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Stars Fall Short In A Tough Battle Against Pulse

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse defeated the Stars 58-52 in Wellington

18 May, 2024

The Stars faced a tenacious Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse side in Wellington on Saturday, losing out to the undefeated side who were cheered on by a vocal Wellington crowd.

Celebrating her 100th national league game in charge, Stars coach Kiri Wills opted for the same line which finished strongly against the Mystics last week.

The last time the two teams met, the Pulse had the stronger start to hold on for a seven-goal win but with Amelia Walmsley missing due to injury, the Stars hoped to capitalise on the opportunity.

Unfortunately in the opening minutes Stars found themselves on the back foot with defender Khanye'-Lii Munro-Nonoa suspended for two minutes for dangerous play. The slick connections in the Pulse attack allowed them to open opened up a two-goal advantage after five minutes.

But the Stars were measured in their response and levelled the scores with shooters Maia Wilson and Monica Falkner sharing the load. The two teams battled hard in the first quarter before the Pulse went on a five-goal run to again edge ahead and go to the break with an 18-14 lead.

Wills made some positional changes heading into the second spell with Rahni Samason moving to shooter and Wilson to goal attack while Lili Tokaduadua came on to goal keep. The Pulse attacking flow was difficult to stop and the hosts opened up a 10-goal buffer in the second quarter. The Stars looked for more answers from the bench as Emma Thompson made her first appearance in the purple dress, coming on at wing attack.

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Reverting back to their original shooting circle, the Stars’ patience was again key as they closed the gap to five before slipping to trail 27-34 at the main break.

But with just eight goals between them, the Stars were always within reach of the hosts with defender Kate Burley (five gains) doing her best to keep her team in the race. Wills opted for a positional switch between Wilson and Falkner in the third quarter, with Wilson netting 10 from 10, but Pulse kept up their defensive pressure and continued to win ball in defence.

Stars surged in the final quarter, winning the period 14-9, but were denied a bonus point in the final minutes.

Stars will face The Trident Homes Tactix on Monday 27 May in Christchurch for Round 7.

Stars Netball: 52
Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse: 58

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