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Mystics chase second win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/05/2016 Cathy Walshe
Debbie Fuller © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Debbie Fuller

It took the Northern Mystics five weeks to record their first win of the trans-Tasman netball league, but coach Debbie Fuller is willing to wait just five days for their second.

The Mystics toppled Adelaide Thunderbirds 52-49 on Monday, their first win after three losses and a 52-52 draw with Central Pulse.

On Saturday in Brisbane, they face a huge challenge in the defending champion Queensland Firebirds, who have proven unstoppable this season.

Fuller says the resolve her team showed in recovering from a third-quarter meltdown against Adelaide to salvage a win should stand them in good stead against the Firebirds.

"It was satisfying having the win, but there's still lots to work on," she told NZ Newswire.

"The third quarter was a big relapse when they outscored us by six points. But I was really impressed with the girls' ability to pull it back in that fourth quarter and only allow them to score seven goals."

While Fuller wants more mental fortitude, she also says her players need to adjust quicker to on-court changes.

The Firebirds extended their undefeated streak to 18 games last week with a 61-51 win over the NSW Swifts in a rematch of last year's grand final.

The Swifts managed to stay within touch over the first three quarters, but the Queenslanders powered away in the final stanza for a 10-goal win.

No team has managed to get closer than that this year, and Fuller admits the Mystics face a tough challenge.

But it's one she's confident they can manage, and points to the precedent set two years ago when the Mystics ended Adelaide Thunderbirds' 16-match winning run with a three-goal victory in extra time.

"We respect the fact that they're the current champions, and they have a good run of wins, but the focus has to be on us and our game style, to build it and grow it to another level."

On Sunday, the Swifts meet the Pulse in Sydney and Adelaide host the Southern Steel.

Melbourne Vixens travel to Christchurch for their Monday clash against Mainland Tactix, while the winless Magic are up against the West Coast Fever at Mt Maunganui.

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