Pulse rise late to claim big Tactix win

AFTER a tight first three quarters, Central Pulse stepped it up in the final quarter of their clash with Mainland Tactix to come away with the 17-goal win. The ANZ Premiership Round 7 clash at TSB Arena saw the home team win each of the three quarters, but by no more than three goals in the first three quarters, before piling on 19 goals to eight in the last term to storm away with the win, 19-8. Wing defence Paris Lokotui was awarded Player of the Match for her contribution in disrupting the Tactix offensive play in the second phase and setting up attacking opportunities for the Pulse.

In a tight opening term, the Pulse came away with the one-goal lead at the first break, courtesy of a 100 per cent shooting effort. Aliyah Dunn put all of her 11 attempts in successfully, whilst goal attack Tiana Metuarau only shot the one goal, but had seven goal assists from seven feeds and one intercept. Lokotui was already looking busy in the back half, with Silver Ferns defender Kelly Jury picking up three rebounds as the Tactix shooters cold not find the same accuracy. They shot at 68.8 per cent, and despite having four more chances – courtesy of the Pulse having two more turnovers down the court – they could not capitalise on their opportunities.

Ellie Bird scored nine goals from 12 chances, and Te Paea Selby-Rickit finished with two from four, whilst Samon Nathan had six goal assists. In defence, the pairing of Karin Burger and Kelera Nawai-Caucau was working, combining for four intercepts, to send the ball back down the court in transition. The first interchange did not come until the 10th minute of the second term, with Maddy Gordon making her long-awaited return from injury, coming on for Lokotui. For the Tactix, they subbed out Nathan, with Kate Lloyd coming on in goal defence, and then Burger, Charlotte Elley and Kimiora Poi all shuffling a big further up the court.

By the half-time whistle though, the Pulse still held the lead, and had extended it to four, 26-22. Dunn shot 11 goals from 12 attempts that term, with Metuarau shooting three from three, but having less freedom against Elley who played more of a defensive role. Instead it was Whitney Souness who stepped up for eight goal assists, whilst for the Tactix, Nawai-Caucau racked up another three intercepts to head into half-time with five to her name. Bird ended the term with nine goals from 10 attempts.

Lokotui came back on for Gordon at the start of the third term, with the latter eventually replacing Erikana Pedersen in centre at the midway point of the quarter. Amelia Walmsley gave Dunn a rest for the latter to get an ankle strapped before the pair swapped back less than three minutes later. The Tactix also made a change in the shooting circle with Bird coming off for a rest, and Vika Koloto coming on in goal attack, with Bird coming back on for Selby-Rickit a few minutes later. In the dying couple of minutes, Nawai-Caucau came to the bench for a rest having received a warning, whilst Burger returned to goal defence and Lloyd went to goal keeper.

Again the Pulse had the better of the Tactix, outscoring their opponents by two to lead by six at the final break. Dunn (six goals from eight attempts) and Metuarau (five from seven) were both busy, with Souness producing seven goal assists from 11 feeds. Jury and Gordon both picked up an intercept in the term. For the Tactix, Bird and Koloto shot at 100 per cent efficiency with seven and two goals respectively, whilst six players picked up a goal assist.

The only chance the sides made heading into the last term was Pedersen replacing Gordon in centre for the Pulse, whilst Selby-Rickit returned in goal shooter for Bird. Though the Tactix would also swap Nawai-Caucau back on in goal keeper midway through the final stanza, the damage was done as the Pulse ran away with the 58-41 victory thanks to a 19-8 last term. Dunn starred with 15 goals at 100 per cent efficiency, whilst Souness had another seven goal assists.

Lokotui was awarded Player of the Match after two intercepts, and really winning well against the opposition wing attacks of Nathan and Poi. Gordon made a successful return with an intercept and three goal assists, whilst Jury had five rebounds and an intercept in defence. Dunn (43 goals from 46 attempts) and Metuarau (13 from 16 and 15 goal assists) was again amongst the best. For the Tactix, Bird shot 25 goals from 29 attempts, whilst Nawai-Caucau was outstanding with six intercepts and two rebounds Nathan had a team-high 13 goal assists, but the Tactix struggled offensively late after being dogged for the most of the contest.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments