Match Preview: Severn Stars travel to the Copper Box Arena in round six of the Vitality Super League to face London Pulse
Severn Stars will be looking to record their second win of the season as they travel to the Copper Box Arena to face fifth place side London Pulse on Saturday, March 5.
The Stars were unlucky to miss out on all three points in their previous match after leading 36-34 in quarter three against Team Bath, suffering a 45-48 defeat.
Melissa Bessell’s side is set to face an inform team after Pulse have consecutively scored 50+ goals in all games this season.
However, Pulse have suffered two defeats after current reigning Champions Loughborough Lightning completed a 61-50 victory and Saracens Mavericks narrowly beat Pulse 53-51.
Sam Bird’s team currently sit in fifth place just outside the top four on goal difference after beating Stars’ last opponents, Team Bath, 52-48 and defeating Wasps 52-35.
Pulse continued their winning ways in round five after successfully defeating Celtic Dragons 50-37 so the side will be looking to carry their positive form into their next game against Stars.
Despite having only one win in five, Stars have been unlucky to miss out at times with narrow defeats such as their previous but have demonstrated positive performances.
Last season, Pulse did the double over Stars in two closely contested fixtures after a round nine 41-36 victory and an even closer 42-40 round 19 victory.
Another tightly fought battle took place between the two sides in round one of the 2019 season after Pulse narrowly defeated Stars with a 51-49 score line
However, Stars took their first victory against Pulse in round 10 in 2019 with a dominant performance to secure a 60-51 win.
For the first meeting between the two sides in the 2022 season, Bessell will be hoping key signing Cat Tuivaiti will be fit and ready to face Pulse after making her debut against Bath in the previous fixture.
However, despite making her long-awaited debut at home, Tuivaiti unfortunately exited the court in the opening minutes before the first Stars goal but was replaced by Isabelle Eaton.
The young shooter has made a great impact for Bessell’s side after being promoted into the starting seven this season after creating a dynamic partnership with goal attack Paige Reed.
At the other end of the court, Iman Thomas dropped into the goal defence position and partnered Summer Artman for periods of their previous game which saw Bethan Dyke, Liana Leota and Nicole Humphrys control the mid court.
Lucy Herdman replaced Artman in the starting seven against Bath, partnering Dee Bolakoro and the pair were instrumental after providing the side with some crucial interceptions.
The partnership of Thomas and Herdman was also very effective and could provide Bessell with a selection headache.
Last game’s Stars’ player of the match Humphrys will also be looking to secure her place in the starting line-up after an energetic and positive performance.
For their oppositions, Pulse have named an unchanged side for their last two games but may look to freshen things up against the Stars.
Olivia Tchine and Sacha McDonald have partnered up in the goal shooting third against Wasps and the Dragons, having scored a total of 102 goals in just two matches.
In the defensive third, Funmi Fadoju and Lindsay Keable have been partners for the two previous games and could be set to continue their duties against the fast pace of Stars’ attacking duo.
Ellie Rattu, Zara Everitt, and Ash Dekker have completed the Pulse line up in two consecutive games however Taylor Honey and Jasmin Odeogberin could freshen things up after filling up the mid court roles in round three.
The fixture will only be the fifth meeting between the two sides in the league as Stars will be looking to earn their second victory against Pulse.
The game will start at 14:00 at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, March 5.
Written by Grace Gunn