Kia Magic ready for Mystics backlash

Winning crunch games has become synonymous with Kia Magic and it’s a familiar setting for their ANZ Championship netball outing against Northern Mystics in Auckland on Monday.

Back-to-back wins against Queensland Firebirds and Southern Steel have kept the defending champions’ hopes of a place in the Finals Series alive but they remain on guard.

Mystics have endured a miserable season and sit anchored at the foot of the table with just one win but there is a feeling they will unleash something special before season’s end and could yet prove the classic spoilers.

Mystics and Magic have a great rivalry and they’re likely to come up with a big game because they hate losing to Magic. And they’re at home, everyone loves playing at home,’’ Magic goal attack Ellen Halpenny said.

They haven’t had the best of seasons but they upset the Pulse and the Pulse are no easy beats, so you never know on the day and we’ve just got to make sure we bring our A game.’’

After transferring from Tactix to the Waikato/Bay of Plenty side during the off-season, Halpenny’s game has continued to gain momentum, the strongly-built shooter proving a great foil for evergreen shooter Irene van Dyk with her ability to create play, shoulder the shooting load when required and get up for rebounds.

The former New Zealand under-21 player has stood up admirably in the must-win encounters of the previous two weeks and while downplaying her own form is thriving in the Magic environment.

I still think there’s heaps to work on but I’m loving learning…..learning off Noeline (Taurua, coach), Irene, Laura (Langman) and Khao (Watts)….just the little things you learn from them,’’ she said.

My game has definitely improved but I still think there’s a lot more, just the playing smarts and things like that.

I feel really lucky that I’ve actually got the chance to be coached by Noeline. With her finishing at the end of the year, she might never coach again, you don’t know what she’s going to do in the future, so I have been really fortunate to get this time with her.’’

It is only in recent weeks that Halpenny, 22, has been offered full games, initially sharing the role with Jess Waitapu but with time under her belt, is now building a fruitful partnership with van Dyk, the world’s most capped netballer.

I love playing alongside Irene, she is just so encouraging,’’ Halpenny said. I think she had an amazing game against Steel (last round) and just really stood up for the team. She took a lot of the pressure but she loves it and she showed us how good she is.’’

Halpenny shows little emotion on court and is not fazed by what’s thrown her way, saying, What you see on my face is how I feel.’’

With Magic’s attack line showing continued improvement, there’s no slacking off for Halpenny and what they need to produce against Mystics.

We’ve got to keep working on our structures and still make sure our toolbox is full when it comes to our range of options for any opponents,’’ she said. We don’t want to just be one page of the book, we have to have alternatives for different situations.’’

It is a totally different environment from where she has come, the foundation Tactix member registering many more losses than wins during her career in the league.

It’s a weird feeling to be winning more consistently,’’ she said. You can have a crap game and still win which is a very weird feeling to me. I’m used to having a crap game and losing and that’s not a nice feeling. So, it’s nice to be able to gain positives from winning when you are not necessarily playing that well.

I am really enjoying winning and it makes getting up for the next week a lot easier.’’


Werewolf character made for “Lycans Curse” 2014

The main character of the game. Honestly for a main character he was very rushed, but In the end it worked out, perhaps might go back and work on it more.

3752 Tri

1024 x 1024 texture size.

Toulon : D.Armitage vers Bath ?

Delon Armitage de retour au pays ? Selon la presse britannique, l’arrière anglais de Toulon Delon Armitage (32 ans, 26 sélections avec le XV de la Rose) serait en discussions avec Bath. Libre en fin de saison, le triple champion d’Europe, arrivé en 2012 dans le Var, est barré au RCT notamment par le Gallois Leigh Halpenny, actuellement indisponible, et l’Australien James O’Connor.

En France, Bordeaux-Bègles et Lyon suivraient également le dossier avec attention. Delon Armitage n’a plus porté le maillot de Toulon depuis fin décembre et la défaite à Toulouse où il s’est fracturé une main.

Lire l'article sur www.sport365.fr

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BOJ Meeting Preview: Time for a Wait and See Approach?

