Southern Steel stunned by Central Pulse

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 8 May 2018, 9:38AM
The Pulse claimed a solid 62-51 victory over the Steel (Photo \ NZH)
The Pulse claimed a solid 62-51 victory over the Steel (Photo \ NZH)

The undefeated Southern Steel were stunned by the ebullient Central Pulse in the fourth game of the ANZ Premiership.

The Pulse claimed a solid 62-51 victory over the Steel, bringing an end to the Southern team's 17 game win streak.

When the teams last met in the 2017 Grand Final, the Steel won 69-53 to claim the inaugural title over the Pulse.

But after claiming a decisive win over the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic on Sunday, the Pulse took to the court beaming with confidence and ready to capitalise on their solid opening performance.

With swift play in the midcourt and accurate shooting to seal the deal, the Pulse looked seemingly unstoppable for the Southerners.

After a stunning first quarter, the Pulse extended their small but promising lead to conclude the second quarter with a healthy five-point buffer.

Despite having a helping hand from experienced Silver Fern Te Paea Selby-Rickit, young shooter Jennifer O'Connell struggled against the pressure of Pulse defenders Katrina Grant and Sulu Fitzpatrick.

Meanwhile, Aliyah Dunn and Tiana Metuarau capitalised on their solid 94 percent hit rate into the final quarter, bringing it home for the Pulse.

The Steel, on the other hand, were continually let down by uncharacteristic errors and a reluctance to put the ball into space.

Grant was pleased with her team's effort against the Steel and said being one of the youngest squad's in the league had been working to their advantage.

"It feels really good, the shooters were just nailing their shots, yesterday we were a little bit nervous so that was a much better performance today," Grant said.

"The younger players have no fear, and no fear is hard to play against ... their confidence is really growing."

The Northern Mystics will face the Mainland Tactix in the fifth and final game of the first round on Wednesday at 7:45pm.