In a tightly contested affair, Wasps Netball managed to keep their composure against a much-improved London Pulse side to emerge victorious 42-37.
A thrilling encounter between Pulse and Wasps showcased the connections and talent that has done an enormous amount of growing to push Wasps all the way and not allowing them to make light work of a must-win game.
In the absence of Halimat Adio and Sigi Burger due to injury, Keable took the GK bib whilst Liv Tchine got the nod at GS.
In the first quarter, Wasps looked to take a commanding lead early, with the score line poised at 14-7 after 12 minutes. Wasps looked confident in attack and were able to put Pulse under pressure defensively whilst Pulse were taking time to settle and work the connections.
Going into the second quarter, it was an exceptional fightback from Pulse as Wasps stretched their lead to 10, but a defensive change and attacking fluidity brought it back to 23-19 going into half time.
Fodoju came into GD, switching with Everitt at WD and caused numerous issues for Wasps attacking line, who looked hesitant to let ball go, and down the opposite end, Tchine and Rademan took advantage of the turnover ball.
The third quarter brought even more intensity, with Pulse stepping up another gear, as Wasp’s lead was reduced to 3 as inconsistencies began to show. However, despite every ball being contested by Pulse, and winning ball, Wasps defence showed their quality and experience to not allow turnover to be capitalised on, as the third quarter finished 34-26 to Wasps.
The final 12 minutes saw Rothwell replace Thomas at WA who injected fresh legs into the court, however Wasps grinded out the win showing how to control pressurised game situations. Despite them pulling away, final turnovers in the final minutes meant the score line was brought back by Pulse from a 10 goal deficit to five, with Wasps taking the win 42-37.
Sam Bird has this to say: “We have now produced two very strong back to back performances against two of the top 4 teams – losing by a handful of goals on both occasions. Its always a measure of the growth of a squad in how it responds on the return match and we have shown this in spades. We want more to turn these close encounters into wins, and we hope to show that over the next few rounds.”