Unbeaten run for Pulse at pre-season tournament
Powering home in the last quarter, Central Pulse posted a 59-46 win over Northern Mystics to remain unbeaten through the Te Wānanga o Raukawa pre-season tournament which finished in Ōtaki today.
It took the Pulse three-quarters of the match to dismantle a feisty and competitive Mystics line-up in their most testing workout of the tournament, the northerners bringing their best form of weekend to the last outing.
For Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie it was the perfect preparation ahead of the start of the ANZ Premiership in two weeks after winning all four outings this weekend.
``It’s been an absolutely invaluable weekend for us,’’ she said. ``I’m really satisfied with the progress we’ve made in three days, culminating in what was a really tight match but they showed an awareness and ability to withstand some pressure which for young players was a real hallmark.’’
Young Pulse shooters Aliyah Dunn and Tiana Metuarau faced some anxious early moments against experienced and athletic Mystics defenders Anna Harrison and former Pulse player Phoenix Karaka.
With the Mystics shooters going off the boil and captain for the weekend, Sulu Fitzpatrick marshalling her young defensive line of Renee Savai’inaea and Elle Temu expertly, it was the Pulse who hit the first break with a 16-9 lead.
Promoted from the Central Beko Netbal League team for the weekend, goal defence Temu showed good form with her in-circle pressure and rebounding ability. The Pulse defenders being forced into plenty of rear-guard action as the Mystics stormed back into a tight contest during the second term.
Harrison was at her menacing best while the Mystics showed some fine creativity on attack and accuracy under the hoop as they pegged the Pulse’s lead to 25-23 at the main break.
The Pulse made up some ground during the third quarter as the willing and absorbing contest showed little sign of abating. Showing better accuracy on attack where centre Whitney Souness was all class ensured more ball was reaching the shooters’ hands with Dunn going on to post an impressive 50 shots from 55 attempts.
Time and again, the Mystics threatened to breach the gap with Jamie Hume and Christie Anderson proving reliable under the hoop. However, the Pulse impressed enough to keep them at bay, holding a slight edge through the third stanza while maintaining a 42-37 lead at the last break.
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