Perfect shooting display gives Pulse win

A battle for possession as the Central Pulse defeated the Southern Steel. MICHAEL BRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

A stunning 100 per cent shooting performance from the Central Pulse led the unbeaten side to a 47-40 win over the Southern Steel in the ANZ Premiership on Saturday evening.

Coming off their first win of the 2020 season, the Steel had an unchanged line-up throughout the match, with coach Reinga Bloxham sticking to a predictable starting seven.

Despite a seven-goal run giving them the lead in the second quarter, the Southerners could not hold on for all four quarters, losing the final stanza 14-5.

The Steel held a two-goal lead with twelve minutes to go, but the Pulse attackers had calm heads and found their shooters with ease.

Pulse shooters Aliyah Dunn and Ameliaranne Ekenasio could do no wrong, both ending the game on 100 per cent accuracy, with 22 and 25 goals respectively as Ekenasio shot a lot of hers from long range.

The defending champions made multiple changes throughout, with young defender Elle Temu shutting down the feeds to Jennifer O’Connell and Tiana Metuarau coming on at wing attack, taking pressure off the Pulse attacking end.

Silver Ferns captain Ekenasio was awarded the MVP performance and credited the final quarter surge on keeping calm.

“I think that’s something we’ve really tried to work on is not hitting the panic button… but tonight we just tried to stay really clear on the things we could control in the game.”

Steel co-captain Gina Crampton was happy with their performance, despite not getting a bonus point. “We wanted to be better than we were last week and we definitely were, we had a really good three quarters.”

The Pulse will be wanting to back up their performance when they play the bottom of the table Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic on Sunday.


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