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Summer Shootout Success for Haier Pulse

Summer Shootout Success for Haier Pulse


Robyn Broughton went into this weekend’s ‘Summer Shootout’ with a number of key combinations in mind and her team was richly rewarded as a result. All 10 ANZ Championship teams attended the three-day tournament, which allowed Broughton to see all the teams in action.

The Haier Pulse played all five Australian teams with wins against the Adelaide Thunderbirds (26-20), the West Coast Fever (29-25) and the Queensland Firebirds (28-23). The Melbourne Vixens and the New South Wales Swifts defeated the Haier Pulse (25-16) and (24-18) respectively. The Swifts finished undefeated throughout the tournament and the Vixens only lost the one game to their New South Wales rivals.

The Haier Pulse met two of the New Zealand teams earlier today, gaining a hard-fought win against the Northern Mystics (34-32) and a more comfortable win over the Southern Steel (36-24). This gave them a final tally of five wins out the seven games played over the weekend.

The Haier Pulse will open their 2014 ANZ Championship season on 3 March at Te Rauparaha Arena when they face the Adelaide Thunderbirds in what promises to be an exciting trans-Tasman clash.

VIXENS v HAIER PULSE
STARTING LINE-UPS
VIXENS: Cox (GS), Caldwell (GA), Strachan (WA), Moloney (C), Steel (WD), Chatfield (GD), Mentor (GK).
HAIER PULSE: Griffin (GS), Wilkins (GA), Lees (WA), Henry (C), Kersten (WD), Grant (GD), Agbeze (GK).

The Melbourne Vixens powered away in the second half to open their Summer Shootout campaign with a 25-16 win over the Haier Pulse.
Star recruit Catherine Cox made an impressive debut for the Vixens, combining well with Tegan Caldwell in the Vixens goal circle while Caitlin Strachan showed she’ll be a valuable addition to their midcourt in 2014.

The Vixens rested Karyn Bailey and Madison Browne for the match while Haier Pulse coach Robyn Broughton ran most of the key players in her squad throughout.
The Vixens led all game in what was high-quality match between last year’s Preliminary Finalists and a side many are tipping to seriously challenge for a top four spot in 2014.
A highlight was a rare toss-up just before half-time between Haier Pulse star Donna Wilkins and Vixens wing defence Amy Steel when the umpire couldn’t decide which of the pair had first possession of the ball.

Irene van Dyk came on for the second half in the Haier Pulse goal circle, but she and Wilkins weren’t allowed easy passes by the Vixens defensive duo of Geva Mentor and Bianca Chatfield.
The Vixens also gave court time to Liz Watson, who was called into their 2014 squad during the week to replace Elissa Kent (nee Macleod), and she settled nicely into centre.

HALF-TIME: Vixens 11, Pulse 9.
FULL TIME: Vixens 25 (Cox 13/17, Caldwell 12/13), Pulse 16 (Griffin 7/10, Wilkins 5/9, van Dyk 4/5).

FEVER v HAIER PULSE
STARTING LINE-UPS
FEVER: GS Bassett, GA Medhurst, WA Pitman, C Watts, WD Brazill, GD Janz, GK Beckford-Chambers
HAIER PULSE: GS van Dyk, GA Wilkins, WA Hazeldine, C Shadrock, WD Henry, GD Agbeze, GK Grant

An impressive defensive effort has seen the Haier Pulse record a 29-25 win over West Coast Fever.

Haier Pulse goal defence Katrina Grant was the standout creating havoc for the Fever attackers, spoiling clean ball into the shooters. With Ama Agbeze tight on defence keeping Nat Medhurst on the run in the first spell, Grant was at her best, interrupting the high ball into Caitlin Bassett.

Four goals down at the break 16-12 Fever coach Norma Plummer opted to continue using different combinations, making a raft of changes including Bassett being taken off and Kate Beveridge introduced into the match.

At the other end of the court Irene van Dyk and Donna Wilkins continued to progress as a shooting duo for the Haier Pulse with Fever’s Ebony Beckford-Chambers making her presence felt in the circle.

The Haier Pulse frontline was aided by Elias Shadrock in the centre position using her considerable experience as a wing defence to unsettle the Fever mid-court attackers. Both sides have won one and lost one so far in the competition.

HALF-TIME: Pulse 16, Fever 12
FULL TIME: Pulse 29, Fever 25

HAIER PULSE v FIREBIRDS
STARTING LINE-UPS
FIREBIRDS: GS Aiken, GA Wild, WA Simmons, C Ravaillion, WD SImpson, GD Messer, GK Geitz
HAIER PULSE: GS Griffin, GA Wilkins, WA Hazeldine, C Henry, WD Kersten, GD Selby-Rickit, GK Grant

A late second half comeback wasn’t enough for the Queensland Firebirds to topple one of the favoured teams in 2014, with the Central Pulse winning 28-23.

Exciting young Queensland mid-courters Kim Ravaillion and Verity Simmons were a tour de force in the first half playing with speed and precision, collecting their fair share of ball and duly offloading to shooters Romelda Aiken and Amy Wild.

At the other end, the Donna Wilkins-Paula Griffin combination took time to settle in, not an easy task against the likes of Laura Geitz and Jacinta Messer.
After 15 minutes of fast paced action, it was the Pulse who edged ahead by three 13-10.

Firebirds coach Rosalee Jencke rested a handful of players including captain Laura Geitz at half-time as she continues to rotate her bench players. Opposition coach Robyn Broughton also introduced fresh players including iconic shooter Irene van Dyk who, like Paula Griffin in the first half, finished the match without missing a goal.

