It was a match that showcased the true international netball style with fierce competition between the Central Pulse and the Southern Steel before the Pulse were defeated 59-57.
It was an important match for the Steel as they were on the hunt to secure themselves a home final next weekend, thus a win was necessary, and a big win was ideal.
On the other hand, the Pulse sitting in 5th had nothing to lose and were there to cause havoc for the Steel.
For the first three quarters, it was a back and forth until the Steel finally made a move on the Pulse and just as quickly as they secured the lead, the Pulse fought back bringing the margin from 6 to 2 goals.
“It’s the story of the Pulse’s season,” commentator Wendy Frew said each time Pulse’s defence would turn the ball over only for Aaliyah Dunn and Te Amo Amaru-Tibble not to convert.
Both teams opted for fresh legs in Goal Defence at halftime, with Sarahphienna Woulf replacing Te Huinga Selby-Ricket for the Steel and Paris Lokotui pushing Kelly Jury back to GK and Kelera Nawai to the bench.
After a short stint on the bench, Selby-Ricket was back on the court in GD, which proved to be crucial for the Steel in the final term.
After a tug of war for control, the last quarter looked like it would be the same, but only for a few minutes until the Steel came alive.
Early on the Central Pulse had the opportunity for the first time to take the lead, but Selby-Ricket had other plans, spoiling their party with back to back intercepts.
The sold-out arena came alive as they played with grit and finesse, truly showing the fans what the Steel were made of.
It looked to be a strong home run as the Steel pushed the lead to 6, but the Pulse were not going down without a fight with Kelly Jury putting the pressure on George Fisher and coming away with 2 intercepts and 1 gain.
But as per similar matches this season, it was too little too late, and the clock outran them in the end.
Throughout the match, young guns Maddy Gordan for the Pulse and Kate Heffernan for the Steel stood out from the rest as they put their heart into every minute of the game. Heffernan was even lucky enough to walk away with MVP for the match after 18 feeds, 3 gains, and 3 intercepts.
Following the news of coach Gail Parata’s departure and the season now over for the Central Pulse, they will look to regroup and refocus for the 2022 season. The Southern Steel now have their eyes sharply on tomorrow’s game as they set up for their preliminary final against the Mainland Tactix.
Categories: ANZ Premiership