Kiwi legend backing Magic
Friday July 20, 2012
2012 ANZ Championship Grand Final
Legendary former Silver Ferns coach Lois Muir has backed the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic to clinch New Zealand’s first ever ANZ Championship premiership.
While she last coached elite level netball back in 2005, the 77 year-old keeps a keen eye on the ANZ Championship and has been impressed by Magic’s impressive form after an early season form slump.
Muir believes this year will see a shift in dominance with the first ever Trans Tasman win by a New Zealand based team.
“Magic can do it and not because it’s their turn,” she said.
“It’s never your right to win but they have the material there to do it. It’s within their power and I back them.”
“They’ve played so well as a team in recent weeks. They have that x-factor as a team and if they’re beaten on the day, it’s going to be by a very good team.
The Vixens and Magic are this season’s best teams and have both qualified for Trans-Tasman netball’s big one, but Muir is confident Waikato/Bay of Plenty has found something extra at the right time.
“I think they’ve done a lot of work.”
“There’s the odd little chink but nobody’s got the perfect team and Magic’s got that unit now that’s worked right through it all. They’re working well as a team and they’re working for each other. That is the key.”
The previous encounter between the two teams back in round four saw the Vixens trail by six goals, before working their way back to win by a single goal 40-39.
While home and away matches are irrelevant come finals time, that game will no doubt be lingering on the minds of both teams.
One advantage for the Vixens is that they will be playing before a passionate home crowd and have had a week off, having won their semi final to move straight into a Grand Final.
“Magic have to travel and have played the extra game but when you get out there you forget all that stuff, you forget the crowd aren’t cheering for you…it’s quite good sometimes if they’re not,” Muir said.
“People put a lot of emphasis on being in your home environment but by the same token your own critics are also right there on your shoelaces.”
“I think Magic are beyond that and I don’t think it matters a stuff to them really. They’re there to do the business and it will have to be a pretty good team to beat them on the day.”
Magic gained their Grand Final birth after a 57-48 overtime win over the Northern Mystics after a slow start on Monday night.
Having been on par with Mystics for much of the game, the Magic stepped it up and dominated both seven minute periods of overtime.
“Magic had a wobble in that last quarter against Mystics but they showed their worth and if they can just drive that competitiveness they had in extra time, they’ll be right,” Muir said.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in them, they’re playing very well as a unit, they’re caring for each other and that makes a difference. If they keep that up they’ll be okay.”
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