15 Apr 2024

Tactix power past Steel in ANZ Netball Premiership derby

11:25 pm on 15 April 2024
Charlie Bell of the Tactix shoots during the round one ANZ Championship match between Tactix and Steel.

Charlie Bell of the Tactix shoots during the round one ANZ Championship match between Tactix and Steel. Photo: Joe Allison

Tactix: 52

Steel: 35

Led by new centurion Kimiora Poi, the Tactix have beaten the Steel 52-35 in the first Southern derby of the 2024 ANZ Premiership.

The result meant the Steel's losing streak stretched out to 18 games, as their injury woes continued. They were without their former captain Shannon Saunders (knee), and their current captain Kate Heffernan only playing the first half (ankle).

While the Tactix, who finished fourth last season, had patches of dominant play, particularly in the first 30 minutes, they showed they have work to do if they're to win their first ANZ Premiership title. But to their credit, they also took advantage of the new tactical change rule and made more than 20 positional switches during the match.

Although it was a nervous start for both sides, the Steel had fewer answers to disrupt a stronger Tactix attack. The 11-4 scoreline at the first break was a double-blow to the Steel - their lowest opening quarter score in their national league history.

Tactix stalwart Ellie Bird, called into her old side as injury cover, had no trouble getting back to her old shooting ways, ending up with 24 from 30 attempts.

The Steel were almost caught static on attack, making it easier for the Tactix to cut off any flow. When they brought on young wing attack Grace Southby they gained some fluidity.

But still Burger and Watson too often anticipated their movements, and the home side led 25-14 at halftime.

The Steel finally fell into a rhythm on attack in the third quarter, and their defence, anchored by the seasoned Abby Lawson (nee Erwood) and debutant South African international Jeanté Strydom, made it more complex for the Tactix to work the ball into the circle. But the Tactix pulled away again just before the spell ended and went into the final 15 minutes up 39-25.

Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek took the opportunity to bring on new blood. 1.96m goal shoot Australian shooter Charlie Bell, called over from the Sunshine Coast to cover for the injured Aliyah Dunn, paired up with Selby-Rickit in the shooting circle.

Neither side's shooting statistics were truly impressive: the Steel on 85 percent, and the Tactix 74 percent and Namana's contribution of 22 from 25 (88 percent) was the most solid individual performance under the hoop.

Both sides are back on their home courts next weekend, with the Tactix hosting the Stars and the Steel facing a tough challenge from the defending champion Mystics.

Shooting Stats


Ellie Bird 24/30 (80%)

Te Paea Selby-Rickit 21/29 (72%)

Jess Allan 5/8 (63%)

Charlie Bell 2/3 (66%)


Grace Namana 22/25 (88%)

Georgia Heffernan 11/14 (79%)

Martina Salmon 2/2 (100%)