Tactix's Keshia Grant nails stag on hunting trip
Keshia Grant snaffled her first stag during the Tactix bye week.
Next, she wants to take aim at the Northern Mystics as her side attempt to revive their trans-Tasman netball league season in Auckland on Sunday.
Grant used the bye week to get away from netball and go hunting for the first time on a friend's farm, just out of Murchison.
It proved to be a successful expedition with the midcourter landing an eight point stag with her first attempt using a .233 calibre rifle.
"We had some target shooting then went out and hunted some deer ... It was so awesome. I shot my first stag," she said.
The bye arrived at a welcome time for the Tactix after a sub-par performance against the Melbourne Vixens in Christchurch 10 days ago, where they were thumped by 24 goals.
Grant said her side were bitterly disappointed with their display given the way they played the week before in a stunning upset win over the Central Pulse.
With the trans-Tasman season approaching the midway stage, the Tactix must beat the Mystics for their own confidence levels. They will also be keen to avoid falling too far off the pace from teams like the Mystics, West Coast Fever and Southern Steel, who have an extra win to their name.
Last season, The Tactix' only two wins came against the Mystics, which they will take some comfort from. The Mystics did not have Silver Fern defender Anna Harrison, who missed the season due to pregnancy, and star midcourter Laura Langman, who switched over from the Magic, in their ranks.
A lack of consistency has plagued the Tactix in 2014. They are capable of producing the odd quarter of brilliance, as witnessed in the Pulse game. Too often, though, they have been guilty of dropping their intensity and allowing the opposition to pile on a run of goals.
Grant said coach Leigh Gibbs addressed the issue at training yesterday. The side were forced to carry out breathing exercises and were put into some pressure scenarios on court.
"She spoke to us about our mindset and how we can avoid going from being in that calm state to being in that frantic state. We talked through it and helped each other out."
Grant has relished the move back to wing attack after starting five games at centre last year.
She struggled with an ankle injury last pre-season and confessed she did not enjoy slotting in at centre.
"I wasn't confident there and my performance wasn't up to [trans-Tasman netball league] level. I'm happy to be back in the wing attack position.
"I really love wing attack. It's a position I've played in most of my life."
Grant felt she was the fittest she had been during her netball career. She carried out plenty of cross-training over the off-season, preparing for a charity boxing fight with New Zealand track cyclist Natasha Hansen, which she won. The 27-year-old was also involved with the Canterbury sevens rugby team at the South Island championships.
Grant was outstanding in her victory over Hansen with New Zealand heavyweight boxer Shane Cameron labelling her the best female charity fighter he had seen.
Grant was looking at another charity bout later in the year, but was unsure about the possibility of having a crack at amateur boxing.
"I've got to get more than one fight under my belt ... I'll guess I'll see how I go.
"I love all my sports. I don't want to give anything up. If an opportunity comes up, I'll see if it can work."