A thrilling extra-time victory over the Good Oil Tactix has consolidated the Robinhood Stars spot at the top of the ANZ Premiership ladder and given them a timely confidence boost ahead of a much anticipated top-of-the-table battle with the Northern Mystics to end round eight of the ANZ Premiership.
It is the first of three Barfoot & Thompson Northern Challenge matches between the two sides and features intriguing match-ups across the court, starting with who Stars coach Kiri Wills will plump for to shut down Mystics shooting maestro Grace Nweke. The height and experience of Anna Harrison may get to the nod for the keeper’s bib but Elle Temu, who is leading the Premiership for intercepts with 17, has shown her ability to seamlessly switch between circle roles.
Stars goal attack Jamie Hume continues to impress and her match-up against Mystics defender Kate Burley will be one to watch. The two best feeders in the league will also be on court with Peta Toeava (Mystics) leading the stats sheet with 308 feeds to date while Gina Grampton (Stars) is in second spot on 289.
The two sides have met on 11 occasions historically, with the Stars winning five outings and Mystics six.
The meeting will be a special one for livewire Stars midcourter Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, who will play her 50th ANZ Premiership match - having joined the Stars in 2019, after previously representing the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse.
Both teams were guilty of slow starts in Round 7, but both have also shown they can finish strongly in what promises to be an ANZ Premiership crunch match. With these two sides set to go head-to-head three times in the next five weeks, the Premiership points table is in for a shake-up.
ANZ Premiership Round 8: Robinhood Stars vs Northern Mystics- Sunday 6th June 6:15pm, Trusts Arena, Auckland