Netball: Temalisi Fakahokotau leading Tactix resurgence

With three rounds of the ANZ Netball Premiership to go, once easy beats the Tactix are eyeing up a place in the finals for the very first time.

They are currently third in the six team competition, and are proving the old adage that defence does in fact win matches.

Now in her second year with the team after moving from Auckland, Temalisi Fakahokotau has been critical to the Tactix's revival this season.

"I think we want it more this year," said Fakahokotau.

"We have that mongrel and that hunger to get out and prove that we can do it."

Coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek can't say enough about her defensive leader.

"She's the rock and she's the heart of the team," said Delaney-Hoshek.

"Often you hear her voice from the end of the court and she picks up the team."

And the stats show just what a stand out the 23-year-old has been.

Of all the competition's players, she has the most rebounds, the most deflections and the most intercepts.

The defensive enforcer also has the most contacts and obstructions.

"Moving down here was probably the best thing for me. Everyone can see it , I'm a lot fitter and a lot stronger as well."

Fakahokotau was the only Tactix player in the Silver Ferns at the Commonwealth games, where their worst-ever finish lead to a review that's expected to be made public any day now. 

"It was challenging but I enjoyed the experience. Regardless of the result, I got to go to the Commonwealth Games, and not many people get to go there."

The only place the Tactix want to go right now is to the finals, for the first time. 

"It would be amazing - it would be uncharted territory."

With three games to go, the Tactix are desperate to hold onto third spot. A test of their playoff potential comes on Monday night when they take on the defending champion Southern Steel.