The NSW Swifts stayed within reach of the trans-Tasman netball competition's top four with an less than impressive 54-45 victory over the Canterbury Tactix in Sydney last night.
It was the Swifts third victory in five starts but they struggled to assert themselves against the winless Tactix, who have only played three matches so far this season after postponing their match against the Mystics due to last month's Christchurch earthquake.
NSW did at least start a little better than in their previous two games, but failed to display the fluency they showed in going through the 2010 regular season undefeated.
They led 16-12 at the first break, 27-21 at halftime and 41-35 at the final break.
The Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald revamped her midcourt at halftime, switching Australian squad player Kimberlee Green from wing attack to centre and introducing Vanessa Ware at wing attack in place of Courtney Tairi.
It was the start of a hectic schedule of three games in seven days for Swifts, who play West Coast in Perth on Thursday before hosting unbeaten Queensland on Sunday.
Also last night the Southern Steel recorded their first win of the season edging past the bottom placed Central Pulse 50-44 in Invercargill.