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Magic deliver lesson to Northern Stars

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/03/2017

Any hopes of a fairytale start to the national netball premiership have been dashed, twice, for the Northern Stars.

The country's newest team crashed to a 67-47 loss to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in Hamilton on Monday, a day after they lost the competition opener 75-57 to the Southern Steel.

The Auckland-based Stars weren't in the same class as two of the favourites to win the inaugural competition.

Their attack was stifled against the Magic, who were led in dominant fashion by former New Zealand captain Casey Kopua at goal defence.

Kopua impressed in her return to netball on Sunday following a long injury break when the Magic crushed the Mainland Tactix 71-48.

She and lanky goal keep Kelly Jury stifled the Stars' attacking options, lifting the Magic to the top of the standings.

The home side have gelled quickly under coach Margaret Forsyth, with Silver Ferns midcourters Grace Rasmussen and Samantha Sinclair linking effectively with newcomer Ariana Cable-Dixon.

Their South African goal shoot Lenize Potgeiter has proved a revelation, landing 104 from 110 shots across the first two games.

Stars captain and veteran Silver Fern Leana de Bruin says the opening results are a reality check for her young team, although they always knew the step-up would be a treacherous one.

The Stars will be in action again when the league resumes on Sunday, against the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch.

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