GUTSY COMEBACK WIN OVER PULSE PUTS MYSTICS CLEAR AT TOP OF THE TABLE
Monday 3 April, 2023
Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua
Full time MG Mystics 56 – Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse 51
A gutsy comeback has seen the MG Mystics seal the win over the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse 56 – 51 to cap off a tough double-header away this weekend.
The first quarter saw both teams go toe to toe, with the Pulse disrupting the Mystics’ usual flow through court and creating problems in the Mystics’ shooting circle with Pulse goal keeper Kelly Jury making Grace Nweke work hard for space.
Jury’s height and elevation in the circle meant the usual long ball into Nweke failed to find its sure-fire target, forcing Nweke to move off her mark and resulting in an uncharacteristic three calls for contact against Nweke as she contested the space.
Down the other end Pulse goal shooter Amelia Walmsley found her rhythm early on, connecting well with centre Maddy Gordon and working fluidly with goal attack Tiana Metuarau who found plenty of space under the post.
The second quarter saw the Pulse run away to a five-point lead, with the Mystics’ defence struggling to find answers to the ever mobile Metuarau who was the ultimate playmaker in the shooting third.
Both teams came out hunting for ball with a flurry of intercepts and tips, but the Pulse were able to get the edge over the Mystics and convert their turnover ball with more success going into the second half.
The Mystics emerged from the half time break with renewed vigour, chasing down the lead to within two at the turn of the third quarter.
Nweke managed to find her angles in the shooting circle, once again opening up the long feed option for her feeders.
In the defensive end Carys Stythe and Phoenix Karaka swapped bibs, with Stythe’s height proving an effective tool to shut down Pulse goal shooter Amelia Walmsley. A brilliantly timed jump saw Stythe block a shot and retrieve the ball giving the Mystics an opportunity to claw back yet another point in their comeback fight.
The fourth quarter was when the Mystics made their move, maintaining composure throughout the fight back and placing enormous defensive pressure on the Pulse resulting in a number of held ball turnovers.
Silver Ferns legend Katrina Rore entered the fray for the Pulse, first at goal defence and later at wind defence, however the Mystics had already seized back control of the match.
Pulse centre Maddy Gordon gifted her team every opportunity to shift momentum back in their favour, with an outstanding display of athleticism to keep a loose ball in play however her efforts were in vain.
Player of the match Carys Stythe pulled off a magnificent tip to all but seal the win for the Mystics and put them three points clear of the Robinhood Stars at the top of the table.