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Fever thrash Pulse in trans-Tasman netball

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/06/2016 Justin Chadwick

West Coast Fever revived their finals hopes with a bogey-busting 70-47 win over the Central Pulse in Saturday's Trans-Tasman netball clash at Perth Arena.

A 52-goal haul from Fever goalshooter Caitlin Bassett and excellent mid-court work from wing attack Verity Simmons led the team to victory.

The Fever leapfrog the Melbourne Vixens into third spot in the Australian conference, with only the top three sides qualifying for the finals.

However, the Vixens remain in the box seat to finish third, despite their 65-56 loss earlier on Saturday to NZ conference leaders Southern Steel.

The Vixens, who only trail West Coast on percentage, will start as hot favourites to post a big win in their final-round clash with Central Pulse on July 4 in New Zealand.

West Coast will go in as underdogs on Sunday week against defending champions the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane.

If those two results go as expected, the Vixens will finish third, and the Fever one spot outside of the finals in fourth.

The Fever entered Saturday's match having lost all five previous matches at Perth Arena, leading to talk that the club's second home court had become a hoodoo rather than an advantage.

But the Fever put that theory to bed with a dominant opening quarter.

Bassett was near unstoppable as she sank 15 goals from as many attempts to help set up a 21-12 lead by the first break.

The Pulse managed to stem the bleeding in the second quarter, but they couldn't claw back the deficit as West Coast entered halftime with a 35-24 edge.

The Fever continued to dominate the midcourt battle in the second half to cruise to victory.

Bassett missed just two goal attempts for the match.

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