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Lapses prove costly for Pulse

Maddy Gordon was a stellar performer for the Pulse across both games on Friday. Photo: Adrian Watkins

The Pulse paid the price for a lack of accuracy when narrowly losing both their games on the opening day of the Te Wānanga o Raukawa hosted ANZ Premiership pre-season netball tournament in Ōtaki on Friday.

Losing first-up to the Magic by a solitary goal, the Pulse followed a similar path when losing 41-39 to the Tactix in the last game of the day after having enough possession and attempts at goal to win both.

``It’s not so much the end result that’s disappointing but I think we had real moments to take opportunities and we didn’t take them, so I think that’s the piece that is a real work-on,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.

``Whether it was a missed shot or an inaccurate pass, those are the things that are in our control, and the end result will take care of itself at that point. So, we’re competing and we’re putting ourselves into good positions but we need to be sharper on the finishing bits.

``I was really impressed when they get the running lines right on attack, they’re looking really strong there’s quite a bit of variety in there but at the moment, it’s just the discipline.’’

With games played over four 12-minute quarters and many of the attending players on managed loads, there was plenty of variety and interchanging of combinations.

The Tactix led through all the quarter breaks and looked to have the game sewn up when pushing out to an eight-goal lead at the last turn but the Pulse stormed home to level the scores and open the door enough to clinch the win before falling at the last hurdle.

Midcourt duo Maddy Gordon and Whitney Souness received special mention from their coach for the day’s efforts.

``I was really impressed with Maddy, her work rate was incredible and combining with Whitney’s flair, those two have worked really consistently all day,’’ she said.

The Pulse started their day with a narrow 48-47 loss to the Magic in a keenly-fought contest which went neck-and-neck from start to finish.

Warming to their task, both sides showed some slick through-court movement, the overall tightness of the match indicated when the Magic went to a slim 14-13 lead at the first break.

Proceedings stepped up a notch on the resumption with Gordon and Souness finding the tall target of shooter Amelia Walmsley with increasing regularity and some pin-point feeds.

Dominating the possession stakes, the Pulse found their flow as Walmsley continued to showcase her growing maturity when delivering an impressive first half, the teenaged scorer enjoying a good day out to post 32 shots from 37 attempts after playing three-quarters of the match.

And with the Pulse gaining numerous turnover opportunities, it was the hosts who skipped out to a four-goal advantage when leading 28-24 at the main break.

With a re-jigged line-up, the Pulse continued to hold their own. The young and inexperienced shooting duo of Walmsley and crafty offsider Kiana Pelasio able to keep their opposites at arm’s-length to maintain their buffer when taking a 40-36 lead into the last turn.

More changes, including apprentice training partner Rachel Price at goal defence, and Malawi international shooting recruit Joyce Mvula had the Pulse well placed when heading down the home straight.

However, a prime opportunity to notch an opening win slipped through their grasp when ill-discipline allowed a fast-finishing Magic to claw their way back and sneak a hard-earned win in the dying minutes.

Day 1 results:

Magic 48 Pulse 47

Tactix 54 Mystics 50

Steel 55 Stars 37

Mystics 50 Magic 42

Tactix 41 Pulse 39



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