The Northern Stars suffered their second consecutive loss in ANZ Premiership, falling to the Splice Waikato Bay of Penty Magic 42 - 53 in Takanini tonight.
Northern Stars captain Leana De Bruin was disappointed in her teams start for the second week in a row.
“We just can’t start like that, it was the problem last week, we need to go back and look at how we prepare ourselves,” said De Bruin.
De Bruin added, “we are better than that, that’s just not good enough, we’ve been playing much better netball than the last two weeks and we need to do better to play in a grand final.”
Relentless pressure from Magic defenders Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury caused shooting problems for the Stars as Maia Wilson and Ellen Halpenny shot only 54% accuracy for the first quarter.
The Magic attack punished the Stars missed shots by sinking them at the other end to take a 7 – 17 quarter time lead, the Magic’s highest quarter score this season.
Kate Burley was rewarded for her strong form off the bench this ANZ Premiership. Starting at goal keep Burley picked up a turn over, but was subbed for Storm Purvis at the start of the second quarter.
Charlee Hodges also replaced Halpenny at goal attack as the Stars had a better start to the second quarter to come within six goals of the Magic.
Stars defensive trio of Kayla Cullen, Leana De Bruin and Purvis picked up turn over ball but missed shots in the Stars shooting circle allowed the Magic to open the lead back out to nine goals (17 – 26) at the end of the half.
The Stars shooting accuracy for the first half was 59% having only one less attempt at goal from the Magic.
Head Coach Kiri Wills dished out stern words to her side at half time and moved Holly Fowler to center with Bailey switching to wing attack.
The switch seemed to have worked as the Stars got on a roll but the once again errors crept into their game as the Magic’s Monica Falkner failed to miss a shot.
The Magic extended their lead to 27-42 heading into the final break.
Wills continued to make changes to her side hoping to inspire a fightback. Cullen shifted to goal defence and again the Stars looked to mount a fightback, but the Magic refused to let the Stars back into the match.
Hodges was fearless on the shot and sunk goals from all areas of the goal circle to finish the match with an 81% accuracy rate and was rewarded with the Stonz Jewellers player of the match.
The Northern Stars return to Pulman Arena on Sunday 14th April against the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel from 4pm. Tickets available here