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Pulse outmuscle lethargic Magic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/06/2017

Central Pulse have reignited their national netball premiership play-off hopes with a comprehensive 62-45 win over the Magic in Palmerston North. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Central Pulse have reignited their national netball premiership play-off hopes with a comprehensive 62-45 win over the Magic in Palmerston North. Central Pulse have reignited their national netball premiership play-off hopes with a comprehensive 62-45 win over the Magic in Palmerston North.

Two points behind the second-placed Magic going into Monday's match, the fourth-ranked Pulse were coming off back-to-back losses, their season hanging in the balance.

With only three games until the play-offs, the Pulse desperately needed a win to keep their top-three hopes alive.

They started hesitantly, the Magic capitalising on a fractured midcourt effort to ease out to a 13-11 lead after 15 minutes.

Young goal attack Tiana Metuarau shouldered the bulk of the shooting, with goal shoot Cathrine Tuivaiti sinking only four from four as Magic defenders Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury shut down the circle.

The Pulse regathered to take a 27-22 lead into halftime, going on a 10-5 scoring run midway through the second quarter courtesy of some outstanding work from goal keep Phoenix Karaka.

Working in tandem with Silver Ferns teammate Katrina Grant, Karaka's elevation and anticipation generated a steady supply of turnover ball which was duly converted by Metuarau and Tuivaiti at the other end.

The Pulse were efficient on transition, centre Sara Bayman and wing attack Whitney Souness finding the circle edge and looking increasingly confident in feeding their shooters.

But it was the Pulse's through-court defence which set up the win, shutting down the supply of ball into the Magic's main strike weapon, goal shooter Lenize Potgieter.

The South African international was still accurate in sinking 34 from 37, but the Magic could only convert 45 from 50 attempts over the four quarters.

In contrast, Tuivaiti (31 from 33) and Metuarau (31 from 36) were clinical in converting the deluge of possession that came their way.

The Pulse now sit third on the ladder, equal on 16 points with the second-placed Magic, but well behind the unbeaten table-topping Southern Steel.

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