Teenaged sharpshooters back in Pulse colours for 2019
August 29, 2018
Leaving a sizeable imprint this year, dynamic young shooting duo Tiana Metuarau and Aliyah Dunn will be back at Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse for the 2019 ANZ Premiership netball competition.
Yet to turn 18, the accomplished Metuarau will be lining up for her third year with the Pulse but will be able to shed the schoolgirl tag while Dunn, 18, delivered a standout first season at the elite domestic level.
Playing strong roles in the Pulse’s most successful season during 2018, the teenaged tyros were suitably rewarded with elevation to higher honours, the willowy Dunn soaring into the Silver Ferns squad and Metuarau gaining selection in the Silver Ferns Development Squad and New Zealand A team.
In a bold move, Dunn left the comforts of home and family in Invercargill to join the Pulse this year and was a revelation, ending the season as the second most accurate shooter with a 90.8 percent success rate. Coming from a basketball background, Dunn is still learning the finer points of netball but along with Metuarau, the ice cool teens can only grow.
``The big one for me is it’s a combination that started to build, so that continuity is going to be really massive for us given the tight turnaround ahead of next season,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``With both of them now starting to get further opportunities internationally, that’s going to add real value to them in terms of their playing experience and that will add value to what they bring back to us. As a young combination, the more time we can have with them the better, so in year two, I expect we’ll see continued improvements.’’
Both players have impressed with their maturity, cool heads and ability to deliver in the heat of battle, all combining to play a key role in their success.
`Adding the shooting component to the pressure of being a young player at this level, I think they’re doing very well from that perspective,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``I don’t underestimate that that’s quite a tough challenge for them and they cope really well.’’
Dunn’s enjoyment of Wellington, playing for the Pulse and the level of support she has received have paid off handsomely while providing the backdrop in her decision to stay put.
``She’s enjoyed her time in Wellington and the team played a big part in that,’’ McCausland-Durie said. ``Sulu (Fitzpatrick), who she’s lived with, has been a real positive mentor, and then just having her mates around her has given her the ability to still be herself, be that young person and play the game she loves. It’s been a good mix and she’s had a great season.
``There’s always the challenge of how you keep continuing to grow and that will be the next steps for 2019 and keep evolving her and Tiana as players.’’
Metuarau and Dunn have joined Katrina Grant and Sulu Fitzpatrick as confirmed signings for the 2019 edition of the Pulse.
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