The Central Pulse have squeezed out a gritty 43-37 win over the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in the lowest scoring game in ANZ Premiership history.
The 2018 losing finalists struggled to put distance between themselves and the Magic until a late fourth-quarter burst finally put the match to bed.
It was a disruptive start for the Pulse who lost defender Karin Burger in the opening minute after a head clash at Energy Events Centre in Rotorua.
Shooter Aliyah Dunn was superb for the Pulse, netting 25 from 26 attempts against the might of Silver Ferns veteran defender Casey Kopua who was the best player on court.
The young Magic attack was unsettled by the defence of Sulu Fitzpatrick and former Ferns skipper Katrina Rore, but when they fell into a rhythm, Monica Falkner’s shooting confidence grew and they pushed themselves back into the game to only trail 21-18 at the half.
Rore and Fitzpatrick continued to pressure the Magic attack throughout the second half, scoring three crucial turnovers at the start of the fourth quarter to repel a late momentum swing.
The six-point win lifts the Pulse to second in the standings with two wins from two. They are second only to the Steel who have two wins from three matches.
The Magic have just one win from their opening three matches.