Pulse to meet Tactix in Super Club final
August 23, 2018
Scoring from the two-point zone proved decisive in today’s semi-final match-ups which resulted in Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse and the Tactix advancing to tomorrow’s Super Club final in Nelson.
In contrasting semi-finals, the Pulse produced an efficient and patient 64-55 win over last year’s winners the Southern Steel while the Tactix played catch-up throughout before running down the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) 64-62 late in the piece on the back of a Kate Beveridge shooting bonanza.
After taking a 14-13 lead at the first break, the Pulse were never headed, the defensive trio of Sulu Fitzpatrick, Karin Burger and Claire Kersten being key figures in stifling the Steel’s shooting options. Burger continued her impressive season with a standout day at the office, in the thick of action while hauling in five intercepts to earn her second player of the match award this week.
``She’s just great,’’ captain Kersten said of Burger. ``She goes for absolutely everything, her work rate is enormous and she’s just so tenacious. She’s grown heaps this year, shown that she can play a range of positions and is just awesome to play with and I’m loving it.’’
Shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio kept the Pulse on the front foot with her ability from the two-point zone, converting seven while Tiana Meturau chimed in with two. Aliyah Dunn ensured the scoreboard kept ticking over with an impressive 34 goals from close range as the Pulse’s judicious shot selection proved pivotal.
Olivia Bates and Georgie Heffernan gave the Steel a glimmer of hope with moments of clutch shooting success from range but the southerners lacked the Pulse’s all-round accuracy and poise on attack
With limited changes during the match and Kersten back at wing defence, the Pulse unleashed the speedy midcourt pairing of Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Whitney Souness as their midcourt attackers. This ensured unrelenting pace and ball movement which the Steel struggled to contain.
``It wasn’t always pretty but I thought we showed really good control with the ball when we needed to and good courage when we went for those two-pointers at the right time, so it was a good result,’’ Kersten said.
There had been little mention of the Pulse’s heart-breaking one-goal loss to the Steel in the ANZ Premiership Grand Final earlier this month but lessons had been learned.
``We had a good lead in that final and we let that slip and just playing with that patience and control made a big difference for us tonight,’’ Kersten said. ``You have to move on and this doesn’t really make up for that result but it is nice to be in another final.’’