Canterbury Tactix must push on, says coach

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2014
Mwai Kumwenda
Photosport
GOOD WIN: Mwai Kumwenda shoots for the Tactix against the Pulse.

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Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs has emphasised Sunday night's stunning victory over the Pulse will count for little if her side doesn't back it up in their next game.

The Tactix caused a huge boilover in Napier, gaining their first win of the season, 55-53 against a Pulse team with five Silver Ferns in their starting lineup.

It was a character-building win, after trailing by six goals at halftime and being pummelled by 36 goals against the Fever in their previous outing.

The Tactix had every reason to uncork the champagne bottles after the triumph - it was just their seventh win in their last 56 games.

But Gibbs said it was important they kept their feet on the ground, reiterating one win does not make a season. She said the challenge was to now back up their performance against the Melbourne Vixens at CBS Canterbury Arena next Monday night.

The Tactix have only won two games in succession three times in their history. Last year, they beat the Mystics twice, but followed up the win with a sloppy showing in their next game. Gibbs said they were determined to prevent that from happening again.

"We don't want to take a step backwards. There's no way we're settling for this.

‘We're absolutely not going to settle on one win for the season. It won't mean anything if we go back to our old ways."

Gibbs labelled the gritty victory as probably the most memorable in her three years coaching the side.

They displayed plenty of self belief to fight their way back into the game in the third quarter and kept their composure when the Pulse threatened late in the game.

"From being down in the dumps the week before and playing so disappointingly, to come back and beat a team that had so many Silver Ferns is a huge effort and win for the team," she said.

Tactix skipper Anna Thompson switched from her usual role in the midcourt to goal attack to start the game.

It was her first outing in the shooting circle in an elite game in two years, and she provided a calming influence.

Thompson converted just eight of her 15 goals, but her partnership with Mwai Kumwenda, who starred with 47/52 goals, and her feeding ability were critical in the win.

She landed several important goals in the second half, when Kumwenda was shut down, and will no doubt wear the goal attack bib against the Vixens.

Thompson said the win showed the Tactix can compete with anyone when they played as a unit.

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