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Sacrifice Worth It for Mojo Pulse’s Leota

Sacrifice Worth It for Mojo Pulse’s Leota

Media Release
19 March 2015

Posting their first win has provided a lift but Mojo Pulse will require a more polished effort on attack in their ANZ Championship netball outing against Northern Mystics in Auckland on Monday.

Sound defensive structures laid the platform for the Pulse’s much needed first win of the season against the Tactix but a patchy performance on attack was a disappointing aspect.

“We knew it was going to be a grind but we still expected more of ourselves and so that was a bit disappointing but a win is a win and it’s points on the board,” fleet-footed Pulse midcourter Liana Leota said.

“It’s all about getting used to each other and the more time we have together that will get better. With myself and Jodi (Brown), we’re strong-minded and we usually take control of the ends we play in, so there’s probably got to be a bit of give and take there… leading, one sitting back and vice versa. It’s all about finding ourselves and our structures.

“When we lose our structure, it impacts on the release of our ball and we need to concentrate on our strengths which is turning and letting the ball go. It has been a real burden for us of not having the confidence to just let it rip when we’ve got the players to do it.”

With the Pulse and Mystics providing a large portion of the Silver Ferns squad, the match-up looms as a real blockbuster between the New Zealand heavyweights.

Patience and ball retention will be key factors. Pulse coach Robyn Broughton is a stickler for treasuring the ball and Leota is aware of the need to bide time and wait for the opportunities to present.

“If we can find the fine line between flair and composure then we’re heading in the right direction,” Leota said.

Despite earning the MVP award against the Tactix, pocket-rocket Leota is not overly-enthusiastic about the merits of her own form, rating it ‘average’ at best.

“I’m enjoying being back and playing, but for me it’s just that attacking end,” she said. “We’re not quite in sync and I pride myself on being that link and that leader, so I’ve got a lot of things that I want to work on personally.”

Into her third season with the Pulse, the diminutive wing attack has sacrificed plenty in her personal life for netball and another momentous moment is about to take place.

With rugby-playing husband Johnny based in the UK with their two oldest children aged 12 and two, Leota is preparing for youngest Karney, who turned one at the weekend, to also take leave.

Leota will make a fleeting visit to the UK during the Pulse’s bye round in two weeks to drop Karney off with the rest of her family.

“It will be interesting times but for me it’s the bigger picture of the ANZ champs, world champs and I just need time to focus, not be selfish but promote my netball in the best possible way,” she said.

“I skype them morning and night but it’s just not the same as being there. I’ve got a great husband and we’ve got great support over there, so they carry on with life while I’m on the other side of the world playing netball.”

The Mojo Pulse play the Northern Mystics this Monday, 23 March. The game takes place away at Trusts Arena in Auckland. Centre pass is 7.40pm. Watch the game live on Sky Sports 1.

The next home game is on Monday, 30 March where the Pulse face the WBOP Magic at TSB Bank Arena in Wellington. Centre pass is 7.40pm. Tickets for this game can be purchased from Ticketek.


© Scoop Media

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