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v Katrina Grant
Grant brings all the experience you would expect from the Silver Ferns captain and has been constantly threatening on the Pulse’s defensive end. Selby-Rickit has been a figure of composure all season. Her experience will be crucial to occupy Grant and help take the pressure off Jennifer O’Connell.
v Whitney Souness
Souness’ speed and ability to feed her shooters quality ball has been huge for the Pulse this year. However, the Steel has the ultimate competitor to slow her down in Frew, who is hunting a championship in her final game.
v Aliyah Dunn
The battle of the young bloods. Dunn was the star of the first half of the season and remains a big target and accurate shooter for the Pulse. Courtney Elliott has been a revelation for the Steel. Her energy and ability to create deflections have been important in turning many close games.
Beating the Mainland Tactix on Wednesday night took a huge effort. Getting up again mentally after that at such short notice might be easier said than done.
How will the Steel adapt to the Pulse’s physicality?
The physical nature with which the Pulse plays has unsettled the Steel twice this season already. In their most recent meeting the Steel coped far better and it consequently won the game. Whether it can do that again may determine which side wins this game.
Which youngsters will stand up?
Both teams have found big performers in their young players this year. However, things become tougher when the squeeze goes on in the final. There is plenty of experience on both sides too, but which youngsters can hold their nerve may have a big influence on the result.
Why will the Steel will?
The side has come a long way over the second half of this season and brings good form into the game. It has experience and, while missing two key players, retains the core of the team that beat the Pulse in last year’s final.
Why will the Pulse win?
The Pulse has been the best team all season and it is hard to overlook that. It has a dogged defensive end and its attack is much-improved on that of last year when it was thrashed in the final in Invercargill.