Kopua Makes Return in Magic Victory

The excitement was palpable in Claudelands Arena on Monday night as the Kia Magic cemented their place in the NZ Conference Finals and welcomed the return of Magic co-captain Casey Kopua.

The inspirational defender made her long-awaited return against the Mojo Pulse after sustaining a serious knee injury last October.

The 29 year old played two quarters, helping her team through to the NZ Conference Finals, ensuring the Magic remain the only team to appear in every Finals Series since the inception of the league in 2008.

“That first quarter was like a massive adrenaline rush,” Kopua told SKY Sport’s Netball Zone straight after the match.

“I got a big thrill off it, I probably started with a bang and then putted out a wee bit but I can definitely go up from here.”

Coach Julie Fitzgerald moderated Kopua’s return injecting her into the match in the second and fourth quarters. Kopua admitted the staggered return was planned.

“My lungs were great, they were working but it was great to get back out on that court and have that competitiveness again which I’ve missed for a while.

“Obviously that was my first time out of court for the Magic, so hopefully we can go from there!”

The Magic led the match at every quarter despite a third quarter lull where the Pulse edged to within one of the home side.

The Magic have now secured second place in the NZ Conference and will host the NZ Conference Elimination Final on Saturday 6 June against either the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel or the Mojo Pulse.

But first they will finish the regular season against the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch on Sunday 31 May, 2015. Fans can catch all the action live on SKY Sport 1 from 7pm (check local guides).

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