Winning start for Pulse
March 10, 2017
Winning start for Pulse
The Central Pulse made a strong start to the ANZ Premiership pre-season netball tournament at the Te Wānanga o Raukawa campus in Otaki on Friday after outclassing the Northern Mystics 53-40.
The much-awaited showdown of shooter Cathrine Tuivaiti squaring off against her old team-mates failed to materialise when the latest high profile Pulse recruit was side-lined with a minor calf twinge. On the opposing side, Mystics shooting supremo Maria Tutaia also stayed on the bench for the duration of the match.
For the Pulse, schoolgirl shooter Tiana Metuarau showed she was more than ready for action at the elite level with an accomplished and assured outing. The 16-year-old stayed on for the whole game, playing a half each at goal shoot and goal attack in tandem with Te Amo Amaru-Tibble.
``She started very well but I certainly think there’s more that she can do,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said of the league’s youngest player.
Against an at times international defensive combination of Anna Harrison and Storm Purvis, Metuarau, the daughter of former Silver Ferns coach and captain Wai Taumaunu, more than held her own. The youngster returned the most impressive shooting figures across the game with 32 shots from 38 attempts for an 84 percent success rate.
``It was pleasing to finally get on court against an ANZ team and check where we’re at,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``There were a few gaps in terms of our consistency and we weren’t tidy enough on our turnover opportunities, so it was a bit of a mixed bag. There are a few things to tidy but it was fantastic to get everyone (apart from Tuivaiti) on during the game and have a wee look at a number of playing options.’’
Both teams made numerous changes throughout but from the outset it was the Pulse who were more accurate with their execution and finishing. Gaining a narrow edge through the opening exchanges, the hosts gradually built a solid platform which allowed them to hold the upper hand from start to finish.
The Pulse went to the first break with a 16-10 lead and overcame a messy start to the second stanza, where both teams were guilty of soft turnovers, to keep their grip on the game.
Lively Pulse wing defence Claire Kersten picked off a succession of turnovers while Metuarau showed her growing maturity to withstand a testing examination from the experienced Harrison as the Pulse headed to the main break with a 29-21 lead.
The Pulse turned the screws in the third quarter, captain Katrina Grant moving back to goalkeeper and pocketing a flurry of intercepts.
An industrious defensive effort from the hosts was rewarded with the first five goals of the stanza, the Mystics sinking just six for the full 15 minutes as the Pulse went to the last break well placed at 44-27.
With all six ANZ Premiership teams in attendance, the Pulse will come up against the Southern Steel in a full-length match tomorrow morning and a 40-minute game against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the afternoon.
For a full wrap of the day’s play, visit www.anzpremiership.co.nz later tonight.