ANZ Premiership: Red-hot Mainland Tactix continue mid-season revival against Southern Steel

Mainland Tactix have notched up their third straight ANZ Premiership victory, toppling Southern Steel 60-50 in Invercargill.

Anointed competition favourites in the pre-season, the Christchurch-based team lurched out of the blocks with three losses to begin their campaign, but now seem to have righted the ship, as they close on the early leaders.

The Tactix trailled for just 25 seconds the entire match and stretched their advantage to eight goals by halftime, before their rivals rallied to close within four during the third quarter.

With shooters Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit producing a near-perfect accuracy, they drew down the stretch for their biggest win of the season, avenging an 18-point defeat from the same opponents in last month's opening round.  

"It was a good tussle out there and good for us to come out on top this time round," defender Karin Burger told Sky Sport.

"We put our bodies on the line and the Steel came out firing, with the crowd backing them, but we just wanted to prove ourselves and redeem ourselves from the last game."

Bird converted 46/48 attempts (96 percent) on goal through the match - faultless through the first and third quarters - as she establishes herself among the premiership's top scorers.

The Steel were heavily penalised, while goal attack Tiana Metuarau conceded eight turnovers, as the southerners struggled to penetrate the Tactix defensive circle, anchored by internationals Burger and Jane Watson.

"For us at the back, it means so much when the fronts do their work and even the shooters," says Burger. "You could see there was a lot of pressure coming through court... we just get the glory at the end."

The result gives the Tactix the longest active winning streak in the competition and they test their title aspirations against top-of-the-table Northern Stars next Monday.

Meanwhile, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic let an opportunity to secure their second win of the ANZ Premiership slip away against the Northern Mystics.

The Magic led for three quarters, before letting the visiting Mystics back into the game in Tauranga.

The Mystics eventually ground out a hard-fought 67-59 win, winning the final quarter by 11 goals. 

The Mystics have now moved to within one-point of the Stars at the top of the table.