Attacking momentum key for Pulse against Stars
Winning ugly has played its part, now it’s improved finesse on attack that Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse are hoping to nail coming into Round Four of the ANZ Premiership netball league.
It seems a little petty to quibble when the Pulse remain unbeaten after securing three straight wins but they will need all parts of their game firing when fronting the Northern Stars in Auckland on Monday. The talented south Auckland-based team are breathing down the Pulse’s neck on the points table after making an impressive start to the season.
``They’re definitely confident at the moment and rightly so,’’ non-stop Pulse centre Claire Kersten said.
``They’ve had some big wins and that presents a really great opportunity for us. On attack, they definitely play with pace and they’re certainly picking up a lot of ball on defence, so we’ve got to be smart about how we approach that but we’re looking forward to it.’’
With a constant target on their backs, it’s certainly not panic stations for the Pulse, who have shown their character in recent weeks to successfully emerge from the decent defensive challenges mounted against them, but a sense of frustration is brewing.
``There have been moments of frustration but I think we’ve got to realise that that’s all part of the challenge and it’s not all going to be perfect, as much as we’d love it to be,’’ Kersten said.
``We’ve had a couple of weeks where we haven’t been completely happy with our performance and we’ve spent quite a lot of time on analysis trying to get those things right. It’s better to be ironing out these problems at this point of the season rather than two weeks from the end.
``Looking at the footage from the (previous) Tactix game, there was some great stuff in there and it’s now just about doing that more consistently. Knowing that when we’re not all at our best that we can still work through things, get ourselves out of situations and be able to win is really important.’’
It has been a different story at the other end of the court where the defence line has revelled in the close quarter nature of the previous two matches against the Tactix and Magic with a wholehearted and fruitful response.
``Those back three (Karin Burger, Katrina Rore, Sulu Fitzpatrick) have picked up a ton of ball for us which has probably relieved some of the pressure on attack,’’ Kersten said. ``They’re doing a stellar job for us and there’s no complaints there.’’
After moving up court from wing defence, the always busy Kersten, is into her second year of plying her trade from centre where her game continues to evolve. It’s a similar sentiment that runs across the team.
``We enjoy playing together and being with each other as a group,’’ she said. ``We’ve got a great environment, it’s pretty relaxed but we all want to get better. We’ve been winning games but we’re certainly not satisfied with that and want to keep challenging and pushing each other further.’’
Sitting out last week due to a head knock, shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio is in contention for selection against the Stars after receiving a medical clearance during the week.