The Firebirds staged a late comeback closing the gap to three, the Haier Pulse holding their composure to seal the match 28-23.

Not too much can be read into the results of pre-season matches with most teams opting not reveal their starting seven until the league starts in the first weekend of March, but this five goal win will give confidence to the Haier Pulse who have never beaten the Firebirds in Australia, the two teams facing off in Round 13 on the Gold Coast on Saturday May 24.

HALF-TIME: Pulse 13, Firebirds 10
FULL TIME: Pulse 28, Firebirds 23

HAIER PULSE V NSW SWIFTS
Starting Line-Up:
NSW SWIFTS: GS – Thwaites, GA – Pratley, WA – Tippet, C - Hadley, WD – McCulloch, GD – Layton, GK – Mkloma
HAIER PULSE: GS: van Dyk, GA: Wilkins, WA: Lees, C: Shadrock, WD: Henry, GD: Grant, GK: Agbeze

The NSW Swifts are one of just two unbeaten teams after day one of the pre-season Summer Shootout with a fourth comprehensive victory, this time over the Haier Pulse 24-18 to end their day on a high.

Former Haier Pulse shooter and new Swifts recruit Caitlin Thwaites, paired with Susan Pratley, were a formidable duo under the goal, opening up space and guiding the ball into the goal with accuracy.

Australian 21/U shooter Gretel Tippet played the match out on the wing providing the Swifts some height in the mid-court while in the defensive end, Sharni Layton proved to be a thorn in the side of Donna Wilkins, applying relentless pressure throughout the match.

The Swifts held a narrow two-goal advantage, 11-9 at the break and extended the margin to 6 by the final whistle. It’s a dream start to the pre-season Summer Shootout for new Swifts coach Rob Wright and the team will now turn their focus to Sunday and their two matches against the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel and the Melbourne Vixens.

The Pulse end day one with mixed results recording wins over the West Coast Fever and the Queensland Firebirds while falling to the Melbourne Vixens and the Swifts.

HALF-TIME: Swifts 11, Pulse 9
FULL TIME: Swifts 24, Pulse 18

MYSTICS v HAIER PULSE
Starting Line-ups
NORTHERN MYSTICS: GS Latu, GA Tutaia, WA Loveday, C Langman, WD Hurley, GD Corletto, GK Tuki
HAIER PULSE: GS van Dyk, GA Wilkins, WA Cooper, C Lees, WD Henry, GD Grant, GK Agbeze

In a match which could have mirrored the likes of a Silver Ferns trial, spectators were treated to a highly skilled match between the Northern Mystics and Haier Pulse in the opening match of day two.

With 12 current or former international players from three countries on the court it was the Haier Pulse claimed bragging rights for the next month winning 34-32, with the teams meeting again in Round three of the ANZ Championship in March.

The Mystics shot out to an early lead, applying full-court pressure to disrupt the Haier Pulse’s timing in the initial stages of the match. Mystics shooters were on target all match with Maria Tutaia shooting 15/16 and Cathrine Latu 17/18.

After 15 minutes the Haier Pulse had caught up to level the match 18-18 at halftime thanks to some equally impressive shooting at the opposite end by Irene van Dyk 23/25 and Donna Wilkins 11/13.

The Haier Pulse started the second half with three straight goals and the Mystics found themselves playing catch-up for the first time in the match. Katrina Grant switched to goal keep and spent the second half marking Cathrine Latu. The experienced defensive combination of Grant with Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit worked for the Haier Pulse, holding their second half lead with an overall team effort anchored by Millie Lees in the midcourt.

HALF-TIME: Haier Pulse 18, Mystics 18
FULL TIME: Haier Pulse 34 (van Dyk 23/25, Wilkins 11/13), Mystics 32 (Latu 17/18, Tutaia 15/16)

HAIER PULSE v STEEL
STARTING LINE-UPS
STEEL: GS Selby-Rickit, GA Brown, WA Francois, C Finch, WD Frew, GD Rasmussen, GK Karaka
HAIER PULSE: GS van Dyk, GA Hazeldine, WA Cooper, C Shadrock, WD Henry, GD Selby-Rickit, GK Grant

The Haier Pulse have ended their Pre-Season Summer Shootout on a winning note defeating the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel 36-24.

A second half blitz of eight unanswered goals by the Haier Pulse put the match out of reach, with the girls in yellow extending their 15-13 halftime lead to 23-13 in the space of a few minutes.

Go-to goal shooter for the Steel Jhaniele Fowler-Reid sat out the match with Jodi Brown and Te Paea Selby-Rickit starting for the southern team while at the other end shooters Irene van Dyk paired with Gemma Hazeldine for a new look Haier Pulse attacking circle which despite the lack of time spent together, worked remarkably well. Hazeldine’s experience in the goal attack position gifted van Dyk the space to work her way to the goal.

Momentum continued to swing the way of the Haier Pulse throughout second spell with Brown coming off midway through, replaced by Olivia Bates. The strong Haier Pulse midcourt continues to gel with Millie Lees, Elias Shadrock and Joline Henry strong on both attack and defence and today they were too slick for a Steel side playing catch-up.

HALF-TIME: Haier Pulse 15, Steel 13.
FULL TIME: Haier Pulse 36 (van Dyk 30/33, Hazeldine 6/10), Steel 24 (Selby-Rickit 18/21, Brown 6/12, Bates 0/0)

-ends-

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