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Mystics fight off Steel scare

Published: 9:51PM Monday June 11, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

  • Mystics' Maria Tutaia (Source: Photosport)
    Mystics' Maria Tutaia - Source: Photosport

The Northern Mystics were given a scare in Auckland when they went to the break four points adrift, but rallied strongly in the second half to defeat the Southern Steel 60-49.

The win sees the Mystics reclaim the top spot on the competition ladder, leapfrogging the Melbourne Vixens and Adelaide Thunderbirds who are both on 14 points.

Maria Tutaia starred for the hosts, sinking 33 goal from goal attack - 11 more than goal shoot Catherine Latu.

Her shooting form gave the Mystics midcourt the easier task of linking with her at the edge of the circle - a tactic they used heavily to first wipe the deficit, before stretching their lead in the final quarter to make safe the game.

The Steel's defence provided the backbone for their early surge, with goal defence Demelza McCloud and goal keep Storm Purvis combining to ensure the Mystics could not build momentum on attack.

Temepara George's move to wing attack solved the offensive issues for the Mystics though, as they began to find their shooters more regularly in the circle.

Turnovers in the transition from the Steel also aided their cause, with Tutaia again impressing, with five steals.

The Mystics quickly erased the deficit after clicking into gear in the third quarter, to outscore the Steel 18-11.

An even more dominant final period gave the hosts a comfortable victory and they now head into the last two rounds of the competition as hot contenders for the title.