26 Apr 2016

Tough fitness regime paying off for Tactix

11:32 am on 26 April 2016

The Mainland Tactix coach believes hard work in the netball off-season has paid dividends after the perennial cellar dwellers knocked off the star studded Northern Mystics on Monday night.

The Tactix recorded their first win of this year's ANZ Netball Championships, beating the Mystics 56-55 in Christchurch.

Tactix player Mwai Kumwenda

Tactix player Mwai Kumwenda Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After trailing by five goals in the first quarter, last year's wooden spooners won the final three quarters to come from behind and snatch a one goal victory.

Tactix coach Sue Hawkins said her shooting combination of Bailey Mes and Malawi import, Mwai Kumwenda, proved the difference, especially when the two swapped between goal attack and goal shoot during the second quarter.

"Every time they step out in that goal attack position, they're learning so yeah it's a difficult one, also it's a wonderful situation to be in when you've got two of the best shooters in the world," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said Mes and Kumwenda formed probably the most unorthodox shooting combination in the league and would force defenders to continually adjust.

A draw with the Southern Steel in round two, means the Tactix, who won just one game last year, are on track for a far more fruitful season.

After retaining the bulk of her squad from last year, Hawkins said hard work in the off-season had paid off.

"We increased our fitness level by one and a half on the yoyo [test] which is a tremendous level to go up. So yeah we're very fit which means your skill level is higher and it means that you can sustain your skill for longer."

Hawkins said when she joined the Tactix last year she brought in a whole lot of new ideas which probably overwhelmed the players and said it took time for it to be cemented.

The result means the Mystics remain winless in the competition.