The former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis believes New Zealand sides will struggle to make the play-offs of the trans-Tasman competition this season.
Following the Magic's loss in Adelaide at the weekend, Ellis all but wrote off their chance of retaining their title.
The Magic have made the play-offs every year, while New Zealand has had 2 sides in the play-offs every year since 2009.
The Thunderbirds restricted the Magic to its lowest total in the six years of the competition, while shooter Irene van Dyke was benched for the final quarter after being kept scoreless in the 3rd quarter
Ellis says the Magic are lacking in some key areas and believes the Pulse may be the best chance of a New Zealand side making the top four.
No side who's won the championship has gone on to make the play-offs the next year - "championship curse" .
The only factor which may result in the Magic or Pulse making the play-offs is that they will probably continue to dominate the other New Zealand sides.