2 Apr 2016

Firebirds far too good for Tactix

7:14 am on 2 April 2016

Queensland Firebirds started their ANZ Netball Championship title defence with a 70-55 win over the Mainland Tactix in Brisbane.

The Queensland Firebirds' captain Laura Geitz.

The Queensland Firebirds' captain Laura Geitz. Photo: Photosport

Before a vocal home crowd, the two-time champions launched their 2016 campaign by leading at every break to claim their 14th-straight victory.

The last time they lost was in round five last year.

The 15-point win was the Firebirds' 12th-straight match scoring 50 or more goals, the 70-point haul also eclipsing their last season high of 68.

The premiers didn't have it all their way in the opening exchanges, trailing by four midway through the first quarter before clicking into gear.

They led by two at the first break.

Captain Laura Geitz was pleased with how they managed to lift the intensity during the middle two quarters.

"The first quarter ... after a pre-season is a totally different ball game," she said.

"We obviously didn't adjust well in defence and it was a bit scratchy but when we got our timing and momentum together it was unstoppable."

The reigning champions upped the ante before half-time, with sharp shooters Gretal Tippett (25 from 32) and Romelda Aiken (45 from 49) complimenting each other nicely thanks to some quality delivery inside the attacking third from Caitlyn Nevins and Kim Ravaillion.

At the opposite end, veterans Geitz and Clare McMeniman flexed their defensive muscle to keep Tactix shooters Bailey Mes (18 from 27) and Mwai Kumwenda (37 from 38) at bay despite Kumwenda's accuracy underneath the hoop.

Taking a 33-25 advantage into the third quarter, Queensland continued to pile on the pressure against the Tactix, who could only manage one victory last season.

The gulf in class began to tell as the hosts outscored them by nine to take a 17-goal lead into the final 15 minutes.

The New Zealand side had no answer to the speed of Queensland's attacking duo of Tippett and Aiken, who were singled out for praise by Geitz.

"Romelda and Gretel were playing aerial ping-pong down the attacking end and it's an exciting game of Netball that they are able to play," she said.