Beko winners join Pulse ranks for Super Club
Captain Katrina Grant will not see any action but Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse will introduce a quartet of promising young talent when their Super Club netball campaign gets underway in Nelson on Sunday.
With the exception of Grant, the Pulse will be at full strength for the second edition of Super Club which runs from Sunday until Friday, featuring New Zealand’s top three teams from the recently completed ANZ Premiership and five international clubs from South Africa, Australia, Scotland, Singapore and a mixed Fiji/Samoa team.
Grant scooped the Pulse Player of the Year title at the team’s end of season function last night which followed hot on the heels of the rangy defender grabbing the ANZ Premiership Player of the Year award last weekend to complete a stellar domestic season.
``Katrina’s had a really big season, so she’s
going to take a break,’’ Pulse coach Yvette
McCausland-Durie said. ``She’s played every minute both
internationally and domestically this season, so she needs
some down time.’’
Schoolgirls Saviour Tui (shooter) and Paris Lokotui (defender) will join midcourter Maddy Gordon and defender Elle Temu from Central’s title-winning Beko Netball League team as part of the Pulse mix for Super Club.
McCausland-Durie has welcomed the introduction of the two-point scoring zone to this year’s tournament which adds a point of difference for the players.
``It has been made a little more interesting by the fact they’re going to have the two-point shooting, so at least it’s not the same game because I think that would be quite hard for the players,’’ she said. ``Now it gives them something different to think about and how they play it.
``For the young ones, it will be really great for them to get a bit of a look at the different styles that the international teams bring.’’
To keep her players fresh, the coach will be
looking at providing opportunities for them to play in their
secondary positions while also unleashing those who had
limited court time during the ANZ Premiership.
``Once we’re there, the energy will lift, the fun element will play a part and we want to make sure they enjoy themselves,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``It’s a big load on the end of the year, so I’m really aware of that and making sure we use the players well and to look after them.
``You’re not going to stop the competitive
instincts that they’ve got and they’ll get out there and
go for it.’’
Winners of the inaugural title last year, the Southern Steel have hit form at the right time with a stunning come-from-behind win in the ANZ Premiership Grand Final while the Tactix, who completed their best season when making the Finals Series for the first time, round out the three New Zealand participants.
Two pools of four teams will contest the first three days of the tournament before the final place play-offs, the Pulse opening their campaign against Scotland’s UWS Sirens on Sunday afternoon.