Silver Ferns mates to face off in top of the table tussle

Grace Nweke and Kelly Jury compete in 2020

Only goal difference separates the Central Pulse and Northern Mystics at the summit of the ANZ Premiership going into Sunday's crunch match.

Both teams are on 30 points and while the Mystics have a game in hand, the winner will likely boost their chances of proceeding into next month's grand final as top qualifier with only two rounds remaining.

"This game is crucial, we need the points to get us into the playoffs, ideally we need two more wins to take it out of waiting for others to see what their results are and controlling our own destiny," said Pulse coach Yvette McClausland-Durie.

What's billed as a dress rehearsal for the season decider is also pitting the competition's best defender, Kelly Jury, against the top scorer, Grace Nweke.

Jury is top for defensive rebounds and deflections this season, second only to Karin Burger for intercepts while Nweke has scored 598 goals so far, shooting at 92.7%.

Jury was at her dogged defensive best last time out against the Magic, as the Pulse ground out a 50-49 win.

"Six or seven matches this year have been decided by one or two points which is huge, to know we can close out those matches when they've been a grind is massive for our confidence," said Jury.

"It shows we've got the composure to close out a match."

And when coming up against Nweke, the Pulse defence will need all the composure they've got.

"I love playing against Grace, she's a great athlete," said Jury of her Silver Ferns teammate.

"We roomed together a lot last year so we know a lot about each other off the court, we're good friends we like coming up against each other, it's always a battle."

"I always like to say 'hi', might give her a cuddle and a kiss but once the whistle goes though it's business time."


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