Stars too strong for underwhelming Tactix
A vocal Northern Stars crowd has seen their side put Mainland Tactix to the sword. In Gina Crampton’s 100th match, the Stars ran out comprehensive victors in the Anzac Day clash 57-43. The Stars have put the league on notice as it continues its solid form.
The Stars went into the game unchanged and for good reason. Its display in the first round was spectacular with momentum building up north. A tight tussle developed in the first half before captain Maia Wilson led her side to a dominant second half showing.
The Silver Ferns superstar had a brilliant Constellation Cup against Australia, carrying that form into the early stages of the ANZ Premiership.
Wilson converted 40 of her 45 shots on the day and her dominance was in stark contrast to her opposition. The Tactix had to work hard to get a sight at goal and struggled to convert at her level.
The Tactix attacking thrusts regularly involved the ball being recycled several times, and the Stars’ defence held firm, not allowing anything to come easy.
As a result, the ball invariably found its way into the hands of Wilson off turnovers. She duly converted her opportunities for the entire match and provided highlights for the crowd.
The Silver Ferns pair of Jane Watson and Karin Burger was unable to contain their international teammate. Wilson is one of the form players in the world at the moment and has been a huge part of the Stars’ unbeaten start to the season.
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Stars salute in Crampton’s 100th match
After 98 games for the Southern Steel, Gina Crampton has raised the bat with her new side. Her start to the season has been nothing short of sensational.
Making the move north, the 29-year-old has slotted into a wing attack role perfectly. As a result of her form, the Stars are building something special. Her deft feeds into the post found Maia Wilson on multiple occasions; they continue to build on the chemistry they’ve showcased at the international level.
It is a great sign for Stars fans that she has slotted in seamlessly, and will be a great acquisition as they eye a finals berth at the end of the season.
Change of Tactix needed
Mainland started the season as the team to beat. It’s now the only side without a win after two rounds in the ANZ Premiership.
It looks a side desperately missing the veteran presence of Te Paea Selby-Rickit in attack. She remains sidelined with injury, and the replacement of Jess Prosser was serviceable without being outstanding.
Missing personnel is not an excuse for the disastrous second half the Tactix had on Sunday. The upcoming clash with the Mystics is huge this early in the season, a long road back looming with a 0-3 start on the horizon.
For a side that acquired Karin Burger and looked favoured to win the 2021 ANZ Premiership, Mainland has been disappointing through the first two rounds.
Burger was the Tactix best player as she repeatedly countered opposition forays forward. Because of her ability to create turnovers, Mainland is using her to start its counter-attacks. However, she has had little support so far this season in moving the ball at pace down the court.
As a result of its win, the Stars now sit in top spot as the only unbeaten side in the ANZ Premiership.
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