Jan. 27 – Derek Halpenny of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi previews this week’s meeting of the Bank of Japan and the challenges faced by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Markets back on the rack: World markets were back in sell-off mode on Tuesday as a 6 percent slump in Chinese shares following more weak data there and oil’s slide below $30 a barrel again led to a renewed bout of selling. The plunge in China capped a miserable day for Asia, and European bourses quickly followed suit, with shares in London, Frankfurt and Paris tumbling 1.5 to 1.8 percent in a bumpy start to trading. Derek Halpenny, European Head of Global Markets Research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, said the drop in Chinese markets was another blow to sentiment but it was the fresh oil slump that was probably the bigger concern. http://q.gs/9i8Ay

ANZ Champs: Round 10 review

The Kia Magic and Haier Pulse kept their ANZ Championship top four hopes alive with gritty wins over two Australian teams.

It was more than just a victory for the Magic with an obvious step up from areas on court which have been troublesome for the Waikato-BOP side leading into the round 10 game.

But they still needed extra time to beat the Queensland Firebirds on the Gold Coast, winning 65-62 after the scores were locked 51-51 at the end of regular time.

What would please outgoing coach Noeline Taurua most however would be seeing players in the areas of wing attack and goal attack produce their best performances of the season.

The Magic unit looked more united in letting the ball go and with their timing through court and they led by five goals at half-time.

Wing Khao Watts found her rhythm in the Magic’s frontline with a high workload as did Ellen Halpenny who showed a sweet long shot when the pressure came on.

As expected, the Firebirds hit back and levelled the scores on the final whistle to force the game into extra time.

And it was the hosts who snatched the initiative early in the first period of extra time when they went four goals ahead.

But they finished strongly and a crucial rebound from Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua put the Magic on the path to an important victory.

The Haier Pulse came close to going to extra time but for the big paw of goal defence Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit who snatched what proved a match-winning intercept against the West Coast Fever in Wellington on Sunday night.

Selby-Rickit grabbed possession off the Fever centre pass with the visitors pushing hard to level the scores in the dying seconds. The turnover ensured the Pulse won the match 53-52 to keep their semi-final chances alive.

The match was full of intensity from the opening whistles with both teams desperate for victory to stay in the championship chase.

Fever had the better of the Pulse in the first half with captain Catherine Cox leading the way and the side welcoming back Ashleigh Brazill into the mid-court.

They held a two-goal buffer at the main break but the advantage swung the way of the hosts as veteran goal attack Donna Wilkins, who was a work horse around the court, stepped up again shooting a faultless game.

But just as they looked to have the match under control the Fever surged one last time and looked like sending the match to extra time but for the efforts of Selby-Rickit.

A lull in the third quarter cost the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel dearly as they pushed hard against the Melbourne Vixens to keep their top four hopes alive.

But the lapse mid-way through the third spell put end to their dreams of picking up a first win in Australia, eventually going down 58-52.

Vixens goal keeper Geva Mentor was outstanding against Steel star Jhaniele Fowler picking up two rebounds, two intercepts and six deflections. The hard work done by Bianca Chatfield in shutting down Steel captain Jodi Brown also disrupted the visitors’ flow on attack.

The Steel had surged a couple of times in the first half to haul in early leads from the Vixens and with the scores locked 29-29 at half-time, there was hope that a first-up win across the ditch was in sight.

Courtney Tairi was strong for the Steel at wing attack while Shannon Francois came on well at wing defence in the second half.

But the Steel were outscored 16-9 straight after the main break putting the Vixens in control for the fourth quarter and cementing second place on the points ladder.

The EasiYo Tactix finished strongly against the table-topping Adelaide Thunderbirds in Dunedin on Monday night but despite the close scoreline, the visitors were in control in their 62-58 victory.

Both teams tinkered with their starting line-ups but it was the Thunderbirds who warmed up first on the cold night in Dunedin to take a three-goal buffer at quarter time.

Goal defence Zoe Walker was replaced at first break, feeling unwell, as the Thunderbirds went on a roll to lead by nine at half-time.

Walker returned after the main break and made an impact as the hosts won the third quarter and surged again in the dying stages of the match.

Injuries on defence hampered the LG Mystics opportunities against the NSW Swifts on Sunday, with Jess Moulds ruled out before the game and goal defence Julie Corletto playing just one quarter because of injury.

But they also struggled to find any rhythm on attack with a high turnover rate from their frontline and a high penalty count.

The Mystics trailed by 10 goals at half-time and were unable to make an impact on the scoreboard in the second half.

