Step up needed for Pulse against high-flying Magic
Central Pulse are pushing for improvement across all areas of the netball court when they clash with ANZ Premiership pace-setters, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in Rotorua on Wednesday.
The Pulse were delighted to open their campaign with a nail-biting one-goal win over the Mystics but know more will be needed to claim a similar result in their Round 2 outing.
Magic have made a sizzling start to the season, impressing with their slick execution and all-round ability after posting comprehensive back-to-back wins.
``While it was absolutely great to get the win, we’re quite realistic that it wasn’t our best work,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``We really need to be much better against Magic who will be a fairly confident team coming into Wednesday.’’
Magic have a potent shooting weapon in South African import Lenize Potgieter who has made her mark early, settling in seamlessly while enhancing her reputation after posting personal hauls of 50 goals or more in both her outings to date.
``They have opened their campaign very well and were able to play the game they wanted to play (both times) without a lot of pressure being put on them,’’ McCausland-Durie said.
``If we can put pressure on early that will be the test of them and whether they respond because they haven’t had that yet. We feel confident that we’ve been put under pressure, now our challenge is to be able to put teams under pressure.’’
The Pulse coach was heartened by her team’s resolve against the Mystics, the ability to retain cool
heads and keep plugging away paying dividends in the end as a new attack line finds its feet.
``We are quite steady when we play and I think that’s a reflection of having a new team and continuing to build and develop tight connections,’’ she said.
``That slowed our ability to let the ball go but one of the really positive things is they didn’t panic. They managed to continue to stay and keep going, so as long as we stay in contact in a game, I know we can pull through.
``Our ability to care for the ball has been a massive focus for us this week. It won’t be perfect because we play with a little bit of flair and movement but I know in reflecting with the team, there’s been a lot of learning around critical moments and how we control the ball when we’re in possession.’’
With both teams boasting strong defensive ends and quality shooters in the form of key Pulse recruit Cathrine Tuivaiti and the impressive Potgieter under the hoop for Magic, the influence of the midcourt could well prove decisive.
Showing discipline in their game plan, structures and processes is key for the Pulse.
``If we can stay disciplined, we know we’ve got the composure but we’ve then also got the ability to build off the back of it, so that will be massive for us,’’ McCausland-Durie said.
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