24 Apr 2012

Not a good weekend for NZ netballers

1:51 pm on 24 April 2012

It wasn't a good weekend for the New Zealand franchise teams in the trans-Tasman netball league, with three losses to their Australian rivals in the fourth round of the competition.

Just one New Zealand team sits in the crucial top four bracket.

It started with a gritty match between the Norma Plummer coached West Coast Fever and the Southern Steel in Dunedin on Saturday.

Having led for most of the game the Steel succumbed in the final quarter, loosing 56-53, with Australian shooter Caitlin Bassett the dominant playmaker.

A winless and desperate Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic just about pulled off an upset in Melbourne over the top of the table Vixens, but let go of a six-goal lead in the final quarter to eventually lose by one, damaging their prospects of reaching the top four.

The Adelaide Thunderbirds then defeated the in-form Northern Mystics 50-48 in Auckland Sunday night, their first defeat of the season.

But at least one New Zealand side was guaranteed a win this round, with the Central Pulse beating the Canterbury Tactix 50-45 in Porirua on Monday night.