Wellington Scoop

Pulse deliver six of the best

Press Release – Netball Central
With six of their 10 named as Silver Ferns netball triallists, Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse had plenty to celebrate at their end of season function in Wellington tonight.

Unfancied by many early on, the Pulse have reaped the rewards of an impressive season where they made the post-season for the first time in their history, eventually losing to a classy Southern Steel in the inaugural ANZ Premiership final last Wednesday.

But in the process, have emerged with the strongest representation across all teams for the 25-strong group selected to trial for the Silver Ferns in Auckland from July 31 – August 4.
Teenaged shooter Tiana Metuarau, who showed she was far from out of place at the elite level, ever-consistent midcourter Claire Kersten, silky-skilled wing attack Whitney Souness and rangy defender Karin Burger are first time trialists.

“That is super exciting for them,’’ Pulse assistant coach Sandra Edge said. “They’ve been recognised by the selectors as being in the top 25 for performance and they’re now in consideration for the top team.

“This is another step up for them and an excellent challenge for them to be involved in that Silver Ferns space.’’

Defensive duo Katrina Grant and Phoenix Karaka add the experienced touches to the Pulse representation.

“They’ve all worked hard, they’re conscientious, they want to be the best they can be and that’s down to their on-court performances,’’ Edge said.

“We had a couple of really testing moments during the season and it was a credit to the players to lick their wounds and bounce back with some resolve. That’s what you want in performance athletes and the players that have been chosen showed plenty of that.’’

Burger, a Silver Ferns Development squad member and 2016 Beko Netball League Player of the Year, is the bolter while the omission of popular experienced shooter Cathrine Tuivaiti, has been a major talking point.

Burger had limited minutes for the Pulse this year but was a regular in Central’s Beko team where she picked up the MVP award in the final.

With the retirements of senior internationals Casey Kopua, Leana de Bruin and Anna Harrison, there are opportunities at the defensive end of the court and Burger is seen as a player of huge potential.

“The athleticism aspect is just a given now at his level and Karin has that in spades,’’ Edge said. “She is poised and ready to make an impact.’’

There was disappointment for Tuivaiti, who has revelled in her move to the Pulse this year and played a major role in the development of the younger players.

“She just added another dimension to our unit this year,’’ Edge said. “She has every skill in the book, her netball knowledge is immense and I hold her in the highest regard.
“Cat has been a huge contributor to our campaign this year, along with her skill set, leadership qualities and we did have a splattering of young players in that attack end. I can’t speak highly enough of her and what she’s done.’’

Pulse awards:
Players’ player award: Claire Kersten
Fans player award: Whitney Souness
MVP: Katrina Grant
Silver Ferns triallists:
Shooters: Monica Falkner (Magic), Bailey Mes (Mystics), Tiana Metuarau (Pulse), Te Paea Selby-Rickit (Steel), Maria Tutaia (Mystics), Maia Wilson (Stars).
Midcourt: Gina Crampton (Steel), Kayla Cullen (Stars), Shannon Francois (Steel), Wendy Frew (Steel), Claire Kersten (Pulse), Erikana Pedersen (Tactix), Grace Rasmussen (Magic), Samantha Sinclair (Magic), Whitney Souness (Pulse) Elisapeta Toeava (Mystics).
Defenders: Karin Burger (Pulse), Temalisi Fakahokotau (Tactix), Katrina Grant (Pulse), Kelly Jury (Magic), Phoenix Karaka (Pulse), Storm Purvis (Mystics), Michaela Sokolich-Beatson (Mystics), Zoe Walker (Tactix), Jane Watson (Steel).
Training partners: Ellie Bird (Tactix), Jamie Hume (Steel), Aliyah Dunn (Netball South Beko League), Jennifer O’Connell (Steel), Abby Erwood (Steel).

A Silver Ferns squad, consisting of 15 players, will be announced on August 7, along with a development squad.

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