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Pulse coach gets her Grand Final wish

August 15, 2020

It will be a Grand Final with a difference but out-going Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie has the opportunity to end her ANZ Premiership netball tenure on a winning note.

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) today confirmed next Sunday’s Grand Final (August 23) will go ahead with the Pulse meeting the Tactix in Invercargill to decide this year’s winner. The change to Covid-19 alert levels during the week had cast doubt over the event taking place after this weekend’s final round of regular season matches were cancelled.

``This is fantastic news and we’re delighted that we’ve got the opportunity to defend our title,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

``With this weekend’s cancelled round not having any effect on the points table and with the Pulse and Tactix already confirmed in the final, we remained hopeful that the contest would take place.

``It’s a shame that it will be staged behind closed doors but we are grateful for the opportunity to play it at all. And with it also being screened on free-to-air television, it opens the door for a wider audience to take in the spectacle.’’

Due to play two games this weekend, the Pulse, instead, have had the opportunity to freshen up while maintaining their individual conditioning.  In the coming week, they will be back into their more formal business as usual mode, the intensity gathering momentum as they vie for back-to-back titles.

The latest advice from the Government has enabled NNZ to proceed with the Grand Final but with Auckland-based teams, the Northern Mystics and Northern Stars remaining at Alert Level 3, their participation in the play-off for third has effectively been ruled out. It has also been decided the play-off for fifth between Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Southern Steel will not be staged.

McCausland-Durie has guided the Pulse through their most successful era and will step down after Sunday’s final. In her four years at the helm, the Pulse made the post-season play-offs for the first time in the club’s history in 2017, going on to host a Grand Final for the first time in 2018 before claiming their first-ever title in 2019.

Due to the rest of the country being in Alert Level 2, the Grand Final will be closed to the general public.

The Grand Final will be played at 6.45pm on August 23, broadcast live on Sky Sport 3 as well as free-to-air on Prime.

Final placings for the 2020 ANZ Premiership, aside from the Grand Final, have been determined by the points ladder at the end of round robin play.

The Mystics finished in third place (35 points), the Stars in fourth (29) with the Steel (21) and Magic (19) fifth and sixth respectively.


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