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Kopua leads Magic to third netball win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/04/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">Former Silver Ferns skipper Casey Kopua has played a key role for the Magic in their 52-50 win over the Central Pulse in the national netball premiership.</span> © Hannah Peters/Getty Images/Getty Images Former Silver Ferns skipper Casey Kopua has played a key role for the Magic in their 52-50 win over the Central Pulse in the national netball premiership. The Magic have racked up their third win of the national netball premiership with a 52-50 victory over the Central Pulse in Rotorua on Monday.

A superb defensive effort, fronted by former Silver Ferns skipper Casey Kopua, underpinned the win that was built around the poised shooting of South African Lenize Potgieter.

The Pulse started strongly to lead 17-14 at the end of the first quarter but lost their way somewhat in the second spell.

The turnovers piled up thick and fast, with the visitors particularly hesitant in the attacking third, where Kopua was at her intimidating best.

In tandem with goal defence Kelly Jury, Kopua stifled the Pulse shooters, restricting Cathrine Tuivaiti and Te Amo Amaru-Tibble to just eight from 11 attempts for the spell.

In contrast, Potgieter and goal attack Monica Falkner sunk 15 from 16 attempts to give the Magic a 29-25 lead at the main break.

Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie benched Amaru-Tibble at halftime, bringing on 16-year-old Tiana Metuarau - daughter of former Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu - to offer more variation at goal attack.

Although the visitors narrowed the Magic's lead to just two with three minutes of the third quarter remaining, they fell off to trail 44-39 going in to the final stanza.

The Pulse battled grimly throughout the closing quarter, but the Magic's drive on attack, well-marshalled by Silver Ferns midcourt maestro Grace Rasmussen, was relentless.

Led from the back by the uncompromising Kopua, they controlled they final stages to fend off the Pulse's final surge and close out the win.

Potgieter converted consistently, finishing with 39 from 46, while 20-year-old Falkner stepped up with 13 from 17.

For the Pulse, Tuivaiti was accurate on the shot in sinking 23 from 25 but occasionally ill-disciplined in her circle work. Metuarau was steady with 14 from 19, while Amaru-Tibble sunk 13 of her 17 attempts.

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