WASPS Netball momentarily returned to the top of the Vitality Superleague with a convincing 67-35 win over London Pulse at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, putting an end to their two-game losing streak.
It was a much more straightforward task at hand for the hosts than in recent weeks, with their superiority against the lowly visitors evident from the start.
Pulling away in the third-quarter, the match result never looked in much doubt, as head coach Mel Mansfield attested.
“It was a good win for us, this game was all about getting some belief back in the team.
“I was delighted that they pushed on and won by a big margin. It wasn’t the finished article but we’ve got a lot of rounds to go yet to perfect our play.
“It was really important we didn’t have any lapses of concentration, we kept the foot on the pedal throughout and overall I’m really pleased with the performance.
Mansfield highlighted the importance of providing Tamsin Moala with some first-team action, and looked ahead to Wasps’ next fixture on Saturday (6pm).
“We know our players really well. It was a great opportunity to give Tamsin some exposure today and she made a great impact.
“Next up for us is Team Bath which is a huge game and we’ll be working hard in training to make sure we are ready for the test.”
Rachel Dunn got the scoring underway with her first sight of goal, in an opening period where Wasps and the Pulse traded goals, the latter pulling two in front after a turnover.
Wasps levelled before heading into the second-period with a six-point lead, with both Fran Williams and Hannah Knights impressive in fulfilling their defensive duties.
Moala emerged to provide fresh legs in the second-quarter and scored back-to-back goals, forming a deadly partnership alongside Dunn inside the shooting circle.
Wasps had a double-figures lead by half-time, but had to stay alert at the start of quarter-three to fend off the increasing threat from the visitors.
Amy Flanagan and Knights were on hand to stay composed and win possession back for the Black and Golds, whilst Jade Clarke was effective with her distribution up to the attackers.
A 19-goal lead was held by Wasps going into the final-quarter, and they proceeded to extend their advantage with further goals from Dunn.
When Loreen Ngwira was sent off with three minutes remaining and depleting London Pulse’s numbers, the hosts capitalised and eventually built a 32-goal lead by the time the final whistle sounded.
Bethany Dix managed to make her league debut for Wasps, entering the play to a roar of noise from the Ricoh Arena faithful.
Wasps’ home fixture against Team Bath, sitting in fifth, presents an ideal opportunity to resume their previous hot-streak of form, having won the reverse fixture 57-46 in Somerset.