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Pulse retain talented young trio for 2018

July 28, 2017

Pulse retain talented young trio for 2018

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse netball coach Yvette McCausland-Durie couldn’t be happier to have retained the services of talented young trio Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness and Karin Burger for the 2018 season.

On the back of their exploits this year, all three will be a part of next week’s Silver Ferns trials, and while their natural ability is a given, the key component of continuity in the Pulse ranks is an added reason to leave the coach smiling.

Teenaged schoolgirl shooter Metuarau, 16, was a late addition to this year’s team, stepping up to replace a pregnant Ameliaranne Ekenasio with all the poise of someone who looked as if she had been doing it for years, in the process reinforcing her credentials and bright future.

After missing all of 2105 with a serious knee injury, little pocket rocket wing attack Souness, 21, made up for lost time to also showcase her skill set with an impressive first full season of game time while athletic defender Burger, 24, has continued to grow her game at the elite level.

``It’s huge for us to get Tiana and Whitney back, they were both starting line-up players and played a critical role in our ability to make it through to the runner-up position in this year’s competition,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

``For us now, it’s about looking at their development in adding to the growth, consistency and subtle changes to their game. We saw some good shift out of both of them throughout the season but the opportunity to grow that even further is huge for both of them.

``They’re hugely talented, they’ve both been around multiple programmes for years and the fact both had the consistent (game) time this year has made a really big difference in terms of their development.

``They both understand what being a high performance athlete needs to look like and the commitment to doing what it takes. They’ve got a great attitude, they work hard, they’re good team members and they’ll only get better.’’

Originally from South Africa, Burger came to New Zealand to develop her netball and she’s done that in spades while moving from club to the elite level with ease in a relatively short space of time.

The rangy in-circle defender was the Beko Player of the Year in its inaugural season last year which also earned her a Silver Ferns trial, while she picked up the Player of the Match when Central beat Mainland in this year’s final.

She had limited opportunities in the ANZ Premiership but was a standout in the games she played at Beko level this year while also leaving a big impression during the Super Club tournament at the end of the season.

``Karin was very patient in 2017, watching and observing, she trained really hard and was much fitter and stronger and we saw some great stuff from her during Super Club as well as the Beko competition,’’ McCausland-Durie said.

For 2018, the attention will turn to giving her more exposure in the top echelon and building on her all-round defensive qualities.

``She’s very composed and quite task-focused, doesn’t let the occasion get to her, has belief in herself and has taken her opportunities,’’ McCausland-Durie said of Burger. ``She’s just bubbling under the surface and is ready to go.’’

The trio join long-serving captain Katrina Grant, who was confirmed earlier this week, as the first four to commit to the Pulse’s roster for 2018.


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