2023 ANZ Premiership Preview: Elimination Final
AFTER three months of an exciting home and away ANZ Premiership season, the finals kick off. This weekend sees a rematch of the 2022 Grand Final, with the Central Pulse hosting the Northern Stars in a battle that will see the winner progress to play the Northern Mystics in the 2023 Grand Final.
Both teams have had consistently solid seasons, with one win all that separated them on the ladder.
LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET
These teams have met three times this season. Back in Round 3, the Stars led at every change to go on to win by eight goals. Back in Round 6 though, it was a very different affair, with a strong second quarter from the Pulse helped them go on to win by 14 goals. The tightest of the three encounters was in Round 8, which saw the Pulse come from behind to narrowly win by two goals.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
As with any teams that have rightfully made it to the finals stage, there are a number of key players to watch on both sides.
Moving through to the midcourt, and Gina Crampton and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan have been arguably the most daunting midcourt combination this season, with Reuelu-Buchanan recording over 60 feeds on more than one occasion this season. Certainly a tough task for the likes of Maddy Gordon to contain.
However moving into defence, and the Pulse certainly have one giant weapon at their disposal in Kelly Jury. Currently leading the league for defensive rebounds and deflections, and second for intercepts, she is having another strong season and is always a worry for opposition teams.