Pulse win tight clash over Magic

Off the back of a stunning start to the ANZ Premiership season, the Central Pulse defeated the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 43-37 in a tightly contested clash at Rotorua's Energy Events Centre.

It was far from an easy win for the Wellington-based side, which struggled to find its usual rhythm and often played into the hands of the much improved Magic.

Pulse captain Katrina Rore (nee Grant) admitted it was a tough match-up for her young squad but was pleased with their overall performance.

"Very defensive game, very back-and-forward, I think both teams made each other work really hard and both really wanted the win," Rore said.

"No matter what, it was always going to be tough for them down there but they stood up strong.

"We're very confident, if we weren't confident then we wouldn't do it, we wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be playing for each other. That's the Pulse motto, we're here for each other, we've got each other's backs and then we can keep trucking through the season."

It started as a horror opening quarter for the home side, who only managed to score their first goal after five minutes of back-and-forth play.

The Pulse looked in charge but silly errors from the visitors handed the Magic an opportunity to bounce back and enter half-time just three goals behind.

Up against a formidable Magic defence unit made up of veteran captain Casey Kopua and Silver Ferns defender Kelly Jury, young Pulse shooter Aliyah Dunn had her work cut out for her under the hoop.

Finishing up with a solid 96% accuracy though, the 18-year-old led from the front while teammate Ameliaranne Ekenasio netted just 18 from 26.

The tussle continued throughout the second half as both sides battled relentlessly.

Rore and fierce goal keep Sulu Fitzpatrick continued to slow down the Magic's rhythm while Kopua led her side by snatching vital intercepts in the centre third.

But even as the passionate Magic home crowd roared their team along, it was the Pulse that held their nerve to soar with the biggest lead of the clash and secure their second win of the season.

The Pulse will have a little under a week to rest before playing the Mainland Tactix in Palmerston North on Sunday while the Magic gear up to face defending champions the Southern Steel.

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