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Pulse re-group for Super Club showpiece

Pulse re-group for Super Club showpiece
There’s been little time for reflection for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse who face a quick turnaround before heading off to the end of season Super Club netball tournament in Nelson.

Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie views the Super Club concept as the perfect way for the ANZ Premiership’s beaten finalists to put the seal on a season which has shown plenty of growth and promise for the future.

Netball New Zealand was keen to introduce the initiative of a global Super Club event to complement the new domestic competition, the Pulse opening the week-long tournament against the Celtic Flames, from Wales, on Sunday afternoon.

Eight teams, including the top three from the just-completed ANZ Premiership, headline the inaugural showpiece club event.

``It’s a great initiative and going to be a lot of fun, the inclusion of the international teams adding real value,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

The Pulse are losing rising young stars Tiana Metuarau, who had a standout first season at the elite level, and training partners Kimiora Poi and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan to the New Zealand under-21 World Youth Cup team.

Their places will be taken by another trio of emerging talent in Jermaine Howard-Vallance, Eseta Autagavaia and Renee Savaiinaea from Central’s triumphant Beko Netball League winning team.

``It’s a fantastic opportunity to get exposure to different styles and that’s quite a neat point of difference for end of season,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``And it’s a good opportunity for us to play a number of our players who haven’t had a huge amount of game time this season.’’

The Pulse are expecting to have the services of midcourter Sheridan Bignall, who suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday’s 69-53 grand final loss to the Southern Steel.

McCausland-Durie is pleased with the progress the Pulse made during the 2017 campaign where they surprised many to make the final two, and which has set a sound platform for next year.

After being outplayed during the first half, there was an encouraging second half reply from the Pulse which they went on to lose by just one.

``It was great to make some in-roads in the second half but there were just too many basic errors at times which a team of that calibre will punish you for,’’ she said. ``We didn’t go there to lose but we’re also very aware that they’re a side who have been together for a while and those combinations and links really showed out in the final.

``We lost the second half by one and I was really proud that they kept fighting. We’ve been in that situation before and haven’t found the resolve, so I was pleased to see that and I do think there was some massive learning from a young group of players for us.

``It was year one of our three-year plan. We were honoured to make the grand final, we’ve all learnt a lot and we want to be back there.’’

The Pulse travel to Nelson on Saturday for the opening ceremony ahead of the start of the tournament on Sunday.

Two pools of four will play each other once before the cross-over games begin on Thursday with the final play-off places decided on Friday. There will be no games on Tuesday, which has been designated as Community Day, with each team undertaking various activities in the wider Nelson community.

Pool A: Southern Steel, NSWIS (Australia), Gauteng Jaguars (South Africa), University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Pool B: Central Pulse, Northern Mystics, Celtic Flames (Wales), Marama Vou (Fiji).


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