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Mum-to-be Ekenasio making the most of sideline role with Pulse

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There’s not many dull moments for expectant mum Ameliaranne Ekenasio in her sideline role with Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse during the ANZ Premiership netball competition.

Having to withdraw from the Pulse due to pregnancy ahead of this season’s campaign, the elegant Silver Ferns shooter has lent her hand in a mentoring capacity, working mainly with the attack and shooting ends.

Expecting a baby boy in five weeks, Ekenasio has missed playing, her baby adding to the angst of watching from the stands with his own demonstrative outbursts in matching his mum’s eagerness to be unleashed.

The pregnancy is all going well and he (the baby) gets really excited when we’re actually at the games, like physically, which is really funny,’’ Ekenasio said. I’ve never felt him move as much as he does in those instances so he must be feeding off all my excitement and goes crazy so that’s pretty cute.

I would definitely rather be playing but it’s quite refreshing to see things from another perspective because I’m not tied up in being so pressured and having to perform, to actually see things from almost outside the picture.

The hardest point has actually been being with the girls on game day, they’re all in their uniforms and I’m there with them but not quite in. It’s close but it’s so hard not to be entrenched in it. So, I definitely have itchy feet and am looking forward to coming back.’’

A lot of the time on the training court has been spent tidying up the basics which has meant some disjointed performances at times. But Ekenasio is confident the Pulse are heading in the right direction.

We’ve got a few young girls in there who we are really putting under the pump to step up,’’ she said. We’ve got girls in there who are in their first season, who are playing 60 minutes which is a massive load on their shoulders but if we just continue to keep chipping away and improving on that every single week, we have the chance to become a real clinical team.

The biggest thing for us is we can’t get complacent as we continue to grow. The real thrust, as a team unit, is that we’ve got to continue to expect more from each other each week and that’s the only way we’ll grow.’’

In the experienced Cathrine Tuivaiti, crafty Te Amo Amaru-Tibble and rising young talent Tiana Metuarau, the Pulse have a composition of variety and strong movement at the shooting end which provides flexibility and Ekenasio likes what she sees.

There’s still loads and loads of growth there because all those combinations are new ones,’’ she said. They’re going well but it’s the same thing, we just keep putting them under the pump every week and trying to get them better. I think we’re going about it the right way because it is coming.’’

The Pulse have made an encouraging start to the season, their match-up against the Northern Mystics in Wellington on Monday carrying plenty of weight.

The Pulse came from behind to sneak home by one in the first encounter four weeks ago but the visitors have gained momentum with back-to-back wins in their last two outings and present a potent force with their international calibre shooting and defensive ends.

Both teams have a knowledge of what to expect from the other but things that worked last time might not work this time,’’ Ekenasio said. So, I think we will have to be a little bit smarter with how our shooting end operates.

They’ve had a couple of wins on the trot, so will be feeling a bit more confident, so we can’t go in expecting what we got last time because they’re going to step it up a notch.’’

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