MATCH PREVIEW: (Round 12) TACTIX v PULSE
They may be sitting on top of the ANZ Premiership points table but for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse there is plenty riding on their match-up with the Silvermoon Tactix. A win will all but ensures they host the Grand Final on August 12, something captain Katrina Grant said was their goal.
“We know every game from now on is like a final if we want (to host) a final. And that’s what we’re trying to do,” she said.
They netted a 15-goal win over the Northern Stars in Round 11, and despite using their full game-day squad during the 60 minutes, had areas to work on.
“We know our third quarter isn’t great so we tried to come out and stamp our dominance. Heading into the last few weeks we really need to pick that up.”
They also struggled at times against the Tactix when the two teams met two weeks ago in what was a very defensive game, eventually winning 47-36. Now they are up against a Tactix side in much need of ANZ Premiership points if they are to remain in contention for the finals series. The Tactix should be happy with their recent form but a few lapses have proved costly and a dip in their shooting accuracy last week meant they missed out on maximum points.
WHO TO WATCH:
Erikana Pedersen (Tactix) – the Tactix struggled up front at times when they last played the Pulse and Pedersen will have to be at her best against the long reach of Karin Burger.
Katrina Grant (Pulse) versus Brooke Leaver (Tactix) – the Silver Ferns captain dominated the defensive end against the Tactix in Round 10 with an impressive four intercepts and eight deflections. The play-making abilities of Leaver will be pivotal if the red-and-blacks are to challenge the league leaders.
Sulu Fitzpatrick (Pulse) – third on the ladder for intercepts this season and, in tandem with Katrina Grant, poses a significant threat to the Tactix scoring machine Ellie Bird. Has a Silver Ferns recall in her sights and will look to finish the season strongly.