Central Pulse retain ANZ Premiership title with comfortable victory over Mainland Tactix
Central Pulse have given head coach Yvette McCausland-Durie a perfect send-off after successfully defending the ANZ Premiership title over Mainland Tactix.
Pulse sealed the title with a 43-31 Grand Final victory at the ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill.
Both teams came off the back of two weeks preparation after round ten of the competition was called off.
Pulse also won a franchise-record of six consecutive games to reach the final, and that showed as the side set the tone from the start and kept Tactix on their toes throughout the game.
They reached half-time with a ten-goal lead of 23-13 and in the third quarter Tactix started to pick up the pace in what was their first Grand Final.
But it was not enough as shooter Aliyah Dunn scored 28 of 30 attempts and Pulse’s defensive line-up of Katrina Rore, Kelly Jury and Karin Burger continued to deny Tactix entry into the circle.
Pulse remained calm as the game was coming to an end and gave McCausland-Durie a fitting farewell.
Pulse not only came out the overall champions, but also scored the most goals, conceded the fewest and had the best shooting accuracy throughout the 2020 season.
McCausland-Durie has led the team to back-to-back titles after joining in 2017.
Pulse captain Rore said afterwards: "We have a very humble, amazing passionate team and that's all brought to you by Yvette McCausland-Durie.
"This is for her - she's been with us four years, four grand finals, her second win. That woman is absolutely amazing and we're really going to miss her. [She is] just a very special human, very unemotional woman, when things are down, you can never tell, when things are up, you still can't tell.
“But she means a lot to our team, and me personally as well, so I owe a lot to her to getting me from down in the dumps back up to where I needed to be, so for me, I'm so grateful.”
McCausland-Durie added: "It's fantastic. You always hope that you can finish like this. I'm really proud of this team.
“They've worked incredibly hard under all sorts of pressure, as everyone has in this league.”