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First-up loss for Pulse at 2019 Super Club

Karin Burger had a challenging assignment against the Mystics in the Pulse's opening round Super Club loss. Photo: PhotoWellington

December 8, 2019

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse opened their 2019 Netball Super Club campaign with a 49-39 loss to an efficient Northern Mystics in Nelson today.

Having their moments, the defending champions struggled for consistency against the precision, patience and constant defensive pressure employed by the Mystics.

The threat posed by 1.93m teenaged schoolgirl Grace Nweke was a constant issue for the Pulse, who struggled to contain her height and the pin-point bombs that landed in her hands.

Still handily-placed when trailing by just four goals at the last break, untimely lapses and shaky shooting left the Pulse on the back foot. But, in their first outing together, there were a number of positives to build on.

With no Ameliaranne Ekenasio for this match, the Pulse had a very young attacking line with shooters Aliyah Dunn and Tiana Meturau leading the charge and the inexperienced Maddy Gordon playing her first full game at wing attack.

Centre Claire Kersten was her usual industrious self while Renee Savai’inaea showed some nice touches from wing defence in the second half. In-circle defender Karin Burger had a tough day at the office trying to limit the influence of Nweke.

``It was an opportunity for us to try new combinations and new structures that we’ve been working on so far in the pre-season,’’ Burger said afterwards.

``There’s a few of us that have just come in to the group in the last couple of weeks, so it’s not necessarily anything major going wrong, it’s just about finding our feet in the next few days and correcting the things that need a bit of work.

``Grace (Nweke) has got great elevation and she has worked really hard on her hold in the pre-season, so it’s not always a fun position having to mark her.’’

The Pulse play Wasps in their second match tomorrow (Monday, 8.10pm), the England club suffering a 50-36 loss to the Southern Steel in their first match.

``We just need to focus on us and what we do well, then depending on how it goes during the game, we can change it up if need be,’’ Burger said.