It's Three From Three for the Racing Pulse
A colossal second quarter effort has ensured Te Wānanga O Raukawa Pulse remain unbeaten after three games in the ANZ Premiership, handing the Silvermoon Tactix their first defeat of the season, 52-44.
The Pulse won the second spell by nine goals giving them the upper-hand for the rest of the match in Wellington; the home side dominating, apart from a brief lapse in the final quarter.
Teenage shooting sensations Aliyah Dunn and Tiana Metuarau continued to build on their relationship in the Pulse circle; Dunn finishing with 33 goals and 17-year-old Metuarau taking charge at goal attack like a seasoned campaigner.
While the new-look Tactix continued to show a great improvement in form, particularly on defence, they struggled at times to thread the ball cleanly through the court.
The Pulse started strongly, but disruption from the Tactix defence, led by the relentless Temalisi Fakahokotau, helped the visitors to get their heads in the game. It was only in the last minute that the Pulse stole a march and led 15-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Dunn and Metuarau poured on six goals after the break, before the Tactix could even add one to their total. To add injury to insult, Tactix captain Jess Maclennan had to leave the court after an awkward fall left her clutching her knee.
The Pulse kept racing through the second quarter, scoring nearly three times as many goals as the Tactix and were up 30-17 at halftime. Claire Kersten and Katrina Grant hauled in a telling number of intercepts for the home side.
Brooke Leaver’s entry into the game at goal attack helped improved the Tactix shooting accuracy and intensity, and the visitors only lost the third quarter 13-12. But the difference was still in double figures, 43-29, in the Pulse’s favour.
The Tactix continued to improve at the start of the final quarter, with Fakahokotau contesting every ball that entered the Pulse circle. Leaver and experienced Australian shooter Kate Beveridge had established a good understanding at the other end, scoring eight goals to the Pulse’s one straight after the break, but that fizzled when Beveridge was forced to retire to the bench after turning an ankle.
From there Grant and Sulu Fitzpatrick resumed their control on defence, with Grant earning the MVP award.