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ANZ Premiership Preview – Grand Final

ANZ Premiership Preview – Grand Final

ANZ Premiership Preview – Grand Final

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse v Northern Stars
Monday, June 3 in Porirua


A new name will be etched on the ANZ Premiership trophy, but will it be the form team of the season or last year’s cellar dwellers?

Third time may be the charm for the Pulse who have come runner-up in the last two Grand Finals. Victory at home would lay to rest a number of ghosts for the Katrina Rore-led side which has set the pace this season.

The Stars are also penning their own fairytale and emotion will be running high in what is the swansong for veterans Leana de Bruin and Temepara Bailey. They have picked up the wooden spoon for the last two years but the added experience of both de Bruin and Bailey has swung fortunes in their favour.

Their record against the Pulse does not make for pretty reading – two blowouts of 26-goal defeats this season – but who would count the northerners out having produced perhaps the biggest upset of the league last week.

And de Bruin, who admitted she wasn’t quite ready to hang up her bib at the Elimination Final, is backing her charges for a repeat performance.

“If our whole A team rocks up, this is what we can do,” she said after stunning the defending champion Southern Steel.

She said the Stars have learned how to deal with the pressure and knew how to dig deep when their backs were against the wall.

“We’ve talked about the rehearsals during the year and we knew this was inside of us and this was the time to show it.”

The Stars were hungry for the win last week but they now face a Pulse side which has been starved of a major title from two cracks at the ANZ Premiership crown.

Rore admits that last year’s Grand Final loss still hurts and that they want to get it right this time.

“It’s our time for redemption but we also know it’s a lot of hard work to win,” she said.

The Pulse comes in to the Grand Final on the back of a loss, to the Northern Mystics, and a two-week spell on the training courts. Rore believes her side responds well from defeat and will have learned a lot from their last game in the regular season.

“Last time we had a loss we came out firing, so I’m hoping that’s exactly what’s going to happen this time,” she said.


Ameliaranne Ekenasio (Pulse)was influential the last time these two teams met and is the Pulse playmaker up front. Has been the most accurate goal attack in the ANZ Premiership and was rewarded with a ticket to her first Netball World Cup.

Whitney Souness (Pulse) versus Kayla Cullen (Stars)two players with plenty to prove after missing World Cup selection. Cullen was a driving force in the Elimination Final and squares off against dynamic the Pulse wing attack. Souness has speed, safe hands and a strong link to her shooters.

Charlee Hodges (Stars)her shooting partner Maia Wilson netted the lion’s share of the goals last week but Hodges’ contribution cannot be downplayed with the goal attack netting 13 goals and leading the way with 17 goal assists. Can the Australian back it up against Pulse captain and recalled Silver Fern Katrina Rore?


Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua
Simulcast LIVE on SKY Sport 1 and free to air on Prime at 4pm