The Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic have handed the Central Pulse a netball lesson.
Better from the first whistle, the Magic were dominant for all but a few minutes and completely deserved their 56-46 victory, in the trans-Tasman netball league round seven match at Te Rauparaha Arena.
The Magic produced a polished first half performance and were probably a little unfortunate to lead by just 27-23, at the major break.
Their passing and movement wasa level above the Pulse's, along with their shooting. Irene van Dyk and Julianna Naoupu shot a combined 27 from 32, while Pulse goal attack Paula Griffin again battled to turn highly shoot-able opportunities into goals.
She managed just eight goals from 15 attempts, which almost prompted a change. Amber Bellringer warmed up a couple of times, and even put the goal attack bib on under her t-shirt, without actually taking the court.
Not that it was Griffin's doing, but Bellringer's second warm up coincided with the Pulse's best run of the first spell, as they narrowed what had been a nine-goal deficit to just two.
As they have done all season, unfortunately, the Pulse then decided to turn over a bit of ball. Centre Daya Wiffen was the culprit more than once and found herself replaced by Ngarama Milner-Olsen at halftime.
The anticipated change at goal attack eventually came just over six minutes into the third quarter, as Bellringer was introduced with her team trailing 34-27.
A regular starter last year, this was Bellringer's first appearance on court since the Pulse's round three defeat to the Queensland Firebirds.
Not that it had an immediately positive effect, because her team soon found themselves trailing by 10 goals.
By three-quarter time the Magic's 44-33 lead might not have been looking great for the Pulse, but it represented a fair reflection of the match.
Having taken a decisive advantage, the Magic maintained it comfortably in the final quarter and were well worth their victory.
The Pulse were awful and have enormous work to do if they're to achieve their much-stated goal of being a credible force in this year's competition.
- © Fairfax NZ News