11 Aug 2020

Tactix reach grand final after win over Pulse

8:26 am on 11 August 2020

The Mainland Tactix have made their first ever grand final, beating the Central Pulse 39-32 in the ANZ Premiership in Wellington.

Tactix captain Jane Watson (L) with Sophia Fenwick after beating the Pulse.

Jane Watson and Sophia Fenwick Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Pulse were missing their star shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio to illness, while Maddy Gordon had a minor ankle injury.

The homeside started with Claire Kersten at wing attack, Renee Savai'inaea at centre and Tiana Metuarau at goal attack. While the changes contributed, it was still a flat performance from the league leaders, with less-accurate shooting than normal.

The defending champion Pulse had already secured their place in the final.

The Pulse have lost only two games this season and both have been at home in the last week.

In the Tactix shooting circle, Ellie Bird and Te Paea Selby-Rickit continued to grow their connection and by the end of the first quarter the Tactix had established a convincing 13-7 lead.

At halftime, the Tactix led 23-16 - only the second time this season the Pulse trailed after two quarters.

A run of three just before three-quarter time saw the Pulse win the quarter 9-7, but still trail by five, 30-25, at the final break.

That was as close as the Pulse would get to turning the result around. Bird continued to shoot impressively, bagging 32 of her 38 shots, and with two minutes to play, and the distance out to eight again, it was almost guaranteed the Tactix would grab their first ticket to a grand final.

The two sides will meet in the grand final on 23 August in Invercargill.

Tactix goal keeper Temalisi Fakahokotau was the MVP.

Shooting Stats - Pulse:

Aliyah Dunn 20/24 (83.3 percent)

Tiana Metuarau 12/17 (70.6 percent)

Shooting Stats - Tactix:

Ellie Bird 32/38 (84.2 percent)

Te Paea Selby-Rickit 7/9 (77.8 percent)