The Robinhood Stars have tasted defeat for the first time this ANZ Premiership season, losing to the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in Auckland.
The result sees them remain on top of the competition ladder, but ends their five game winning streak for the campaign.
The first quarter was a tight tussle throughout, with both teams creating turnover opportunities and producing scintillating attacking play.
The Stars made a steady start on attack, before giving some cheap ball away, but regained control and led by as much as five goals late in the period with great defensive pressure by Elle Temu and Anna Harrison.
The Pulse fought their way back, making the most of some Stars mistakes, but it would be the Stars who would have their noses in front 14-13 at quarter time, with a late Maia Wilson goal.
The Pulse continued to apply pressure on the Stars from the opening moment of the second quarter and quickly took the lead - the first time the Stars had trailed outside of the first quarter all season.
The Stars then fought back with some trademark defensive stops and despite being rushed at times on attack, managed to eat away at the Pulse's three goal lead and trail by just one, 26-25 at half-time.
The Stars suffered a momentary blow during the second quarter, when Harrison limped off early in period with an ankle injury after going down hard when securing a turnover, but would return midway through the third quarter.
The Stars began the second half by showing poise with ball in hand and tied the match up early in the third period.
The Pulse then sprung to life with outstanding accuracy and made the Stars pay - opening up a seven goal lead midway through the quarter, with shooter Aliyah Dunn on fire, making all of her shots at goal.
The Stars rallied late in the quarter, but after some further turnovers, the Pulse took an eight goal lead into the final quarter, up 42-34.
The fourth quarter proved to be a scrappy affair, with the Pulse continuing to heap pressure on the Stars from both ends and it resulted in them amassing a 15 goal lead late.
The Stars struggled to regain composure and hold of the game, as the Pulse won majority of 50/50 contests and were more polished in most areas, earning themselves a 57-44 victory.
The Stars will have a full week to debrief and recover, before hosting the Mainland Tactix on Monday May 31st in Auckland.