Mystics' Tutaia and Latu of a kind
Adelaide Thunderbirds will host the Northern Mystics Sunday (tomorrow) at Netball SA stadium. This clash is the first time Thunderbirds vice captain Leigh Waddington has played against the Mystics since injuring her knee in Round four last season and was carried from the court by opponents Maria Tutaia and Catherine Latu. New Zealand star Tutaia hasn't forgotten the moment, explaining to Our Sporting Life SA how great it is to see Waddington back playing after her second knee reconstruction. "I remember that, it was a tragedy not just for herself and her team, but for netball in general," Tutaia said. "She is a great player, its good to see her back out there." As Waddington went down, Tutaia and Latu rushed to her side and helped her from the court in an amazing act of sportsmanship. "It's all in the fairness of the game, on court you are enemies, I don't know Leigh as a person but it's not nice seeing any athlete or any netballer go down like that." Tutaia said. Tutaia has also just recovered from injury her's was a foot injury suffered in the Commonwealth Games final against Australia in September. The New Zealand silver fern has been battling ongoing rehabilitation to fix her left plantar fascia, an injury described as feeling as though you're 'walking on broken glass'. "My foot is going really good actually I've been rehabbing it for the last five months," Tutaia said. "It's been quite nice to play these last two games and not have any niggles with it so everything is going well so far." Tutaia is known as one of the most impressive goal shooting talents that has stepped onto the court for New Zealand. Her long range shooting is a feature to her game and the fans are certainly excited by what Tutaia can deliver to the court. "It's all I kind of really know to be honest, I've always shot long range ever since I was a little kid," she said. "It's always exciting, but when you shoot from long range you've also got to get them in, its one thing attempting them and its another thing getting them in.
"Another part of my game is to try and get the short ones in so that's hopefully something that will happen this weekend." The Thunderbirds are desperate for a win losing their first two games for 2015. The Adelaide side have never lost three games in a row to start a season. The Mystics are yet to win game at Netball SA Stadium and are coming off a loss last week against West Coast Fever in Perth but Mystics captain Tutaia expects her side will display a better performance (tomorrow). "We are definitely a stronger team on and off the court this season, but we have had a few missing links especially last weekends game against the fever which we weren't to happy about. "We know what went wrong and we've gone back to the drawing board. "Hopefully we'll see a better product of netball played (tomorrow)." Tutaia is determined to win against the Thunderbirds, explaining that the Mystics don't travel to Australia to lose.
KEY STAT: Mystics midcourter Laura Langman will overtake Casey Kopua (107 games) for the most matches played in the ANZ Championship.
LIKELY LINE UPS: (Thundebirds - Mystics) GS: BORREGO - GK: FAKAHOKOTAU GA: BELL - GD: CULLEN WA: WADDINGTON - WD: GUTHRIE C: PROUD - C: LANGMAN WD: HALLINAN - WA: LEES GD: STEEL - GA: TUTAIA GK: BECKFORD-CHAMBERS - GS: LATU