Who – Strathclyde Sirens

When – Friday April 5 – live on BBC iPlayer

Where – Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Park, London

London Pulse make a welcome return to home comforts on Friday with a Round 8 match-up against bottom of the table Strathclyde Sirens.

“Less travel, more sleep,” laughs Sam Bird as she gives us an insight into preparations ahead of the game.

For the first time since early March, Pulse will have home advantage and it starts a run of three home games in succession as Sam Bird and her squad look to build a winning run.

So far it’s one win and one defeat from their two official home games – a thrilling one-goal win over Loughborough Lightning in Round 3 and a disappointing defeat to Severn Stars in Round 5.

After Friday night’s visit of Sirens, it is Saracens Mavericks and Team Bath who visit the capital and Bird is looking forward to the chance to get a run of form going in front of their own fans.

“Always really nice to be at home, the routine is easier to control so game day is clearer and allows us to train a little bit harder.

“We also want to build our own momentum for games beyond this weekend.”

Ticket Info

A small number of tickets remain available on the door for Friday night’s game, while tickets are also on sale for the Round 9 showdown with Saracens Mavericks – tickets are available for all London Pulse home games in 2024.

Sirens represent a different challenge for Pulse, the Scottish franchise are without a win in the 2024 season having seen their new-look team disrupted by injury.

After saying goodbye to stalwarts of the team in the summer a mix of new faces and emerging talent have so far come up agonisingly short in a season that is likely to be a huge learning curve.

Goal Keeper Towera VInkhumbo is reportedly close to a return to action, news that would boost the Scottish franchise’s defence. Despite their run of seven successive defeats, Bird is well aware of the danger posed by a team out of form.

“They are a team with nothing to lose, no-one is expecting them to come down to London and beat us so that frees them up mentally and in turn puts the pressure on us a little bit in a home game that is live on TV,” Bird says.

“We want to perform well and it can be difficult to keep the focus when you play a team that haven’t won a match.

“But we know that at some point Sirens are going to come good and we don’t want that to be against us.

“There are different challenges playing a team that’s at the bottom of the table but we have huge respect for Sirens and the players in their team and their strengths – particularly their centre pass to shot, so like Dragons they will need breaking down.”

Bird’s plan to shut down Cardiff Dragons last week paid dividends as Pulse inflicted the biggest defeat on Jill McIntosh’s team so far this season.

After a run of performances that she described as ‘sticky’ and ‘clunky’ in parts, Bird was pleased to see the work in midweek paying off after a much more fluid display in attack.

“I wasn’t focused too much on score, we knew if we bought those things from training into the match that we would win.

“I am happy with our process and I think the key thing is the players have seen the difference in output from seeing what we are doing on the training court to a match

“We were really focused on disrupting the opposition and shutting them down and we executed that really well.

“There are still things we want to work on, particularly our restart turnover, but it’s always good for the player themselves to see tangible improvement from training.”

As far as team news is concerned, Jade Clarke continues her recovery but the Sirens game comes a little too soon.

“Jade is making really good progress and we are seeing some visible improvement.

“She’s getting lots of support from the players and staff. She’s not quite ready yet but we are really pleased with her return to play but Jada [Autumn] stays in the squad for Friday.”

Squad – Halimat Adio, Jada Autumn, Funmi Fadoju, Jeresia McEachrane, Darcie Everitt, Zara Everitt, Isabella Phillips, Alicia Scholes, Brie Grierson, Nichole Taljaard, Berri Neil, Olivia Tchine.


Round 9 – Saracens Mavericks, Home

Round 10 – Team Bath Netball, Home

Round 11 – Severn Stars, Away (live on BBC iPlayer)

Round 12 – Leeds Rhinos, Home (Crystal Palace Arena)

Round 13 – Surrey Storm, Home (live on Sky Sports YouTube)


Head Coach: Lesley MacDonald

Last Season: 8th (W4 D1 L13 F905 A977 Pts 13)

Form (last 6 games): L L L L L L


Scotland landed in the NSL in the 2017 season after the Scottish Sirens were confirmed as one of three new franchises to join the competition.

Playing their home games at the magnificent Emirates Arena, the franchise has yet to make the top four recording a best ever finish of 6th on two occasions (2017 and 2021).

It was 2021 that they came closest to a play-off position, missing out by just four points.

Led by Lesley MacDonald, the franchise has a rich history of developing Scottish Thistles talent, and a fresh wave in 2024 give both the domestic and international team plenty of hope for the future.


It’s been a difficult season so far for Sirens, who underwent a huge off season of changes with Scottish international stalwarts heading for pastures new. In the attack end Scottish internationals Emma Barrie and Niamh McCall have moved on, while Sarah MacPhail moved to Leeds Rhinos but it is injuries that have robbed them of arguably their most influential player.

Towera Vinkumbhu has been one of the defensive stars of the Superleague during her three years in Scotland. The Malawi Goal Keeper’s eye-catching performances have made her a fan favourite but she has not featured since the defeat at Season Opener, although she is reported to be close to a return to action.

Hannah Leighton, Hannah Williams and Sammy Ngubane are among the names to have come in, Ngubane has impressed as an attacking option and sits sixth in the season goalscoring charts, shooting at 83%.

Defence is the concern as they have conceded more than 70 goals on three occasions in their run of seven successive defeats to start the season.

Last Time Out – Lost 36-72 v Loughborough Lightning (Home).

Starting Seven: GK – Finn; GD – Nicholl; WD – Sanders; C – Leighton; WA – Williams; GA – Ngoubane; GS – Goodwin.

Squad – Cerys Finn, Hannah Grant, Emily Nicholl, Millie Sanders, Hannah Leighton, Kelly Boyle, Hannah Williams, Emma Love, Sammy Ngubane, Zara Flett, Bethan Goodwin.


Played – 9; London Pulse – 5; Strathclyde Sirens – 4.

Pulse have enjoyed a strong recent record against the Scottish franchise, winning each of the last four meetings since a 48-38 defeat at the Copper Box in May 2021.

The four games to be played at the Copper Box have been split evenly, Sirens won the first two games to be played at the London venue, before Pulse claimed double figure victories in both the 2023 and 2022 season in the capital.

Last 5 meetings

Round 17, 2023 – Strathclyde Sirens 46-53 London Pulse

Round 6, 2023 – London Pulse 63-53 Strathclyde Sirens

Round 18 2022 – Strathclyde Sirens 41-57 London Pulse

Round 8, 2022 – London Pulse 48-38 Strathclyde Sirens

Round 13, 2021 – London Pulse 38-48 Strathclyde Sirens

Round 8 Fixtures

Friday, 6pm – Loughborough Lightning v Cardiff Dragons

Friday, 7.30pm – Team Bath v Leeds Rhinos

Sunday, 4pm – Saracens Mavericks v Manchester Thunder – live on BBC iPlayer

Sunday, 4pm – Severn Stars v Surrey Storm