Surprises aplenty as NSL reaches one-third done

ON a weekend that sprung up a few surprises, The Leeds Rhinos pushed the London Pulse all the way, but ultimately came up two goals short.

After some clever double team defending from Halimat Adio and Funmi Fadoju, the Pulse were able to quickly rush out to a five goal to one lead to begin the match.

However, it was not long before the Pulse kicked into gear and brought the margin right back.

Things stayed tight for much of the rest of the quarter as Joyce Mvula and Harriet Jones were able to counter the Pulse’s defence and put up plenty of shots.

The teams went goal for goal for much of the quarter, so much so that things were dead even at 15 goals apiece at the first change.

The Rhinos were the ones to take the early lead in the second, albeit only briefly, but they were transitioning down the count with the speed and precision not always shown by the Rhinos.

Although the Pulse held the lead for much of the second quarter, it was never a very big one as the Rhinos kept up the pressure.

However, things started to unravel a little for the Rhinos in the final few minutes of the term as certain calls did not go their way and some players were starting to get visibly frustrated. The Pulse then capitalised and this saw them able to extend their lead out to seven goals at the main break.

The status quo was maintained for much of the front half of the third term as the Pulse maintained a healthy lead. However, as the quarter progressed the Rhinos ate away at a fair chunk of the deficit.

They ultimately got it down to a three goal margin, but could not quite penetrate that buffer before the quarter came to an end.

Despite the Rhinos going on to win the final term, the Pulse were able to hold firm and only let the deficit drop by a single goal.


The Cardiff Dragons picked up a massive upset, defeating the Severn Stars by a pair of goals.

The lead was never much, but crucially Cardiff had built up enough of a buffer early so that when it went on to lose the final term, victory was still attainable.

Loughborough Lightning also caused somewhat of an upset, becoming the first side to defeat Manchester Thunder in 2024.

The Thunder led at quarter time, but that preluded some disastrous quarters which they lost 37 to 20 overall, and saw the game swing back and ultimately stay in the Lightning’s favour.

The Strathcylde Sirens copped another big loss, this time by 21 goals at the hands of the Mavericks.

A 21-goal to nine first quarter in favour of the Mavericks really set the tone for the match, and although things evened up in the second term, it was to no avail as the Mavericks went on to inflict more pain on the Sirens.

Surrey Storm also picked up a big win, downing Team Bath by a goal.

Bath actually led early, but Bath flipped the script in the second term, and capped it all off by more than doubling their quarter score in the final term.

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