ANZ Premiership: Champions Northern Mystics extend competition lead with romp over Mainland Tactix

Northern Mystics have consolidated their position atop the ANZ Premiership table with a comprehensive 70-51 victory over Mainland Tactix.

The rematch of last season's finalists proved a mismatch for the defending champions, who blew the contest wide open with a 23-14 third quarter that included seven unanswered goals.

Shooter Grace Nweke celebrated her 50th appearance for the Mystics with another dominant display, slotting 45/49 attempts at goal, before she was rested for the entire final period.

Coach Helen Wilson was able to rotate her entire squad, allowing goal attack Filda Vui to shoot 9/9 in that fourth quarter, as she and Monica Falkner shared shooting responsibilities. 

After briefly conceding the competition lead to Central Pulse last week, the Mystics have now caught up on games with two subsequent wins and hold a five-point advantage over their nearest challengers. 

Meanwhile, Northern Stars continued to heap misfortune on Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, with a 47-39 win the second match of a doubleheader.

Magic actually led 14-12 through the opening quarter and also took out the final period 11-10, but fell away through the middle stages, including a nine-minute period of the third quarter, when they conceded a 10-0 scoring run to their rivals.

Silver Ferns shooter Maia Wilson converted 31/40 under goal for the Stars, while defender Anna Harrison celebrated her 150th premiership outing with five intercepts. 

The Stars now sit third on the table, only three points behind the Pulse with a game in hand.

Mystics face the Stars on Sunday, while the Pulse take on Southern Steel on Monday.

Northern Mystics 70 (Nweke 45/49, Vui 17/19, Falkner 8/11) Mainland Tactix 51 (Bird 23/29, Selby-Rickit 22/27, Glen 5/7, Koloto 1/1)

Northern Stars 47 (Wilson 31/40, Hume 13/22, Malesala 3/4) Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 39 (Mes 23/34, Rowland 11/17, Autagavaia 5/7)