Attacking instinct encouraged for Pulse against Stars
Growing discontent with recent performances is spurring Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse to adopt a more liberated approach in their ANZ Premiership netball match against the Northern Stars in Auckland on Monday.
Sitting handily-enough in third place, just a point adrift of the Southern Steel and WBOP Magic, has not changed the thinking emanating from the Pulse camp that they’re only operating at about 70 percent of their capabilities.
With plenty of talent at their disposal, new entity the Stars have failed to fire as yet and the Pulse don’t want to be one of the casualties when they do. With that in mind, shedding their hesitancy and backing their attacking instincts is part of the plan.
The Pulse attack line matches the Stars newness where timing, cohesion and accuracy have yet to be delivered with any degree of consistency.
``You do have to anticipate it taking a little bit of time when you’ve got such a new line-up out there but I think there’s also an element of everyone needing to be a bit more fearless and letting ball go,’’ Pulse midcourter Sara Bayman said.
``That’s what we’re able to do in training and we need to keep that mentality and keep attacking games. If we don’t do that, we’re going to be left saying….`what if’ and that’s what we want to avoid.
``We were disappointed with our last two performances even though we pushed Magic close (two-goal loss) and beat Tactix, we weren’t happy with what we put out there.
``If and when we get it together and put out the performance we want, then it’s going to look a lot different than it does at the minute. We’ve been a bit frustrated with our ability to transfer what we’re doing at training into matches.’’
Primarily a centre/wing defence, import Bayman is an experienced campaigner with 82 test caps for England under her belt, and in plying her trade from centre for the Pulse has become an integral part of the team’s defensive efforts and now it’s about helping to get the attack line humming.
At 1.81m, Bayman, is tall for a midcourter, has a strong work ethic and robust playing style, a calm disposition on court and the type of player who just gets on with the job.
The 32-year-old couldn’t believe her luck after signing on with the Pulse and finding she would have coaching calibre of the highest quality including luminaries of the sport in Sandra Edge, Wai Taumaunu and Irene van Dyk.
``It was a little bit intimidating to walk in and see that line-up of New Zealand netball royalty,’’ she said.
``For an older player like myself to come in and still feel like I’m learning and absorbing all the knowledge they’ve got is a great feeling.
``Sometimes as you get older, you can feel you stop learning but in this environment, there’s new stuff coming in all the time. We’re being challenged in all our court areas to be better and to increase our repertoire of what we’re putting out there, so it’s great.’’
Bayman has settled in well at the Pulse and is enthusiastic about the mix of personnel and players she’s teamed up with.
``It’s a great mix of older players and younger players,’’ she said. ``There’s a great melting pot of ideas and opinions. We have worked hard to make sure everyone has a voice and have put together a game plan and a structure in our team that suits how we want to play.’’
Bayman played for the Manchester Thunder in England, winning the UK Super League title with them in 2012 and 2014.
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