Mental focus key for Magic

Kia Magic coach Noeline Taurua says attitude will be as important as fitness when the team front the Canterbury Tactix on Monday night at ASB Arena.

Following the Magic’s first loss in 14 games by a tenacious West Coast Fever in round three of the ANZ Championships, and a bye last week, the women are hoping to redeem themselves with a secure win.

Noeline says the team strayed a long way from their game plan in the losing match earlier this month and hopes they have learned some valuable lessons as a result.

“While we lost, there were a lot of positives that came out of that game and it’s now up to us to see if we have actually learnt from it and take the next step.

“The timing of what happened coupled with the bye has turned out perfectly…we’ve had time to think about it and now it’s time to start putting things into action, moving on and looking forward to Tactix.”

Magic defeated Tactix in a dominant 69-46 win in round one of the championship in March, though Noeline expects a different game on Monday, with both teams having gained significant traction since then.

“Mentally we’ve got to be ready for this game, our attitude has to be very good, not getting caught up in the hype of things and just getting out there and playing a good level of netball.

“They’re a solid team and every time they’ve gone out, they’ve shown areas of improvement across the whole court. Playing the extra time game against Mystics, they’ve shown their fitness levels are high and they will be buoyed by the win. I’ve been impressed with what they’ve put out there.’’

Magic have predominantly looked inward in the lapse between games, the major focus being on sticking to the processes they believe will bring success.

“We were given a friendly reminder in the Fever match not to get caught up in what the opposition is trying to do to us.

“We were handed a lesson and I want us to get out there and concentrate on the consistency of performance we want to produce.

“The quality of how Tactix have been playing, their attitude and fitness levels will test us across the court, so from my players I’m looking for that ability to be able to hold and to really control our own product and performance under pressure.”

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