The Queensland Firebirds have beaten the Central Pulse 52-46 in their ANZ Championship netball clash in Porirua.
After a tight tussle through the first three quarters of the match, Firebirds bookends Laura Geitz, at the defence end, and shooter Romelda Aiken provided the necessary composure in the final quarter to complete a hard-fought first win.
The match had a bit of everything but the Firebirds - Australia's most successful team in New Zealand - retained their focus on the job at hand to repel all the Pulse could throw at them.
The home team enjoyed strong surges of play, usually late in each quarter, but were often left chasing the game.
Crucial lapses, not making the most of their opportunities and conversion percentages proved costly for the Pulse who slumped to a second loss from their opening two matches.
Veteran goal shoot Irene van Dyk and England import, Ama Agbeze at goalkeeper, were the changes to the Pulse's starting line-up from last week while the Firebirds went with the same seven.
Shooters van Dyk and Jodi Brown were forced to work the ball around to get the opening while the Firebirds focussed on the more direct route to 1.96m shooter Aiken.
Captain Katrina Grant set the tone for the home team with some vital turnovers while Brown carried a big work load for the Pulse.