Match Report: Round 3 VNSL 2021: Manchester Thunder v London Pulse

By Joshua Wells

Another slow start cruelled any chance of our London Pulse from making an impact as a fired-up Manchester Thunder side ran away 57-30 winners in our round three match up at the weekend.

With Pulse and Thunder sides both left unsatisfied from the opening weekend matches, it appeared as though both squads were ready to put their best foot forward to make a statement to the league.

Unfortunately for London, Thunder’s players responded to the honest feedback from coach Karen Greig, racing out to an 8-0 lead early on.

South Africa’s Lefebre Rademan started the game in wing attack as Head Coach Sam Bird opted for Sigi Burger and Kira Rothwell in the circle.

While Pulse tried hard, the enormous defensive pressure from Thunder’s backline seemed to confuse space and force simple mistakes at crucial moments in transition.

Thunder were able to take advantage and get out to a dominant 18-7 lead by the first break.

And the second quarter was a similar story. Thunder continued to find quick options into goalers Joyce Mvula and Eleanor Cardwell who were clinical with their shooting as Pulse fell behind 33-13 by the halftime break.

In the second half, Coach Bird was able to experiment with a number of new combinations for Pulse across the court as Thunder continued to build its lead.

While there wasn’t much to celebrate, one of the highlights of the night for Pulse was the SuperLeague debut from midcourter Ellie Rattu.

She is just one of Pulse’s exciting emerging talents, alongside players like Rothwell and Assaindey Olivia Tchine, Zara Everitt, Halimat Adio, Ashleigh Dekker and Funmi Fadoju.

Head Coach, Sam Bird, had this to say:

“We are clearly still struggling with our connectivity across the court, but everyone involved with the club sees the potential and talent in the squad. We will continue to work hard and trust our player roster to improve and start to fire.”

Pulse is now looking ahead to the Strathclyde Sirens on Sunday.