Pulse stun league leaders

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 07:22 22/05/2012
TDN pulse stand
FAIRFAX
Pulse players Paula Griffen and Caitlin Thwaites celebrate their win last night over the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

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Good on you, Central Pulse.

Good on you, Robyn Broughton, for the dramatic and winning overhaul of your midcourt; Katrina Grant, for providing the inspiration and intensity your team needed; Joline Henry, for showing there is more than one very good string to your bow; Paula Griffin, for shooting five from five in the final quarter to get your team to the brink of victory.

And good on you, Caitlin Thwaites, for netting the decisive goal on the final whistle, which saw the Pulse beat the trans- Tasman netball league-leading Adelaide Thunderbirds 47-46 at a feverish TSB Bank Arena last night.

Few would have fancied the Pulse to get within 10 goals of the Thunderbirds, let alone beat them. Instead, the Pulse produced a performance they can be truly proud of.

Ninth on the table before this match, the Pulse's third win of the season sees them move up to seventh. They are away to the Southern Steel (eighth) and Canterbury Tactix (10th) in the next two rounds and wins in those matches would elevate them well above the also-ran category they've languished in for so long.

"Now I can build on it. Now they've got the feeling, they might just realise what a great feeling it [winning] is. If you keep your head it can be like that all the time," Broughton said at fulltime.

The coach deserves great credit for shifting Joline Henry from wing attack to centre, centre Millie Lees to wing attack and introducing bench player Katarina Cooper to wing defence. It worked a treat for three quarters, having partly been requested by the Silver Ferns.

"It's something that's been in the pipeline and something that's been looked at, in terms of my development in the international arena and not just playing wing defence," Henry said of her move to centre. "It was something being encouraged by the national programme and that's the first time we've actually tried it with Rob [Broughton]."

Aside from adding real starch to the midcourt, the passing of Henry and Cooper seemed to free up Griffin and Thwaites. Both were getting good looks at the post and Thwaites, in particular, shot with real aplomb netting 33 of her 37 attempts.

Griffin had made nine from 16, before the final quarter, but chose the right time to come good.

"She works hard and she never complains and she takes all the sighs from the crowd," Broughton said of Griffin. Fairfax NZ

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