Pulse and Tactix to contest Super Club final
Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse and the Silvermoon Tactix will contest tomorrow’s Super Club final after contrasting semi-finals in Nelson today.
The Pulse produced an efficient and patient 64-55 win over last year’s winners the Ascot Park Hotel Steel while the Tactix played catch-up throughout before running down the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) 64-62 late in the piece on the back of a Kate Beveridge shooting bonanza.
After taking a 14-13 lead at the first break, the Pulse were never headed, the defensive trio of Sulu Fitzpatrick, Karin Burger and Claire Kersten being key figures in stifling the Steel’s shooting options. Burger continued her impressive season with a standout day at the office, in the thick of action while hauling in five intercepts to earn her second player of the match award this week.
Shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio kept the Pulse on the front foot with her ability from the two-point zone. Olivia Bates and Georgia Heffernan gave the Steel a glimmer of hope with moments of clutch shooting success from range but the southerners lacked the Pulse’s all-round accuracy and poise on attack.
The Steel will meet NSWIS in the third/fourth play-off, Marama Vou and the Sirens will play for fifth and sixth while the Gauteng Jaguars and Sneakers will contest seventh and eighth.
Having not shot a two-pointer all tournament, the lofty Beveridge produced a masterclass when it counted most to steer the Tactix to a thrilling win over NSWIS.
Through their midcourt speed, staunch defence of Teigan O’Shannassy and Lauren Moore and classy shooting of Georgia Marshall and Kelly Singleton, NSWIS held the upper-hand through much of the match.
Trailing by seven coming into the second half, Tactix defenders Jane Watson and Charlotte Elley produced a steady supply of turnover ball as Beveridge found her groove from the two-point mark.
As the home side cut into the deficit, the game turned into a two-point shootout, the blitz from the Tactix forcing errors from NSWIS. Squeezing into the lead with three minutes to go, the cool head and pin-point accuracy of Beveridge, who slotted a match-changing 13 from 18 two-pointers, carried the Tactix home and into the final.
On the back of a big defensive effort, Scotland’s plucky UWS Sirens secured their first win with a well-constructed low-scoring 46-39 win over the Gauteng Jaguars.
The Sirens defensive trio of Emily Nicholl, Nicole Styles and Hayley Mulheron effectively shut down the Jaguar’s dangerous shooters while tireless captain and centre Claire Maxwell was also an influential figure.
Monica Falkner broke the largely conservative shooting approach with a decisive eight two-point shots for the University of Western Scotland team. Unlucky to miss the semi-finals, it was a deflated Jaguars who struggled to adapt to the Sirens non-stop contesting and stifling pressure.
In the contest between the two most prolific two-point shooting teams, the popular combined Fiji/Samoa Marama Vou side overcame a narrow first quarter deficit to produce a convincing 84-66 win over Singapore’s Sneakers.
Defender Kate Burley, midcourter Grace Kukutai and two-point shooting queen AJ Savelio provided the key connections for Marama Vou’s second win of the tournament. Once hitting the lead during the second quarter, there was no looking back for the Pacific Island team who went on to build a widening margin from that point.