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Official Result: NSW Swifts (63) defeated Haier Pulse (45)

Media Release

Monday 31 March 2014

Official Result & Statistics

Official Result: NSW Swifts (63) defeated Haier Pulse (45)

Stylish Swifts take another step forward

The NSW Swifts consolidated their spot in second place on the ANZ Championship ladder with a commanding 18-goal win over the Central Pulse.

The Swifts will go into their bye week with plenty of confidence after beating the Pulse 63-45 at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Monday night – a strong finish to the second quarter setting the tone for the remainder of the match as they strangled the Pulse’s attack and scored with ease at the other end of the court.

It was a desperate Pulse side which crossed the Tasman for the first time this season having notched just two wins from four outings and yet to win in Australia, they were keen to get their campaign moving back in the right direction.

There was also plenty riding on the match for Swifts shooter Caitlin Thwaites, who played in Pulse colours for three seasons before being replaced by Irene van Dyk this year.

Thwaites and Pulse captain Katrina Grant greeted each other as old friends but were both down to business from the opening whistle – Thwaites getting the better of her former Pulse teammates, netting 30 from 36.

Pulse coach Robyn Broughton reverted back to the line she favoured at the start of the season with Joline Henry picking up the wing defence bib again and Elias Shadrock moving into centre.

The defensive pressure that Henry brings at the back, coupled with the efforts of Grant and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, rattled the Swifts early as the visitors opened up a 4-1 lead.

But seven unanswered goals saw the momentum swing the other way as the Swifts opened up a 10-6 lead mid-way through the first quarter.

The hosts lost goal defender Sonia Mkoloma to a thigh injury with five minutes remaining and was replaced with April Letton as the Swifts held onto a 16-15 lead heading into the first break.

The shooters for both sides were faultless in the opening 15 minutes and the arm wrestle continued early in the second quarter with neither team taking a step back.

An intercept from Sharni Layton broke the deadlock as the Swifts made the first real gain on the scoreboard as their smothering defence began to tell on the Pulse’s frontline. Finding van Dyk, who netted 18 from 18 in the first half, was key for the visitors but as they struggled to get the ball into her hands, the Swifts pounced and went into the main break enjoying a 33-27 advantage.

Broughton went to the bench in the third quarter with English import Ama Agbeze coming on to goal keeper and Grant moving out to goal defence. Henry was also shunted forward taking over the centre bib and Shadrock to wing defence.

The same problems remained up front for the Pulse however who were unable to penetrate the Swifts defence while leaking goals at the other end.

Thwaites and Pratley dictated play in the circle, finding plenty of space, as the Swifts stretched out to a 13-goal lead. Letton grabbed her opportunity with both hands on defence closing down Wilkins while both Sarah Wall and Kimberlee Green had eyes only for their shooters showing some impeccable links with their goal scorers.

A high turnover rate hurt the Pulse in the third quarter and they found themselves struggling to find answers, trailing 50-36 with one quarter to play.

Broughton tinkered with the defence again with Grant moving to the wing and Selby-Rickit coming back on at goal defence, but the Pulse were unable to stem the flow of Swifts goals.

Coach Rob Wright also went to his bench at an injury time-out with Gretel Tippett coming into the shooting circle for her Swifts debut mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Van Dyk was the shining light for a disappointing Pulse side having landed 32 of her 34 attempts at goal but the visitors were guilty of too many turnovers (38) to make a serious challenge to the Swifts.

Swifts shooting statistics:
Caitlin Thwaites 30/36 (83%)
Susan Pratley 27/30 (90%)
Gretel Tippett 6/11 (55%)

Pulse shooting statistics:
Irene van Dyk 32/34 (94%)
Donna Wilkins 13/16 (81%)

Match MVP: Caitlin Thwaites (Swifts)


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