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Pulse remain near top after win over Stars

Updated: Jun 24

The Pulse have beaten the Stars in their latest ANZ Premiership match
Whitney Souness is airborne for the Pulse in their win over the Stars in their latest ANZ Premiership match. PHOTO: NETBALL NZ/MB PHOTOGRAPHY

The Central Pulse have scored an important win looking towards the ANZ Premiership finals beating the determined Northern Stars 46-43. 

The win leaves them two points away from top-of-the-table Tactix, a slip-up against a Stars side – which claimed the most bonus points in the Premiership – would have been disastrous for hopes of finishing the regular season in top spot. 


It will have also been pleasing for Pulse coach Anna Andrews-Tasola to be able to give Tiana Metuarau valuable minutes with just four rounds remaining in the regular season. 

The injection of the goal attack at halftime time did not have an immediate impact on the game, but her delivery of ball into shooter Martina Salmon was telling as the pressure went on as the Pulse tried to take control. 

Staying in touch throughout the contest, the Stars got a sniff late in the deciding stanza but were let down by a few key errors when it mattered most – picking up an incredible eighth bonus point of the season. 

It was an arm wrestle for control throughout the 60 minutes and both teams were guilty of some messy periods of play. Salmon has been in standout form over the last few rounds but showed some early wobbles with her radar as the hosts trailed by two goals. 

It wasn’t long before the Pulse machine switched gears and by the midway point the depth and precision in their passing helped a momentum shift on the scoreboard. 

Both teams went to their bench late in the stanza with Monica Falkner replacing Amorangi Malesala for the Stars while Crystal Maro, who had only moments earlier helped the Comets to a win in the national netball league, was also introduced into the game at goal attack. 

Leading 12-11 at the first break, there was the feeling that the Pulse were just warming to their task and ready to put their foot down to shake free of the Stars. 

But the relentless work from Stars defenders Kate Burley and Holly Fowler upset the smooth running of the Pulse frontline, and despite winning enough ball, took time to break free. 

Emma Thompson’s connection with Stars shooter Maia Wilson continues to grow with some deft passes around the long reach of Kelly Jackson but the visitors struggled to make the most of key scoring opportunities in the spell.

The rolling substitutions were utilised by both coaches throughout the quarter in what was another messy period of play – neither team able to stamp their mark. 

A late surge from the Stars – thanks to the touches from both Burley and Fowler – kept the visitors in touch at the break, trailing 19-22. 

The Pulse made just one personnel change on the resumption of play with Tiana Metuarau picking up the goal attack bib while Falkner returned to the action for the Stars. 

It was more of the same in the third spell with the Stars continuously threatening the Pulse but just being held at bay by one or two goals. 

Five minutes into the quarter however and the visitors looked to make good on their threats by levelling the scores at 26-26. 

The quick release from Metuarau was something different for the Fowler-Burley combo to contend with and her vision into Salmon gave the Pulse the edge again on the scoreboard. n edge ahead, leading 35-32 with a quarter to play. 


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