The Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic netball coach Noeline Taurua says her heart went out to grieving Queensland Firebirds skipper Laura Geitz after the defending champion New Zealand team posted a thrilling 65-62 overtime victory in their trans-Tasman match on the Gold Coast.
Less than two weeks after the death of her father, star defender Geitz was inspirational for the home side but even her heroics couldn't get the hosts over the line on Sunday.
The Silver Ferns sharpshooter Irene van Dyk slotted the winning goal for the Magic in extra time, missing only one of her 32 attempts.
The Magic desperately needed the win to keep intact their record of never having missed a finals series in the competition.
The Central Pulse pipped West Coast Fever 53-52 in Wellington.