Mystics looking for first win against the Firebirds

By Rahia Timutimu

"We want this win, not only for Mystics, but for netball in New Zealand to be able to know that we can contest with Australian style."

This is what former champion coach Noeline Taurua has said after NZ teams failed to contest wins against Australian teams in the ANZ Championship over the weekend.

Her team, the Northern Mystics, lost by 16 points and will find it even harder this weekend when they play the team they've never beaten in the ANZ Championships before - the Queensland Firebirds.

16 points is the biggest loss the Mystics have had this year in the ANZ Championships against the Swifts over the weekend.  

Head coach for the Mystics, Deb Fuller, has said that this needs to improve, "We can't afford to gain any respect in this competition if we perform like that."

There were many factors that were the reason for this outcome, with star shooter Catherine Latu out for the first half with a sore lower back, Paula Griffin was introduced into the mix.

Latu then took the court at half-time to help her team, despite her still being in pain.

"In hindsight, maybe we should have addressed that a little bit better.  I was still uncomfortable, but you know what, I will literally break my back for my team and that's what I almost did," says Latu.

The whole team will need to work harder when it comes to the weekend's clash against the Queensland Firebirds this Sunday in Auckland.

"This is an opportunity for our team to not find excuses but to find a way to win," says Fuller.