Sam Bird hopes London Pulse can attract new fans from south London when they play their Netball SuperLeague Capital showcase ‘home’ game against Leeds Rhinos at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Saturday.

Pulse, who currently occupy the third play-off spot, go into round 12 brimming with confidence after bulldozing Severn Stars 72-50 in a revenge mission in front of BBC Sport cameras at Worcester Sports Arena last Friday.

As the scoreline suggests it was a much improved performance from their first encounter in March when Stars, who currently hold the last play-off place, came away from the Copper Box Arena with a stunning 54-47 success.

Olivia Tchine top-scored with 47 goals and goalshooting assistant Berri Neil fired 25, as Sigrid Burger scored 38 for the hosts, against her former club.

“It was really important to show the improvement in our play since we last met,” said Bird.

“I felt we made significant progress and it was great to really see that on this return fixture. I thought if we started well we would win convincingly which we did and from there we never looked back in the match.”

Bird was impressed with the display of Funmi Fadoju at GK, with Halimat Adio ruled out due to illness.

“(Funmi) Fadoju worked so well at the back with Zara Everitt in the circle,” added Bird.

“Other standouts include Nicholé Taljaard and Alicia Scholes in the middle and Olive Tchine shooting.”

With the Copper Box Arena not available on May 4 when the 2024 NSL fixtures were released in January, Bird believes this is a good opportunity to showcase Pulse’s home fixture with Leeds Rhinos, who lost 64-56 to second-place Loughborough Lightning, south of the River Thames.

“It’s good for us to try and attract new fans from south London and the surrounding areas,” Bird added.

“We hope to provide a spectacle at Crystal Palace for our existing loyal fans and new one watching Pulse for the first time.”

First pass is at 7pm and tickets are available at 

Lightning are now level on points with league leaders Manchester Thunder, who comprehensively brushed aside fifth-placed Surrey Storm, coached by Brentwood-based Mikki Austin, 73-48 in Guildford.

Bottom side Strathclyde Sirens picked up their first point of the season after drawing 54-54 at sixth-placed Cardiff Dragons as Saracens Mavericks sunk Team Bath 53-44.