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Magic missing key pair for Swifts clash

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/04/2016

The Pulse's Jacinta Messer (L) and Grace Rasmussen (R) of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic battle for the ball during the round one ANZ Championship match on April 4, 2016 © Getty The Pulse's Jacinta Messer (L) and Grace Rasmussen (R) of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic battle for the ball during the round one ANZ Championship match on April 4, 2016 Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic will be without two key players for Saturday's trans-Tasman second-round match against the NSW Swifts in Sydney.

Skipper and veteran Silver Ferns defender Leana de Bruin, who missed Monday's opening single-goal loss to Central Pulse, will be given more time to recover from a foot injury.

And midcourter Grace Rasmussen, who lasted just over 20 minutes against the Pulse, is also staying home as she battles a pre-season calf injury.

Experienced English international shooter Jo Harten will again captain the side in de Bruin's absence.

"This team really leads itself, and we've got some great youngsters really pushing on and challenging to be leaders in this team," Harten said.

The absence of de Bruin and Rasmussen pushes the rest of the team to lift their performance, she added.

"It will be a case of everyone stepping up and doing that extra one per cent, having seven leaders out on court and really working together."

Harten said the Swifts, last year's beaten finalists, looked very slick in their first-up 52-47 win over Melbourne Vixens.

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