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Firebirds far too good for Tactix

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/04/2016 Matt Harris

Queensland Firebirds have made an emphatic start to their trans-Tasman netball title defence, outclassing the Mainland Tactix 70-55 in their season-opener in Brisbane on Friday night.

In front of a vocal home crowd at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the two-time champions led at every break to claim their 14th straight victory, a record stretching back to round five of last season.

The 15-point win was also the 12th consecutive match the Firebirds have scored 50 or more goals.

Sharp shooters Romelda Aiken (45 goals from 49 attempts) and Gretel Tippett (25 from 31) complemented eachother at the attacking end for the Firebirds while Mwai Kumwenda was the top goal-scorer for the Tactix with an impressive 37 goals from 38.

The Firebirds didn't have it all their way in the opening exchanges, trailing by four points midway through the first quarter before clicking into gear late to lead by two at the break.

They upped the ante before halftime thanks to some quality delivery inside the attacking third by wing attack Caitlyn Nevins and centre Kim Ravaillion.

At the opposite end of the court, Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman lifted their defensive intensity to keep Tactix shooters Kumwenda and Bailey Mes (18 from 27) at bay.

Taking a 33-25 advantage into the third quarter, Queensland continued to pile on the pressure against the Tactix, who only managed one victory last season.

The gulf in class began to tell as the hosts outscored their less fancied rivals by nine points to take a 17-goal lead into the final 15 minutes.

Queensland eased off in the final stanza, but the damage had already been done in the middle two quarters as the hosts cruised towards victory.

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