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Pulse keen to spice up the mix

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The phrase variety is the spice of life’, could well apply to Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse as they get set for their first double-header of the ANZ Premiership netball league this weekend.

The ability to bring something different is likely to be front and centre when the Pulse meet the Southern Steel on Saturday and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic on Sunday.

Coach Yvette McCausland-Durie came into the season believing last year’s winners needed to keep pushing the boundaries to keep opponents guessing and that means showcasing the full depth of her talented band of players who can offer variety and change where needed as the season unfolds.

That was in evidence in the latest round when Tiana Metuarau was injected into the game during the second half with stints at wing attack and goal attack, the talented teen having a major impact in helping the Pulse fend off a spirited Northern Mystics challenge.

We’ve been working around the concept of how do we keep re-inventing ourselves, playing with some variation and therefore bringing difference so that difference adds a challenge to the opposition,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

We’re really aware that we want to keep those opportunities moving. We’ve got 10 really talented players who are fit and well, so we’ve got the options and we’ve got variation. The key point is they bring difference, not sameness and that’s what we need.’’

After despatching the Mystics, the Pulse remain the only unbeaten team but learnt plenty from the clash from which they are keen to build on.

It was a really good contest and certainly a different style. Defensively they were really challenging, so there were lots of learnings for us from an attacking perspective,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

The other thing I learnt is that this group is resilient and that they have a level of confidence that even under pressure, they trust each other to work their way through. I thought they showed that, and withstood not only that mental pressure of a tight game, but also the physical pressure. We learnt a lot about each other which is also really valuable.’’

The coach said the team were well prepared to handle back-to-back games with recovery and managing player load being key.

After a slow start, the Steel came to life last weekend and look to be hitting their straps after posting their first win, against the Northern Stars while also pushing the Mystics close.

The Steel’s a different team with a different set of challenges. They are very good at looking after ball, so you don’t have a lot to live off and you have to work really hard to get it off them,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

It’s a similar story for us, we’ve got to be a lot more secure with the ball that we’ve got. They’ve also got some real craft in terms of their defensive strategy, the mobility they’ve got on the front line is pretty quick and that connection they’ve got through the middle they’ve had for a really long time.

They’re consistent and balanced and they’re starting to make a move meaning we’re their next target, I’m sure.’’

Teams are allowed to carry 11 players for double-header rounds meaning Central Manawa Beko League player Grace McLean will travel with the Pulse this weekend.

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