Severn Stars looking to bounce back after a strong performance against Team Bath as they are set to host London Pulse in round 16 of the Vitality Super League. The game takes place on Saturday, April 30 at 18:00.
Pulse currently sit in third place with 30 points after three consecutive wins against Wasps, Saracens Mavericks and most recently, Celtic Dragons. Stars, on the other hand, come into the game following a closely fought battle against Bath.
The two sides went head-to-head in round six this season which saw Sam Bird’s side take all three points after a dominating 64-35 victory but with much improved performances, Melissa Bessell’s team will be looking to snatch all three points this time around.
Stars’ last win against Pulse came back in the London-based team’s first season, 2019, where Pulse’s current head coach, Bird, was at the helm for Stars. Her side earned a convincing three points after securing a 60-51 win.
Since then, Stars have been unlucky at times after missing out in two very tight games. The opening game of the 2019 season saw Pulse edge Stars by just two goals as they began their season with a 51-49 win.
Last season saw Pulse take six points from six against Stars with two close clashes. Round nine saw Stars fall to a 41-36 defeat despite a late comeback from Bessell’s side in the fourth quarter.
The reverse fixture was a lot closer after Pulse secured a 42-40 win in the penultimate round. Heading into the final quarter the game was poised level but a double from Pulse secured all three points.
This time out, Pulse could be without defender Funmi Fadoju after the England international suffered an injury and last made an appearance in round 10’s fixture against Leeds Rhinos.
Despite losing their in-form defender, Pulse will be posing a dangerous threat through goal shooter Assaindey Olivia Tchine who is currently the second top goal scorer with 533 and has a 91.74% goal success rate.
Goal attack Sacha McDonald has partnered alongside Tchine for the previous games and will also provide a challenge for Stars’ defence after the goal attack was presented with the Pulse’s player of the match award in their win against Dragons.
For the home side, Lucy Herdman will be looking to retain her place after her dominating performances and key interceptions. The goal defence sits fifth in the league for most interceptions (33) and most turnovers (64), displaying her importance.
Goalkeeper Summer Artman has partnered alongside Herdman for their recent fixtures and was a great presence in the defensive third in their recent win against Wasps.
In the attacking third, Cat Tuivaiti has retained her place for their previous six games since returning from injury and has provided her side with her signature skills and tricks.
Goal attack Katie Harris teamed up with Tuivaiti in the starting seven in their recent win against Harris’ former side with Paige Reed also featuring.
It was Reed who retained her place for their latest game against Bath and could provide Bessell with a positive selection headache.
Their final home game at the Worcester Arena takes place on Saturday, April 30 with the first centre pass commencing at 18:00. The game can be viewed live on Sky Sports YouTube.
Written by Grace Gunn