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Tactix beat Pulse to lead ANZ Premiership

Updated: Jun 17


The Mainland Tactix have taken over the top of the points table in the ANZ Premiership with an enthralling 58-53 extra-time win over the Central Pulse in Christchurch on Sunday.


Scores were tied at 51-all at the end of regular time, but player changes, smart player changes in extra time paid off for the Tactix. The introduction of Kate Lloyd to goal keep, Jane Watson to goal defence and Karin Burger to wing defence threw the Pulse off-guard.


Jess Allan replacing an injured Te Paea Selby-Rickit towards the end of regular time, the shooter injecting her speed and timing at the attack end to great effect as the Tactix went on to dominate extra-time 7-2.


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Producing a spectacle worthy of their status as the top two teams in the league, the pair produced a riveting contest with momentum swinging back and forth throughout, experience for the home side proving key at the end.


The visitors couldn’t have asked for a better start to the match, the Pulse winning both ends of the court with a disciplined and accurate showing.


The defensive pairing of Kelly Jackson and Parris Mason put the heat on the Tactix shooters, the pair picking up several turnovers while at the other end Martina Salmon, in just her fifth match at the elite level, was a picture of poise under the Pulse hoop.


In the midcourt the calm heads of Whitney Souness and Claire Kersten were all class with the delivery on attack. The Tactix were unable to find their rhythm or timing while their shooting was also off target as the Pulse worked their way to a 14-9 lead at the first break.


The home side came out with plenty of purpose on the resumption, Burger being a strong presence in disrupting the Pulse attack end. Showing better ball retention helped the Pulse keep their noses in front but the Tactix slowly found their groove.


Kimiora Poi and Erikana Pedersen swapped midcourt positions as the home side found more flow on attack while the shooting partnership of Ellie Bird and Selby-Rickit were more productive in finding each other as well as improving their shooting percentages.


A strong late burst to the quarter where they scored five unanswered goals got the home side right back in the contest after trimming the Pulse’s lead to a narrow 24-23 margin at the main break.


With captain Poi leading the charge, the Tactix found their flow on attack as the red-and-blacks continued to flex their considerable experience in an exciting and lead-changing third stanza.


Levelling up the scores within the opening five minutes, the home side hit the front shortly afterwards courtesy of four straight goals. Defenders Burger and Watson remained a menacing presence but young shooter Salmon absorbed the pressure like a veteran to help the Pulse regain the momentum.


With Kiana Pelasio and Crystal Maro sharing the Pulse’s goal attack duties, Tiana Metuarau, on the back from injury, was injected with six minutes to go, the Pulse regaining the upper hand through their exploits at both ends and with it a 39-36 lead heading into the last break.


With six goals in a row to start the final quarter, the Tactix regained the lead before the Pulse fought back to nudge ahead once more, the teams all-square while producing a thrilling goal-for-goal exchange down the home stretch.


Neither side was able to break the impasse during regular time, sending the match into extra time where the home side played their cards to perfection.

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