Coach Robyn Broughton reminded the deep South tonight why it should have hung on to her services after a historic victory in Napier.
The Katrina Grant-skippered Haier Central Pulse beat Broughton's former franchise, Southern Steel, 47-42 for the first time in the five-year-old ANZ Transtasman netball competition at the Pettigrew-Green Arena.
The Pulse were relentless, winning every quarter bar the last one 12-10, 25-20 (13-10), 39-33 (14-13) and 47-42 (8-9).
While Steel coach Natalie Avellino started making a rash of substitutions from the second quarter Broughton stuck with her trusty starting five, resorting to her first changes for fresher legs in the third quarter.
The Pulse looked the sharper, hungrier side from the first quarter despite having the edge on errors.
In the shooting department, Pulse goal shoot Caitlin Thwaites set the benchmark with 91 per cent while Steel counterpart Donna Wilkins had to settle for 88 per cent, dipping in intensity in the final quarter.
While Thwaites got support from Paula Griffin (69 per cent) Wilkins didn't find that from wing attack Jodi Brown, who started at 50 per cent before finishing with 68 per cent at the final whistle.
Grant marshalled Pulse's defence with aplomb as she and goal defence Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit did their best to stifle Brown and place Wilkins on damage control.
Wing defence and Silver Fern Joline Henry was outstanding but felt they should have won by a bigger margin.
However, goal attack Brown was average on 50 per cent as Pulse led with a team percentage of 86 to Steel's 77.
Captain/goalkeep Katrina Grant and goal defence Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit kept Wilkins honest while it was Aussie on Aussie on the other end as goalkeep Demelza McCloud breathed down the neck of Thwaites.
Wing defence Joline Henry was pivotal, working in tandem with centre Camilla Lees, relaying passes with consistency with wing attack Ngarama Milner-Olsen.
Steel coach Natalie Avellino acknowledged her stagnant midcourt when she took the centre bib off Shannon Francois to hand it over to wing defence Phillipa Finch as Hayley Saunders came off the bench to wing defence.
Disappointed in losing the match, Avellino played down any suggestions of bitter rivalry, saying the hosts came out with aggression but her troops failed to respond.
She said her changes weren't a reflection of hitting the panic button because some of the substitutions were pencilled in before the game started.
Broughton was delighted with the victory but emphasising her team was a predominantly new outfit looking at fine-tuning their cohesiveness on court.
"We still have a lot to learn,'' she said.
Central Pulse: 47 (Caitlin Thwaites 29 Paula Griffin 18)
Southern Steel: 42 (Donna Wilkins 29 Jodi Brown 13) at Pettigrew Green Arena.