Steel unable to repeat against Pulse

Not this time.

The Steel pipped the Pulse 54-53 in the ANZ Premiership final earlier this month but was unable to stage a similar comeback in the Super Club semifinal in Nelson last night.

Trailing by nine with five minutes remaining, the Steel was just too far behind, even when you factor in the two-point goals which are allowed in the tournament.

It scored the last six goals to clinch the Premiership title when the Pulse had led for the majority of the match. But there was no repeat of those heroics.

The Pulse won 64-55 in a tidy performance and will play the Mainland Tactix in tonight’s final.

The Steel will play New South Wales in the playoff for third.

The  Steel started well, though. It secured an early turnover and Gina Crampton threw a fabulous pass down court to shooter Jen O’Connell, who provided a no-fuss finish.

The Steel inched further ahead but the Pulse closed the gap with a couple of two-point goals and went into the break up 14-13.

The Wellington-based side carried that momentum into the second period, adding a further eight points without conceding a goal.

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham made a change, replacing Olivia Bates with 18-year-old Georgia Heffernan who nailed three consecutive two-point goals to claw back some of the deficit.

The Pulse kept its seven-goal halftime margin intact until Bates drilled a couple of two-point goals midway through the third period.

The mini run left it trailing 48-43 with 15 minutes remaining to set up what could have been a tight finish.

In the earlier semifinal, the Tactix trailed most of the game but rallied in the final quarter to beat New South Wales 64-62.

In the bottom four, Marama Vou beat Sneakers 84-66 and the Sirens beat Gauteng Jaguars 46-39.

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