TOKOMARU 72 SMOG HRC 48
The fact that they reduced the margin of defeat when these two sides last met from 30 to 24 will offer little consolation to the ‘‘ladies in black’’.
Toko made their intentions clear from the outset, opening up a 13-goal lead after 15 minutes. The Picton side put up 27 goal attempts to their rivals 13 and, with shooters Gemma Hika and Jess Prosser maintaining an average over 80 percent, there was only going to be one winner.
However, SMOG displayed their experience and resilience by taking the second quarter 14-13, overturning the possession deficit through good work at both ends of the court. Lucy Martin and Tracey Moanaroa began to force Toko’s attack into errors, while SMOG shooter Jess Rutherford made them pay on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for SMOG their revival was short-lived, Toko taking the third quarter by five then claiming the last stanza by seven as the match lost its intensity.
Toko are more and more looking like a well-oiled machine, especially given the return of athletic defender Tristian Taylor this week and their experienced midcourt combination of Tash