MATCH PREVIEW: (Round 12) STARS v PULSE
Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse are now just one point clear at the top of the Premiership points table after a loss to the Silvermoon Tactix and while they won’t be hitting the panic buttons, will be determined to nab that Grand Final spot.
A win over the Northern Stars would be expected having beaten the Grace Kara-led side by 16 and 15 goals the two times they have met this season. But the pressure continues to build in a tense finish to the regular rounds and the Pulse must show their ability to absorb it with a Final on the horizon.
Captain Katrina Grant said no-one “stepped up” in their latest outing.
“On defence we didn’t get the ball we normally get, we got frustrated, and on attack just didn’t let the ball go.”
The Stars struggled to find any rhythm on Super Sunday and backing up on Monday night will be a big ask for the young team. Kara said they failed to stick to their game plan against the SKYCITY Mystics and were hurt again by basic errors.
“We were caught standing a few times,” she said.
“We need to treasure the ball because our defence work hard to get it so we need to score off it.”
WHO TO WATCH:
Aliyah Dunn (Pulse) – has come under a bit of pressure in recent weeks and made way for experienced shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio. Still one of the most accurate in the league netting 91 percent of her attempts at goal.
Grace Kara (Stars) versus Karin Burger (Pulse) – the Stars captain cut a frustrated figure after Super Sunday and her job gets no easier against Burger just 24 hours later. Kara’s link with stand-out shooter Maia Wilson is key for the Stars.
Ama Agbeze (Stars) – the English international has had a mixed run of form late in the season but needs to step up on defence after the loss of Fa’amu Ioane to injury.