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Pulse blow out cobwebs in first pre-season outing

Pulse blow out cobwebs in first pre-season outing

The Central Pulse kick-started their 2017 netball campaign with a lively 75-30 win over a Taranaki invitation team in New Plymouth on Sunday in their first outing of the pre-season.

With all 10 of the team getting an extended run during the match, the Pulse were pleased to produce a consistent performance despite the numerous changes. In delivering quarter scores of 19-5, 38-14 and 57-21, the Pulse were pleased to maintain a scoring rate that remained consistently even throughout.

``I was really pleased with what came out of that,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.

``We had two major goals. One was around having a look at varied combinations and the other was seeing that the players were really clear around what the task at hand was. They stayed committed to that which was pleasing to see.

``I thought we were pretty diligent and for some of the time, it was just the execution that wasn’t quite there.’’

With the Pulse’s two training partners, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Kimiora Poi, lining up in the opposition, the plucky Taranaki team provided a worthy opponent as they tested the Pulse in a number of areas.

The Pulse ran a settled line-up through the first half while the second 30 minutes resulted in a number of combinations that hadn’t been tested previously.

Midcourters Whitney Souness and England import Sara Bayman were the two Pulse players to play out the full hour while defender Phoenix Karaka, troubled by and ankle injury in recent weeks, moved freely throughout her time on court.

Rangy Taranaki defender Jess Tuki, who played for a number of teams during the trans-Tasman competition, made sure the Pulse didn’t have things all their own way early on with a string of timely turnovers as the visitors took time to settle into their work.

With Bayman playing a strong hand from centre with her vision, availability and feeding skills, the Pulse found their groove and set about taking charge.

In her first match for her new team, experienced shooter Cathrine Tuivaiti showcased some of her deft touches and clever play under the hoop while combining well with fellow shooters Te Amo Amaru-Tibble and teenaged schoolgirl Tiana Metuarau.

Sharp spells on attack were combined with solid defensive screens, defenders Karaka and Clare Kersten picking off a lot of turnover ball in the defensive third. Tuki and shooter Amber Ormond were strong contributors for Taranaki, the Pulse now looking to add the polish in next weekend’s pre-season tournament in Otaki.

``We now just need to work on our timing and links in the attacking third, links through court and our timing on defence,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

All six ANZ Premiership teams will attend the March 10-12 pre-season tournament in Otaki.


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