2012 netball ANZ Championship kicks off
Thursday, April 5, 2012
In the opening round of the 2012 New Zealand by a score of 49–47, while over in , Australia, the defending champion lost to the by a score of 47–42. The wins by the Steel and the Vixens are considered by those who follow the league to be major upsets.this past weekend, the beat the in ,
The Firebirds' loss this past Sunday was their first in fifteen games extending back to last season. Last season's championship is not a harbinger of success this season, as every season since the league was founded in 2008, the defending champions have failed to finish in the top four and attempt to repeat their title claim. Going into the game, the teams had played eight games against each other, splitting the record at 4 wins each. The Vixens' win can be credited to several players including English national team player, and returning Vixen stars and . The Firebirds' loss involved poor shooting and bad passing. Firebird captain 's quality play could not overcome other difficulties on the court for her team.
In the Magic versus Steel game, the teams were tied at 44–44 with five minutes left in the game. The local crowd were behind the Steel, and they finished the game ahead by two baskets. The Magic's coach blames the loss partly on not preparing adequately to play against the Steel's Donna Wilkins, who gave birth to her third child in January of this year. She also partly blames the loss on several errors. Jess Waitapu made her debut for the Magic because teammate Julianna Naoupu had health problems that impacted her ability to play.
On Sunday in, the favored LG Northern Mystics held on to defeat the Haier Central Pulse 51–47. member was replaced by coach in favor of , with Rasmussen making six out of seven shots to help put the game away for her team. The Mystics had six fewer shots than the visiting Pulse, but had a better shooting percentage which proved to be a decisive factor in the game.
Inon Monday, the West Coast Fever beat the Easiyo by a score of 55–35. The Tactix were back home in on Tuesday. The team's captain Maree Bowden and coach Leigh Gibbs were disappointed in the team's performance but believed there were some positives and room for improvement.
The West Coast Fever are the only Australian side in the competition to never have won the league's championship, with their best ever finish being seventh in the ten-team competition. In September of last year, following the Australian victory at the Singapore in July, the Fever signed Australian national team coach as the club's new coach. stuff.co.nz's Chris Barclay believes this means the Fever have a chance of winning, especially following a pre-season that included two wins, a tie to the Firebirds and a single loss. She has sought to instill a greater sense of discipline in her players, not taking excuses for missing practices with the exception of Australian Diamond who is recovering from a chronic knee injury. She also sought to improve the Fever's roster with the inclusion of player and former Swifts player .held in
The Tactix are to play the Swifts at home this coming Monday in the second round. They have not beaten an Australian team since 2009. In the third round, the Tactix will play the Steel, in a game stuff.co.nz's writer Matt Richens believes they can win.
Inthis past Saturday, the beat the by a score of 57–40.
goal attack has taken the season off from the Vixens as a result of pregnancy.
- Aaron Goile. "Magic underrated Southern Steel's toughness" — , April 4, 2012
- Matt Richens. "One quarter doesn't make a season for Tactix" — , April 4, 2012
- aj_hayes. "Melbourne Vixens extinguish Firebirds’ flame" — , April 4, 2012
- "Two upsets in netball first round" — , April 3, 2012
- Chris Barclay. "Plummer hungry for more NZ netball scalps" — , April 2, 2012
- Rebecca Williams. "Melbourne Vixens upset Queensland Firebirds in Round 1 of ANZ Championship" — , April 1, 2012
- "ANZ Championship preview" — , March 30, 2012