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Wounded Pulse prepare to bounce back

May 29, 2017
Wounded Pulse prepare to bounce back

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse are embracing the challenge of rebounding from bitter disappointment with a positive ANZ Premiership netball outing against the Northern Mystics in Auckland on Wednesday.

With five rounds remaining and the race to secure a top-three play-offs spot tightening, the Pulse’s momentum was stalled after last week’s heavy loss to the table-topping Southern Steel.

``It hasn’t set the alarm bells ringing because we believe in the netball that we’re trying to play that will be successful,’’ Pulse assistant coach Sandra Edge said.

``That was a big blip against the Steel but due credit has to go to them because they played a strong, decisive and confident game. To a certain degree, we allowed that to happen and as a result we lost a bit of momentum in our own game and our own goals.’’

There has been an honest appraisal between management and players in a bid to steady the ship ahead of the business end of the season.

With the Mystics sitting just two points adrift of them in fourth place on the table, the game is shaping as a real test of character for the Pulse’s coaching and playing roster.

``That’s our challenge and that’s what’s quite exciting about it and how we’re approaching it,’’ Edge said.

``We have to go forward, we’ve got critical games if we want to make the play-offs and it’s not a case of reinventing any wheels, it’s a case of really sticking to what we believe we can do to be successful and not waver from that.

``We have got really talented players who are working hard, have got fabulous skills and it’s a great team but given our last result, we have a huge challenge in front of us and that’s also our motivation.’’

It will be the third clash between the pair this season, the Pulse having the wood on their northern rivals with narrow wins in the earlier contests but that will count for little as desperation grows, another close tussle beckoning between the two well-matched teams.

``For us, it’s about the netball that we play,’’ Edge said. ``There’s some fabulous talent in every team, you don’t know what’s going to happen in other games that are coming up and there’s probably a few twists and turns yet to come.

``We want to play a game that reflects our ability, our skills, our connections and deliver a much more complete performance, individually and as a team, and that’s what’s motivating us.

``Good teams work really hard together, creating a healthy, inclusive environment where they do want to be the best that they can be and to play really good netball and that hasn’t changed in our group which is really cool.’’

In her first season of coaching at this level, the former Silver Ferns midcourt maestro has experienced the emotional rollercoaster that goes hand-in-hand with the role but is thriving in the elite atmosphere.

``I am very much enjoying it,’’ she said. ``You’re just learning all the time and are constantly reflecting on what’s happened or things that could have made a difference. You’re mentally exercised and challenged on a daily basis.

``It’s just a real thrill to be in the environment. Although I’ve played in a high performance environment and helped out at the level in different capacities, it has been a real eye-opener coaching at this level.

``There are highs and lows and I think you’ve just got to try and keep reasonably steady, not get too carried away by the highs and when the lows come, just have a quick rain check.’’


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