EasiYo Tactix v Northern Mystics

Calm down. Take a breath. The 'Harrison Hoist' was a non-event. On second glance, it is not likely to revolutionise netball and could end up being comparable to a flash-in-the-pan fashion craze.

The Northern Mystics held on for a tense 57-56 victory over the Canterbury Tactix in Auckland last night, but the other eight trans-Tasman netball teams will be full of praise for the Tactix after they uncovered the blueprint for combating Anna Harrison's lineout-style defence.

"We had clearly talked about it," Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs said.

Seven days after the Northern Mystics stole the spotlight in Melbourne and evoked wide-spread sporting debate by unveiling their controversial defensive lifting technique, the Tactix exposed its flaws and showed the move was far from bulletproof.

It may now sink into hibernation and only be sighted when habitual conditions are perfect.

"When anything is new there will always be an element of surprise.

That's what happened last week. It didn't really feature tonight," Gibbs said.

Over 4,500 expectant fans sold-out Trusts Stadium in the hope they would capture a first-hand experience of the new craze that dominated water-cooler talk last week. The assisted alley-oop the Mystics shooters had promised was another cause for anticipation. Neither came to the party.

All eyes were on the long-limbed Harrison. The banner - "Harrison doesn't need Red Bull to fly" - summed up where attention centred. But fans went home largely disappointed.

The Tactix were prepared. They had done their homework. Their counter-punch to Harrison's assisted block came in the form of a simple shielding mechanism, similar to that used in rugby league to protect the catcher from on-coming defenders.

Whenever one of the visitor's shooters, Ellen Halpenny and Jo Harten, lined up an attempt, the other would block Mystics defender Kayla Cullen from getting close to Harrison and, therefore, nullified their lifting action.

"Get in between the two defenders was the plan. If two players are engaged in the lift then one player is also free," Gibbs confirmed.

In the first quarter, Cullen and Harrison once attempted the lift unsuccessfully and Tactix defender Anna Galvan tried to emulate the move with Elizabeth Manu, but it went horribly wrong. It wasn't seen again until the final period when Jessica Moulds had more of an impact, promoting Harrison into the air, once.

"It was frustrating during the week because everyone thought it was going to change the game. You can only do it when the moment comes. We knew the shooters were going to offload," Harrison said.

"It's good it didn't feature as much because maybe people will calm down a little bit. It's something we've got to pull out when we can but it definitely won't change the game.

"We knew that was going to happen. We're not worried about it."

Earlier in Australia, Susan Fuhrmann tried lifting English import Eboni Beckford-Chambers in the Fever's one-point loss to the Firebirds, but that looked shambolic, proving the technique won't work with everyone.

In fact, none of the attempts since last week's first sighting have produced blocked shots.

Mystics coach Debbie Fuller originally planned to pull out the hoist during the semi-finals. But now it has been revealed and teams become accustomed to combating it, Fuller may feel she's flashed her trump card too soon.

The Mystics, who secured their seventh win of the season and retained their place in the top four, led by seven at half-time, but the last-placed Tactix fought back strongly, closing to within two goals at the final period and one by full-time.

Mystics shooter Cathrine Latu continued her strong form, only missing one of her 34 attempts.

Original source of the article here