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Pulse squeeze Stars in low-scoring win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/05/2017

Central Pulse returned to their miserly best with a 55-37 win over the Northern Stars in Auckland to cement third place in the national premiership.

Boasting the tightest defence in the league, the Pulse had lost their way with defeats against the two teams above them - the Steel and the Magic - in the last fortnight.

Any frustration they felt was taken out on the fifth-placed Stars, whose two only wins in their maiden season have come against the winless Tactix.

The visitors won the first and last quarters by just two goals each but dominated the middle stanzas, when their attack matched the effectiveness of their defence.

Sixteen-year-old goal attack Tiana Metuarau enjoyed her most prolific outing, shooting 31 from 36 attempts.

Accomplished goal shoot Cathrine Tuivaiti was happy to distribute the load, finishing with 22 from 23.

Wing attack Whitney Souness was again their most effective attacking midcourter while all of the Pulse players contributed to a strangling defence.

The key figure was Silver Ferns skipper Katrina Grant, who pulled off 12 deflections.

Once the ball made it into the shooting circle, Stars goal shoot Maia Wilson landed 31 from 38 but fellow shooter Malia Vaka put up just nine shots.

The Stars need a strong finish to their campaign if they are to break up a semi-final lineup which increasingly looks like comprising the Steel, Magic, Pulse and Northern Mystics.

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