Tactix out to salvage pride against NSW Swifts

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2014
Leigh Gibbs
STACY SQUIRES/ Fairfax NZ
TACTIX COACH: Leigh Gibbs.

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Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs is promising an improved defensive showing from her side after leaking 70 goals last week.

The Tactix have a chance to restore some pride tomorrow after their 24-goal shellacking at home to the Magic in round one. Gibbs said the players acknowledged their performance was well below what they were capable of and was optimistic they could turn things around against the New South Wales Swifts.

If the Tactix are any chance of matching it with the classy Swifts, they need to address their defensive woes.

The Magic had an easy afternoon firing the ball into their shooters with the Tactix failing to apply enough pressure in the midcourt.

Only 34 penalties were called against the Tactix, illustrating their lack of commitment on defence.

‘‘We’ve got to be a lot closer and contest a lot more,’’ Gibbs said. ‘‘We were low in the penalty count. We’re striving to have low umpire involvement, but it probably signalled we weren’t contesting enough.’’

It will be interesting to see what the Tactix coaching staff do with their starting lineup.

New Zealand accelerant squad member and last year’s standout Jane Watson wasn’t sighted until the fourth quarter last week. She must be pushing for a starting spot in the defensive circle.

Goal attacks Julianna Naoupu and Sophia Fenwick both had games to forget against the Magic. Whoever gets the starting berth will need to support Mwai Kumwenda and make sure they share the shooting workload.

The Swifts opened their campaign with a 54-51 victory over the Fever. They turned the ball over 21 times in the win and the Tactix will know they have to convert those mistakes into goals if they are any chance of causing a boilover.

‘‘Turnovers are caused through pressure and we’ve got to apply pressure right through the court and equally absorb it when we’re on attack,’’ Gibbs said.

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