Pulse undone by slick Magpies in Super Club semis
December 12, 2019
Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse have been denied the opportunity to defend their Super Club title after being outplayed 54-40 by the Collingwood Magpies (Australia) in Nelson today.
The Magpies got away to a flyer with a dominant and clinical opening stanza, finding the direct route to imposing 1.95m shooter Shimona Nelson who kept the scoring ticking over as the Pulse took time to find their feet.
Down by five at the first break, the Pulse delivered a strong second stanza with the defensive unit of Karin Burger, Katrina Rore and Renee Savai’inaea in the thick of action while keeping the Magpies’ attacking line in check. With more ball in their hands, shooters Aliyah Dunn and Ameliaranne Ekenasio ensured the Pulse were well in the game when trailing by two at the main break.
During this phase, the match lived up to its billing with the Pulse well in the contest in going toe-to-toe with their well-credentialled opponents, finding the ability to create turnovers while midcourt speedster Maddy Gordon found extra space to get more quality ball to her shooters.
However, the fightback was short-lived as the Magpies slipped into overdrive during a rampant third quarter where veteran play-maker Natalie Medhurst dictated the course of action, backed up by the scoring prowess of player of the match, Nelson, who slotted 40 goals from 43 attempts during the match, athletic midcourter Ashleigh Brazill and classy goalkeeper Geva Mentor.
On the back foot after losing the third quarter 18-7, the damage was done and there was no way back for the Pulse, who were unable to stem the flow to impressive and lethal Jamaican import Nelson.
``Our start wasn’t great but we did peg it back in the second quarter and then we went a bit flat,’’ Pulse captain Katrina Rore said afterwards.
``Our heads started dropping after we made mistakes and on defence, we got caught chasing a bit. But this is great to experience in the pre-season and we’ve learnt a lot.
``The Magpies are a really classy side, play a real man-on-man game, so it’s taught us to take our feet through with us and be really strong when we’re playing.’’
The Pulse will play the Magic in the play-off for third tomorrow (Friday, 6.35pm).