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Haier Pulse Make Impressive Start in New Plymouth

Media Release

22 February 2013

Haier Pulse Make Impressive Start in New Plymouth

The Haier Pulse heralded the start of their pre-season warm-ups with a rousing yell of “Pulse!” before producing a dominant performance against the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) at New Plymouth’s TSB Stadium.

It certainly brought the crowd to life as they enjoyed an impressive display from a Pulse team desperate to get 2013 off to winning start. This was the first outing for Goal Attack Donna Wilkins in yellow and from the first pass-off she proved she was able to supply clean ball under the hoop to fellow shooter Paula Griffin consistently from the base-line. Griffin showed poise with her aim, but admittedly lacked any real contest for the ball from the AIS Goal Keeper Micaela Wilson.

Katrina Grant and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit were strong in defence shutting down the opposition effectively with the quick snaffle and the long arm to keep the score differential to ten goals in the first quarter.

Facebookers commenting on the Haier Pulse page wondered if they were hearing things when it was announced that this was the end of the first of six quarters, but the game was played over an extended format in order to give both coaches the opportunity to test out different combinations.

The players retained their positions for the second quarter, giving time for Centre Camilla Lees and Wing Attack Nicola Mackle to work the base line with smooth efficiency and Wilkins again holding her space and allowing Griffin to continually find the hoop. AIS Wing Defence Keely Rodriego worked hard to counter the fast-paced Mackle, but was unable keep her in check. The second quarter ended 36-17.

The third period saw the second combination of shooters, this time Goal Shoot Caitlin Thwaites pairing up with Wilkins. However, the star turn was again the seamless effort between Lees, who had moved to Wing Attack, and Wilkins. Each seemingly able to fluently read the other’s moves as they continued to find the baseline and feed the ball to Thwaites.

Jo Weston moved from her starting position of Goal Defence and attempted to keep her compatriot Thwaites out of the game. Rodriego replaced Weston at the Wing Defence position and began to read the Lees-Wilkins moves, but it was the change at AIS Goal Shoot that really made the difference.

Kristina Brice, standing at 1.96m, towered over Selby-Rickit and once the ball was in her hand she easily slotted it through the net. The differentials now started to close in and with a few harried last moments the quarter finished 54-24.

The fourth quarter was a turnaround for the visitors as Brice continued to stay calm under the defence of Selby-Rickit and with her feisty centre Kaitlyn Bryce feeding her what she required, she was able to slot in three in a row.

Once again the Haier Pulse showed off their new depth with yet another shooting combination as local girl Amber Bellringer joined Thwaites, but it was Brice who stole the show ending in only a two-goal difference for the quarter.

Brice was substituted in the fifth quarter by Kate Thompson and although she was easily outclassed by Selby-Rickit, she did manage to pick up her game keeping the gap to only four goals. Lees, now back at Centre, once again worked her magic with Wilkins giving us an inkling of what is to come over the next few months.

In the final quarter the court saw the return of Griffin, Wilkins and Brice but the visitors seemed unable to gain more than a five goals during that time. The final score 94-48.

Quarter scores (Pulse first): 18-8, 36-17, 54-24, 69-37, 79-43, 94-48

Pulse starting line-up:

GS: Paula Griffin

GA: Donna Wilkins

WA: Nicola Mackle

C: Camilla Lees

WD: Daya Wiffen

GD: Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit

GK: Katrina Grant

Pulse subs:

3rd quarter

C: Daya Wiffen replaced Camilla Lees

WA: Camilla Lees replaced Daya Wiffen

WD: Claire Kersten replaced Daya Wiffen

GK: Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit replaced Katrina Grant

GD: Katrina Grant replaced Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit

GS: Caitlin Thwaites replaced Paula Griffin

4th quarter

GA: Amber Bellringer replaced Donna Wilkiins

5th quarter

WA: Nicola Mackle replaced Camilla Lees

WD: Stacey McFeeters replaced Claire Kersten

GA: Donna Wilkins replaced Amber Bellringer

C: Camilla Lees replaced Daya Wiffen

6th quarter

WD: Daya Wiffen replaced Stacey McFeeters

GS: Paula Griffin replaced Caitlin Thwaites

ends

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