The SKYCITY Mystics picked up their first win of the ANZ Premiership season with a resounding 58-44 victory over new Auckland rivals, the Northern Stars at a packed Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau last night.

It was a much-anticipated affair, and it didn’t take long for the ladies in blue to stamp their mark on the game. The SKYCITY Mystics made a very strong start to the first quarter, racing out to a 7-1 lead. Down the defensive end, Anna Harrison (GD) and Storm Purvis (GK) pulled in a number of turnovers and alongside Michaela Sokolich-Beatson (WD) they helped to create a number of first quarter errors by the Northern Stars. After only 8 minutes, the home side made a couple of changes, with Emma Iverson and Afa Rusivakula coming into the game at centre and goal attack respectively. The SKYCITY Mystics led 16-7 at the first quarter break.

The connections were really starting to show in the SKYCITY Mystics line-up, with feeders Sasha Corbin and Elisapeta Toeava linking well with Maria Tutaia and Bailey Mes. They continued their dominance in the second half and went into the changing sheds at half time with a 32-19 lead.

It took a while for the SKYCITY Mystics to adjust to some half time changes in the third quarter. Harrison moved to goal keep for Purvis, while Sokolich-Beatson shifted to goal defence and Brooke Watt slotted into wing defence. The Northern Stars came out very strong in the second half to take an early 10-4 lead. Once the Stars got their roll on, Samon Nathan entered the game at centre for Sasha Corbin. The SKYCITY Mystics started to settle and pulled back the third quarter deficit to just 14-12 to the Stars.

The SKYCITY Mystics still had a handy 44-33 lead heading into the final quarter and they were able to maintain the buffer throughout the final spell. It meant head coach Helene Wilson was able to blood some new talent, with Tauhi Lopeti making her ANZ Premiership debut at goal keep. She replaced Harrison, who had an outstanding game, picking up five intercepts, six deflections and two rebounds. Then shooter Tera-Maria Amani entered the game at goal attack for Tutaia, also making her ANZ Premiership debut. Bailey Mes had a great battle with Sulu Fitzpatrick in the circle, pulling in some brilliant balls and shooting 25 from 29 attempts. Tutaia was also outstanding and was named MVP, nailing 33 from 40 attempts.

Full time score: 58-44.

Visit HERE for all ANZ Premiership stats from the match.

Our next home game is against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic at The Trusts Arena THIS COMING SUNDAY (16 April) at 2pm. Click HERE for tickets.

Don’t forget that straight after the ANZ Premiership game between the SKYCITY Mystics and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic that the Northern Marvels will face WBOP. PLUS, the SKYCITY Mystics will be signing autographs at half-time in the foyer. Even more reason to stick around and watch the future stars of our game!

Have a safe & happy Easter #MysticsNation and we will see you at The Trusts Arena on Sunday!