Haier Pulse Triumphant Once Again
Invitational Haier Central Pulse v Glasgow Wildcats
World Premier Club Challenge, Glasgow
Haier Pulse Triumphant Once Again
The Haier Pulse had more than just seven players to contend with as the crowd roared for their opponents, home team Glasgow Wildcats, in their third match of the World Premier Club Challenge (WPCC). This proved to be no problem for the New Zealand side, however, as the team capitalised on every opportunity, claiming an easy 77-22 triumph.
On the back of their 20-goal win against the Manchester Thunder, the Pulse hit the court with a confident air. Unforced errors were prominent for the Wildcats in the opening minutes, the team struggling against the pace of the Pulse, however were able to reduce these as they settled into the game.
The Pulse scored the first five goals quickly, gaining some precious ball from early Wildcats mistakes. The ball soon reached the opposite end of the court, however, Lesley MacDonald pulling in a high ball and sinking the first Wildcats goal into the third minute.
The Wildcats defence was persistent, really concentrating on shutting down Caitlin Thwaites, however the speed of the Pulse midcourt’s passes was unstoppable at times.
Thwaites called time into the tenth minute to get her finger looked at which proved a good chance for both teams to regroup. After injury time the Wildcats seemed to be more focused and with this were able to break the Pulse defence a little easier. Shooters MacDonald and Lynsey Gallagher communicated well to get the ball into the circle and convert some beautiful long-range shots.
Quick, confident deliveries into the circle from Nicola Mackle and Daya Wiffen ensured the Pulse’s intensity was retained into the last minute of the first quarter. The Pulse led by 16 at quarter time, with the score at 22-6.
The Wildcats made some minor changes into the second quarter, Murphy switching to the WD bib and Browney moving back to the GD position.
In a flash the Pulse were firing through the court, executing some brilliant straight-line play. The Wildcats slowed their pace a little to combat the Pulse zone defence and with this were able to send the ball easily into the circle, the towering goal shoot an easy target scoring three long range goals with confidence.
Unfortunately the Wildcats shooters were not successful often enough, giving the Pulse easy rebounds which were promptly turned into points on the board.
Te Amo Amaru-Tibble called time into the seventh minute, moving into goal shoot because of a twisted knee, Thwaites coming up to goal attack. The Wildcats seemed stilted again into this phase of the game, giving away ball as they did at the start of the first quarter, whilst the Pulse level-headedly slotted passes into Tibble who was often left unmarked. The Pulse headed into the third quarter leading 43-10.
Amber Bellringer entered the court at goal attack after the break and retained her swish shooting demonstrated in the Pulse’s last two games. Wildcats captain Claire Brownie did well with some extremely tight man-on-man defence against Bellringer however the amount of penalties she incurred aided the Pulse in their shooting circle.
Changes into the midcourt in for the Wildcats saw some great moves throughout the court, however all too easily the glimpses of brilliance were lost in transition into the shooting circle. Any missed shots were placed easily into the hands of the Pulse defence, the duo of Victoria Smith and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickett towering over the opposing shooters.
At the other end of the court it seemed Mulheron was really up against it taking on Thwaites, however a stellar effort was put in by the defender who never stopped trying out different tactics to try and shut down the shooter. A brilliant intercept by the keeper was unable to be capitalised on in the final minute, the three-quarter time score 59-14 to the Pulse.
Pulse centre Wiffen had an exceptional match which was highlighted in the final quarter, linking the team together effortlessly. Her Wildcats opponent Jenna Storie took the court at centre in the final quarter and did the same, cleaning up the midcourt for her team and working well with Murphy to feed the circle with patience and ease.
Unfortunately this wasn’t nearly enough for the Wildcats, as the scoreboard read 77-22 to the Pulse at the final whistle. The home team can take away a few positives from the game, however, and look to improve on the negatives in their next match.
In the end the Pulse simply outclassed their opponents, giving the Wildcats no opportunity to have a shot at the lead. The team will aim to continue the classy performances of the last three games against the Northern Panthers at 1.00am (NZ time).
Quarter scores (Pulse first): 22-6, 43-10, 59-14, 77-22.
Pulse Starting Line-Up
GS: Caitlin Thwaites
GA: Te Amo Amaru-Tibble
WA: Nicola Mackle
C: Daya Wiffen
WD: Stacey McFeeters
GD: Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickett
GK: Victoria Smith
(After injury time)
GS: Tibble replaced Thwaites
GA: Thwaites replaced Tibble
GS: Thwaites replaced Tibble
GA: Amber Bellringer replaced Thwaites
WD: Claire Kersten replaced McFeeters
GK: Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickett replaced Smith