Well-versed midcourt trio back for Pulse
August 31, 2018
Setting an impressive platform this season, accomplished trio Whitney Souness, Claire Kersten and Karin Burger will again spearhead the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse midcourt for the 2019 ANZ Premiership netball competition.
Twinkle-toed Souness was the mainstay at wing attack but for Kersten (centre) and Burger (wing defence), it meant new roles for the first time at the elite level, the new-look combination going from strength-to-strength.
It was a quick and steep learning curve for Kersten and Burger, the pair relishing the challenge and delivering, the talented trio now poised to make an even bigger splash.
The athletic and strongly-built Burger had a season to savour, producing a consistency and level of performance that propelled her into the Silver Ferns squad. The tireless Kersten adapted to her new position with the minimum of fuss to post an influential return while the Souness skill set was all too evident.
Both Kersten and Souness were included in the Silver Ferns Development Squad and New Zealand A team, bolstering the Pulse’s representation at higher level while highlighting what the dynamic midcourt trio could achieve with another year together.
``Karin’s done really well, and we’ll just continue to see her grow,’’ was Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie’s succinct summary of Burger’s progress.
``Claire has come such a huge way as a centre. Now it’s just a matter of maintaining it and brushing up on a few little things. As the old saying goes, `the more you do it, the better you get at it’, and she’s just had the one season, so with another season, we’ll see a little bit more.
``Having that midcourt back in its entirety for next year is fantastic, particularly having developed Claire’s centre game and getting those links with Whitney and Karin established is of huge benefit. That will add value to all their games for next year and those three have got really good engines and good size to compete in the middle.’’
The Pulse coaching staff have identified and discussed with multi-talented schoolgirl Renee Savai’inaea a positional change into a wing defence/centre role as opposed to a circle defender. With this change she will take on the challenge and develop her skillset in the Beko Netball League, while still being involved with the Pulse as a training partner.
This isn’t the first time the Pulse have identified positional changes with new Silver Fern Burger making the same adjustment in the last 18 months.
The Pulse have now confirmed seven of their roster for 2019: Karin Burger, Aliyah Dunn, Sulu Fitzpatrick, Katrina Grant, Claire Kersten, Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness.
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