Netball: Central Pulse ease past winless Mainland Tactix

By Niall Anderson

Claire Kersten of the Central Pulse. Photo / Photosport
Claire Kersten of the Central Pulse. Photo / Photosport

The Mainland Tactix's winless season has continued in the ANZ Premiership.

The Canterbury franchise have now lost all nine of their games, following a comprehensive 52-38 defeat to the Central Pulse.

The Tactix were hardly in the contest with a limp offensive display against a methodical Pulse outfit. In a battle between the two slowest sides in the league, the Pulse were far more clinical with their possessions, and made more use of turnover ball than their lowly opposition.

In what was a plodding encounter, it took the Tactix three minutes to get off the mark, a sign of offensive inadequacy that was to come.

Their 38 goal output continued a season where they have reached 50 goals on just one occasion, and are responsible for three of the four times a team has failed to reach 40.

The Tactix struggled to penetrate the Pulse's defensive circle, with Katrina Grant a constant presence. Her deflections and superb positioning was one of the reasons why the Tactix coughed up 35 turnovers. That lack of ball retention meant the Tactix couldn't capitalise whenever their defence came up with a turnover, while the Pulse also utilised smart tactical penalties to recover and slow the game's tempo whenever the Tactix looked like cutting into the deficit.

After mustering just 18 first half goals, the Tactix made halftime changes, bringing on Kadeen Corbin and Charlotte Elley to try and give their attack a jolt, but they could only net eight third quarter goals as the game continued to race away from them.

At the other end, the Pulse's offence flowed smoothly, with Cathrine Tuivaiti (26/27) and Tiana Metuarau (25/28) continuing their impressive partnership with an excellent shooting night.

The Pulse's lead reached 20 early in the fourth quarter and they cruised home, substituting some of their starters to reserve some energy for the more important games coming up on their schedule. The win saw them leapfrog the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic into second on the ladder, with six wins in nine games, continuing to lead the four-team contest for the three playoff spot.

The Northern Stars and Northern Mystics complete the round on Wednesday, with the Mystics requiring a win to stay in touch in the playoff race.

- NZ Herald

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