'Building Evidence' of Stronger U.S. Wages: Halpenny

Jan. 27 – Derek Halpenny of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi discusses improved economic data in the United States, including evidence of stronger wages, geopolitical volatility in Europe, and the potential for the euro to weaken to parity with the U.S. dollar. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
FOMC Faces Changed World Since Interest Rate Hike

Jan. 27 – Derek Halpenny of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi talks about how global markets and economic data may impact the Federal Reserve’s rate decision and where he sees opportunities in the global currency market. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

China rout and oil gloom put markets back on the rack: World markets were back in sell-off mode on Tuesday as a 6 percent slump in Chinese shares following more weak data there and oil’s slide below $30 a barrel again led to a renewed bout of selling. The plunge in China capped a miserable day for Asia, and European bourses quickly followed suit, with shares in London, Frankfurt and Paris tumbling 1.5 to 1.8 percent in a bumpy start to trading. Derek Halpenny, European Head of Global Markets Research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, said the drop in Chinese markets was another blow to sentiment but it was the fresh oil slump that was probably the bigger concern. http://q.gs/9i7et

Queensland Firebirds defeat Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic

Mission Queensland Firebirds (53) defeated Kia Waikato BOP Magic (50)

Firebirds shooting statistics:

Romelda Aiken: 40/46 (87%)

Natalie Medhurst: 13/17 (76%)

Magic shooting statistics:

Irene van Dyk: 27/28 (96%)

Ellen Halpenny: 13/17 (76%)

Full details including match reports, statistics and ladder updates are now available on anz-championship.com.

Injury concerns 'strengthen NZ netball teams' resolve'

Unbeaten in pool play at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the New Zealand Netball team are tenaciously planning for the next phase of competition, the semi-finals.

After two rest days, the NZ team are firmly focussed on what is required to defeat one of the high flyers in world Netball - England, who underlined their credentials earlier in the pool play, coming within one goal of current world champions Australia.

With such a crucial match on the horizon, New Zealand Netball coach Waimarama Taumaunu says she can’t help but be impressed with the way her team has rallied in the wake of injuries over the past week.

The eight-goal win over Jamaica was never a certainty with the NZ teams’ top two shooters reduced to sitting on the bench with injuries, leaving the weight of expectation on Jodi Brown and Ellen Halpenny.

“It certainly has felt as though we’ve had a little bit more of a challenge than normal,” she admitted.

“When Cathrine (Latu) came off in that Northern Ireland game soon after Maria (Tutaia) and with Ellen injured the day before, I felt a really strong surge from the team.

"It was in terms of ‘right, this is serious now and we really have to look after each other’. Straight after that we went on a seven-nil scoring spree.

"We retained possession, were resilient and very firm, we displayed all of those attributes,” she said.

“That was the beginning of seeing the team really come together instead of just meandering through the second week.”

While Halpenny has bounced back to full fitness after rolling her ankle in the match against Scotland, the status of Tutaia and Latu is still being assessed on a day by day basis.

The NZ team have secured their semi’s spot against England and the kiwis are under no illusion that to topple the world’s third ranked team is going to be a huge challenge.

At least half of England’s line-up play professionally in Netball’s ANZ Championship so they are a not altogether unfamiliar unit for the kiwi players. Jade Clarke, Geva Mentor, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Ama Agbeze, Jo Harten and new signing for the Northern Mystics Serena Guthrie are all in the English side.

The way the English approach their matches is also familiar to NZ Netball coach Waimarama Taumaunu after her role as national performance director for All England Netball more than ten years ago. During Taumaunu’s time in England, she was also assistant coach for the England team in the 2003 World Championships in Jamaica.

The New Zealanders are continuing to hit their targets, especially the matches where the score has fast-tracked in their favour. Taumaunu says the key is to stick to their game plan and continue to cement combinations, some of which are untested in match play.

“We scored over 20 goals a quarter against Saint Lucia,” Taumaunu said.

“We set some small tasks for ourselves which we met, so it’s been good for us in terms of confidence in doing what we say we’re going to do, so that was also useful,” she said.

“We’ve got an idea of what the final line-ups could be so we’ll make a final call before the match,” she said.

New Zealand play England in the first semi-final on Saturday night from 8.50pm with the second semi-final following straight after.

