Magic prepare for Mystics battle
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 5:27a.m.
Noeline Taurua’s Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic side take on the Northern Mystics in the ANZ Championship preliminary final tonight, and she hopes a major change in their preparation will prove the difference.
"Heading into finals we've always gone really hard out," Taurua says, "But leading into these weeks, because we've been doing a lot of repetitious stuff, which is totally different to what we've done in the past, we don't need to go hard out.
"It's making sure that we remain mentally fresh plus also physically fresh.
"We're going in there real hard, very mentally tough and prepared. I think we're as best prepared as we can be."
Taurua says the team has begun to ‘taper off’, “not doing the quantity of work but definitely the quality”.
The winner will book a grand final appearance in Melbourne against the Vixens, who the Mystics lost to in their major semifinal.
In the past three years of the Championships the side that has lost that fixture has also gone on to lose the preliminary final.
There will be excellent match-ups right across the court tonight, with numerous Silver Ferns on show.
Goal shoots Cathrine Latu and Irene van Dyk have hardly missed a shot this season, whilst both teams' defences have been superb, with the Mystics' unveiling the revolutionary ‘Chair Lift’ manoeuvre and the Magic's Leana de Bruin and Casey Williams proving extremely uncompromising.
Previous encounters between the sides won't count for much tonight, but the Magic have the history, winning eight of the 11 games, and all five at The Trusts Stadium.
This contest mirrors last year's preliminary final, which the Mystics took by one goal in Hamilton after the Magic threw away an early lead.
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