown live on Sky Sports.

ANZ Premiership Fixtures – Round Three [Live on Sky Sports Mix]

Friday, June 26 Tactix vs Magic 8am (BST)
Saturday, June 27 Mystics vs Steel 6am (BST)
Sunday, June 28 Stars vs Steel 6am (BST)
Monday, June 29 Pulse vs Mystics 8am (BST)

Tactix vs Magic – Friday at 8am [Sky Sports Main Event and Mix]

Both teams are coming into this encounter with the desire to right some wrongs after losses in Round Two.

The Tactix restarted their campaign with a 42-36 result against the Southern Steel however couldn’t maintain their form for their second match of the round and fell 49-43 to the Northern Stars.

The Magic fell short in their Round Two contest as they struggled to keep ball away from the Mystics’ shooter Grace Nweke. In their own shooting end, they didn’t reach the heights expected and finished with a 73 per cent conversation rate.

Jane Watson and Temalisi Fakahokotau, the Tactix’s potent defensive duo, will be eager to keep the pressure on the Magic’s shooters, while the tussle between Ariana Cable-Dixon and Kimiora Poi in mid-court should be an enjoyable one.

Key Player: Look out for the continued development of Fakahokotau. Fakahokotau missed the whole of last season due to a knee injury but she has restarted this one in fine form. The goalkeeper is dynamic, reads the game beautifully and her partnership with Watson will continue to grow as the rounds go on.

ANZ Premiership Results – Round Two

Friday, June 19 Magic 40-47 Mystics 8am (BST)
Saturday, June 20 Steel 36-43 Tactix 6am (BST)
Sunday, June 21 Stars 39-63 Pulse 6am (BST)
Monday, June 22 Stars 49-43 Tactix 8am (BST)

Northern Mystics vs Southern Steel – Saturday at 6am [Sky Sports Mix]

Alongisde the Magic, the Mystics had the privilege of restarting the competition and the largely young side showed considerable promise.

­­Nweke owned the circle and Toeava delivered a masterclass of how to play Wing Attack. She caught the eye of Sky Sports’ expert Tamsin Greenway, who praised her ability to open up the Mystics’ attack end in her Round Two talking points column.

ANZ Premiership Round Two talking points

From the prowess of the Central Pulse to young talents and a recognisable style of play, Tamsin Greenway shares her talking points from the ANZ Premiership.

The Southern Steel have the Trinidad and Tobago international Kalifa McCollin in their ranks. The former Celtic Dragon impressed last weekend but this time around, she’ll be being tested by the Silver Ferns’ Phoenix Karaka.

Key Player: Gina Crampton will need to use all of her netballing nous to ensure that the feeds into McCollin and Jennifer O’Connell are crisp and sharp, with Karaka and Sulu Fitzpatrick up against them.

Northern Stars vs Southern Steel – Sunday at 6am [Sky Sports Mix]

The Steel’s second opponents of the weekend are the franchise who experienced both sides of the coin in Round Two – the Stars.

Last weekend, a tough loss at the hands of the Pulse was followed up with an important victory over the Tactix.

Captain Grace Kara celebrated her 150th league appearance with an assured second match and half-centurion Maia Wilson commanded the circle.

In this encounter, the expected duel between Jamie Hulme and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit will be fascinating to watch as Hulme stepping up was a vital part of the Stars’ last victory.

Key Player: Enjoy the work of the Stars’ Wilson. The Vitality Nations Cup boosted her confidence on the international stage and she knows that Dame Noeline Taurua will be watching her every move to see if she’s the long-term replacement for the retired Maria Folau.

Central Pulse vs Northern Mystics – Monday at 8am [Sky Sports Main Event, Arena and Mix]

The Pulse set the standard in Round Two

The Pulse set the standard in Round Two

In Round Two, the defending champions were superb. They held off the challenge of the Stars before putting their foot on the accelerator and never looking back.

Katrina Rore and Ekenasio showed their international pedigree and their young mid-courter, Gordon, excelled at WA.

On paper, the Pulse’s Round Two match ticked all the boxes but Gordon told Sky Sports that they didn’t hit their own internal benchmarks so it will be fascinating to see if, and how, they step up again.

The Mystics have the added challenge of this being the second match of the weekend and the Pulse will be keen to exploit any hints of tiredness.

Key Player: At just 18-years-old, the Mystics’ goal shooter Nweke is one for now, and the future. She already asserts herself well in the circle but faces stiff competition this week. Kelly Jury will be directly opposite her, someone who is only a centimetre shorter than Nweke, and Katrina Rore’s presence in the D will test the Mystics’ precocious talent.

Sky Sports is your home of netball. Join us for Round Three on Friday morning with the Tactix against the Magic from 8am on Sky Sports Main Event and Mix, the first of four live games across the weekend.

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