Kia Magic retain Halpenny, gain a Silver Fern

Kia Magic have retained the services of shooter Ellen Halpenny for a further two years while also signing new midcourt recruit Courtney Tairi for the 2014 ANZ Championship netball season.

Excited by her progress this year after moving north from the Tactix, Halpenny was keen to extend her stay with the Waikato/Bay of Plenty team while new Silver Fern Tairi has opted for a change after two years with Southern Steel.

I really enjoyed my first season with the Magic and I’m looking forward to the next season,’’ Halpenny said.

A lot’s changed. When change happens, it can either be a good thing or a bad thing and my change in coming up to the Magic for the last season was a good change, so I’m hoping that this will be a carry on from that.’’

Halpenny, 23, made significant strides in her game this year and is excited about the prospect of working with new coaches, Australian Julie Fitzgerald and former Silver Ferns shooter Margaret Forsyth.

From a shooting perspective, I’m really looking forward to working with Marg and having the opportunity to work with an Australian coach was also a strong pulling point,’’ she said.

Halpenny is also relishing the prospect of teaming up with England shooting import Jo Harten again, the pair spending the 2012 season together at the Tactix.

It’s great to see Ellen returing to Magic for 2014 after really taking a step up this year,’’ Fitzgerald said.

Given the opportunity of regular court time in 2013, Ellen showed she is capable of competing well at this level and I believe can continue to improve considerably on her game.

There is potential for her to form a strong combination with our other shooters and she is able to switch from goal attack to goal shooter when required. With the confidence of a strong season behind her, Ellen is primed to work hard for even better things in 2014.’’

Born in Australia to New Zealand parents, Tairi, 25, came through the Australian system and three season with the Sydney Swifts (2009-11) before switching her allegiance and opting to ply her trade on this side of the Tasman.

The move paid off handsomely for the former Australian under-21 representative after her recent naming in the Silver Ferns team for the upcoming five-test Constellation Cup series against Australia followed by a three-test series against Malawi.

Thrilled to make the cut for the Silver Ferns, the talented midcourter, who offers plenty of variety and the added bonus of height in the engine room, is looking forward to her move north.

Julie Fitzgerald is a great coach who I have worked with before and also there’s experienced players like Casey (Kopua) and Leana (de Bruin) as well as some good young ones coming through,’’ Tairi said.

A major drawcard for me was being able to work with those experienced players as well as some younger players coming through and helping with their development.’’

Former Swifts mentor, Fitzgerald is looking forward to reuniting with Tairia at Magic, believing she is on the verge of developing into one of the game’s top midcourters.

I have always admired Courtney’s ability to feed the shooters, a skill often overlooked when selecting centre court players in today’s game,’’ she said.

Courtney is a player who always seems to have time and space and I know she also has a strong defensive game when playing in the centre position.

Her impact can easily be overlooked because of her calm persona but the shooters she is working with will always appreciate her vision and passing skills. I’m looking forward to her continued development at Magic.’’

Magic players confirmed for 2014:

Ellen Halpenny, Courtney Tairia, Casey Kopua, Leana de Bruin, Jo Harten, Brooke Leaver, Samantha Sinclair.

Silver Ferns and Accelerant Squad announced

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) has confirmed the Silver Ferns and National Accelerant Squads for the 2013-2014 season.

Silver Ferns Squad:

Jodi Brown, Anna Thompson, Katarina Cooper, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Katrina Grant, Courtney Tairi, Irene van Dyk, Joline Henry, Leana de Bruin, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman, Maria Tutaia, Cathrine Latu, Camilla Lees, Kayla Cullen

NZ Accelerant Squad:

Grace Rasmussen, Shannon Francois, Ellen Halpenny, Jane Watson, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Zoe Walker, Malia Paseka

NNZ National Selectors have been asssessing player performance throughout the 2013 ANZ Championship season from March until July this year and over the three days of trials where all players once again competed on a level playing field.

Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu says she’s pleased with the depth of talent in the squad and that those selected were chosen on form after impressing all week.

“It’s always going to be a difficult decision to exclude some extremely talented players, but we are satisfied we have made the right choices.”

“We now need to look ahead and focus on the next challenge which is the New World Netball Series for the Constellation Cup against Australia which starts on September 15. We’ve got a lot of work to do before then,” Taumaunu said.