Hagen Hopkins/Getty Pictures
Silver Ferns shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio (file pic) performed quarter-hour for the Magic in her return to the court docket on Sunday.
Ameliaranne Ekenasio’s a lot anticipated return to the court docket has resulted in a forgettable loss for the Waikato-Bay of Lots Magic.
Enjoying their second match in 24 hours after getting back from a Covid-19 outbreak, the Central Pulse crushed the Magic 57-41 in Porirua on Sunday for his or her first win of the season.
Silver Ferns shooter Ekenasio made her debut for the Magic towards her former crew, taking part in the opening quarter-hour at purpose shoot, as she works her method again on a managed workload.
Ekenasio, who gave beginning to her second little one, daughter Luna in November, has her eyes set on the Silver Ferns’ Commonwealth Video games squad in July, and can hope this was a primary step in the direction of that purpose.
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The 47-test Fern was taking part in her first aggressive match in over a 12 months because the Constellation Cup conquer Australia final March. She sat out final season for the Pulse after taking day out to give attention to her psychological well being, then asserting she was pregnant.
Her addition was an enormous low season increase for the Magic, who had received simply three matches over the previous two seasons. It would naturally take time for Ekenasio to get again to her greatest and construct up her minutes.
She was stable in her quarter-hour on court docket, taking pictures 5 targets from six makes an attempt and dished out an help, but it surely was a depressing first quarter for the Magic.
After opening the season with a memorable win over the Mystics final week, which snapped a 14-game and 329-day dropping run within the premiership, the Magic had been blown off the court docket by the Pulse.
This was a morale-boosting win for the Pulse.
With head coach Yvette McCausland-Durie sidelined, after testing optimistic for Covid-19 this week, former Silver Ferns coach Wai Taumaunu was in control of the Pulse for the second straight sport.
Taumaunu would have been thrilled how her facet began the match, occurring a 9-0 run within the first quarter to leap out to a 12-3 lead.
By the top of the primary quarter, the Pulse held a hefty 19-9 benefit, which was all the time going to be robust to return again from.
There was no signal of fatigue from the Pulse, who had performed precisely 24 hours earlier on the identical court docket towards the Mystics, dropping a detailed contest 66-60.
At halftime, the Pulse had prolonged their result in 12 targets (34-22) with wing assault Whitney Souness capable of hearth the ball into the taking pictures finish with ease.
To their credit score, the Magic confirmed higher battle within the second half, trimming the deficit to eight targets (40-32) within the third quarter, however had been all the time taking part in catch-up after a poor begin.
Greatest on court docket
Wing assault Whitney Souness wants a dominant premiership season if she is any likelihood of forcing her method right into a congested Silver Ferns’ midcourt. Souness stood up and delivered some wonderful ball into Aliyah Dunn and Tiana Metuarau, who had been capable of revenue below the ring.
The large second
The sport slipped away from the Magic early on when the Pulse went on a 9-0 scoring run to race out to a 12-3 lead. It was all the time going to be a mountain to climb from there.
6/10: Scrappy at instances, however when the Pulse put it collectively on assault they had been capable of produce some medical netball. The Pulse power and conditioning division deserve some plaudits for the way sharp the crew regarded on this sport – taking part in their second sport in 24 hours, contemporary off recovering from a Covid-19 outbreak final week.
The large image
The Pulse went 1-1 over their house doubleheader and will likely be happy to be off the mark in 2022. It is early phases, however the new-look Pulse will likely be greater than aggressive this season and must be in finals rivalry. This was a step again for the Magic after their nice win over the Mystics. The Magic host the winless Tactix in Tauranga subsequent Monday.
Pulse 57 (Aliyah Dunn: 41/45, Tiana Metuarau: 14/16, Renee Matoe: 2/2) Magic 41 (Ameliaranne Ekenasio: 5/6, Bailey Mes: 19/24, Ivana Rowland: 15/18, Martina Reekers: 2/2) 1Q: 19-9, HT: 34-22, 3Q: 44-34.