Backing up not easy for South Pac Magic

Georgia Te Au
Georgia Te Au
Taking the title off Ajax has always proven tough.

Keeping it off the side for a second year in a row has been even tougher.

That is the task ahead of the South Pac Magic, and the rest of the league, as the women’s club season begins at the Edgar Centre tomorrow night.

The Magic won nine consecutive games to claim its second title in four years last season.

However, it will have a challenge to repeat that performance.

It will start with a rematch of last year’s final, against Ajax at 6.30pm.

Last year’s joint-league most valuable player Georgia Te Au was key in facilitating that title run both as a scorer and playmaker.

She will lead the Magic backcourt, while former Tall Fern Lisa Wallbutton joins Natalie Visger and Letitia Mullaly to form a formidable front line.

It also has a useful pick-up in guard Te Araroa Sopoaga, although will be without guards Dayna Turnbull and Soraya Umaga-Jensen.

Zoe Richards. Photo: Supplied
Zoe Richards. Photo: Supplied
Ajax has responded and bolstered its squad significantly.

Tall Fern Zoe Richards and Otago Gold Rush forward Bronwyn Kjestrup have transferred to add considerable strength to an already quality line-up.

Veteran Danielle Frost is back after a year off, while it also retains its key players from last year, including joint- VP Natalie Ivamy (nee Smith) and Tall Fern guard Nicole Ruske.

Andy Bay Kavanagh impressed last year as a predominantly school-based team, although it has lost experience in Kjestrup.

However, it returns the majority of the rest of its team and has key players in Annabelle Ring and Dre Whaanga.

Annabelle Ring.
Annabelle Ring.
Varsity boasts plenty of depth and has bolstered its front line.

Alex Bennett provides an inside threat, while on the perimeter Tara Clement’s scoring game will be important.

The Andy Bay Falcons have had big losses in twins Zoe and Brittany Richards.

They retain the majority of the rest of their core and will look for production from the likes of Jenna Small, Jodie Hope and Tayla MacDonald.

South Pac OGHS are also back after making a playoff appearance last year.


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