The Stars have picked up bonus point number eight of their ANZ Premiership season with a 46-43 loss to the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in a ferocious encounter in Porirua.

The first half was a defensive battle, as both sides struggled to maintain consistency on attack and the shooters having to work extremely hard for goals.

The defensive pairing of Holly Fowler and Kate Burley were immense, working tirelessly to disrupt the Pulse's offensive flow and helping the Stars build an early lead.

Unfortunately for the Stars, some loose passing at the attacking end allowed the Pulse to get back into the contest and take some control and they finished the first quarter up 12-11.

The Pulse made a fast start to the second quarter and led by as much as five goals, with the Stars trying to build some cohesion with the ball.

Defence again dominated the quarter and the Stars were able to win some important ball late and go on a run, closing the gap to three goals at half-time, down 22-19.

The Stars produced a polished start to the second half, taking care with their ball distribution and with some slick play, began their fight back.

Burley and Fowler continued to terrorise the Pulse shooters and with some well earned turnovers the Stars suddenly had the lead midway through the period.

Just as the Stars began to gain the ascendancy, the Pulse struck back with some strong play of their own in what was becoming an increasingly physical contest.

The Stars were guilty of not treasuring possession late in the quarter and it was the Pulse who swung momentum their way to lead 35-32 heading into the final quarter.

The Pulse threatened to run away with the game after making a swift start to the fourth period, capitalising on some Stars errors and ballooning their lead out to seven goals.

Much has been the theme for their season though, the Stars never dropped their heads and kept getting back up. Some more pressure from the defence presented opportunities and the Stars went on a late surge, closing the gap to two goals, but with time running out the Pulse put a final nail in the coffin and came away with a 46-43 victory.

Fowler and Burley's mammoth effort saw them have eight deflections each and combine for eight gains.

Maia Wilson had another strong outing in the shooting circle and her combination with feeders Holly Mather, Emma Thompson and Tori Kolose is getting better every week.

The Stars are off to Tauranga next week where they'll face the Magic on Saturday.

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