Haier Pulse gives Hurricanes Coach netball fever

Press Release – Haier Pulse
“It seems like Wellington has adopted both of you as their own,” observed Haier Pulse goal shoot Caitlin Thwaites to her coach Robyn Broughton and Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett, during a Haier Pulse Sponsors’ Breakfast this week. “I certainly feel that Wellington has adopted me. I don’t necessarily feel like a foreigner anymore and I think I’m losing the Victorian accent.” she explained.

Thwaites was taking a break from her early morning training regime to host the popular event at Wellington’s Green Man Pub. “I now know what it feels like to be a game show host,” she quipped as she questioned the two coaches.

“I do say Hurricanes now instead of Highlanders,” replied Broughton. Hammett was equally forthcoming: “I’ve been to every Pulse home game this season and I love netball and my daughter is mad on it as well.”

Thwaites acknowledged that the two coaches supported each other’s teams, “It’s a really amazing feeling being here as each of the teams support each other: the Phoenix, the Saints. The players tend to gravitate to each other’s matches,” said the Australian Diamond.

Within this tight-knit sporting community, the friendship between the two coaches has blossomed and they regularly exchange ideas.

There are certainly obvious differences between the two sports, but Thwaites wanted to know if there was also differences in the two coaches’ approach to sorting out issues like unwarranted contact during play? Both teams have been on the receiving end of some rough stuff during their games this season.

Hammett’s answer was straightforward. “If it happens during training we generally get together at the end and have a bit of a huddle. That’s our sport and it’s physical, and that’s how we now clear our differences. Not sure how that would be fixed in the netball environment?”

Broughton said there was a completely different approach between males and females. “We probably get more brutal through our honest conversations. We do set our own values. Sometimes we can be a bit girlie, but our players are in a high performance environment and they have high expectations of themselves,” she explained.

“I looked at Donna Wilkins and Julie Corletto on Monday night and have to honestly ask how much more physicality there can be in a game? It’s almost like cancelling two of the best players out. The opposition penalty count was in the 70’s compared to our 30’s, but there is no foul system so it can be very testing in a game.

“Yet after the game everyone gets together has something to eat and there’s Donna and Julie speaking to each other as if nothing has happened.”

So if they were to switch codes, what advice would they be giving each other’s teams during training? “You’d have to teach them to look right first,” said secondary school teacher Robyn. “I like them to be neat and tidy.”

“I always see the Hurricanes come out as a team, they’re puffed up ready to go, willing to work with one another and I really admire the leadership of Conrad Smith: he is a true leader,” she added.

“You tell them Rob,” chipped in Hammett. “I’ve seen the Jamaican girls and stopping them seems to be really hard, but you can’t really comment on another team’s culture unless you’re in it and involved.”

So we won’t be seeing the Hurricanes coach taking up New Zealand’s leading female sport any time soon, but you might catch him in the stands enjoying the next home game against the West Coast Fever at Wellington’s TSB Arena on Sunday. First centre pass at 7.40pm. Match sponsored by Exodus.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the Haier Pulse by visiting www.pulse.org.nz, www.facebook.com/Haier.Pulse and twitter @HaierPulse.

Match reports and statistics are also available from www.anz-championship.com.

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