After a long and disrupted season the Central Pulse won back to back ANZ Premiership titles last night, beating the Mainland Tactix 43-31 in Invercargill.
Covid-19 level 2 restrictions meant there wasn’t a crowd but both sides were determined to put on a high quality match.
After finishing the regular season on top, the Pulse lived up to their favourites tag, denying the Tactix any chance of an upset.
The Pulse raced out to a 12-6 lead after the first quarter and despite the Tactix winning the third quarter, the defending champs looked in control throughout.
Pulse shooter and Silver Fern Ameliaranne Ekenasio said they wanted to make amends for their loss to the Tactix two weeks ago and to also send their departing coach out on a high.
“Ever since we dropped that last game to them we knew we had so much more to give and especially we wanted to do Yvette proud, she’s given so much to the team and the club so we knew it was important to give her a really good send off,” Ekenasio said.
Covid-19 brought the ANZ Premiership to a halt in March – after only one round had been played.
Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie believes the lockdown period made the players appreciate how much they love what they do.
“To have a job that’s our passion is incredible and so we came back with real energy and I was really impressed with the way the players handled themselves over that time and for them to have that time at that point of the season I think it actually allowed us to be that much fresher, coming back,” McCausland-Durie said.
Pulse captain and Silver Fern Katrina Rore, said they were jumping out of their skin to get back on court.
“A hundred percent, definitely, we just wanted to play, we’re all very competitive and we train to play and if you can’t play it’s hard to train, we’re all about that weekend netball.”
The feel-good team of the competition were the Mainland Tactix, who had to go into voluntary liquidation back in April.
Despite that, the Tactix made their first ever grand final and coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek, was disappointed they didn’t play to their potential last night.