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Familiar faces return to complete 2020 Pulse roster

Familiar faces return to complete 2020 Pulse roster

Consistency of selection is a key feature for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse following the re-signing of accomplished shooting trio Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Tiana Metuarau and Aliyah Dunn for the 2020 ANZ Premiership season.

The versatile and potent shooting mix will reunite for a third successive campaign having set an impressive foundation for the defending champions.

There will also be familiarity at the other end of the court, Pulse stalwart Katrina Rore confirming her return for an 11th successive campaign with the Wellington-based franchise. Fellow in-circle defender Elle Temu will also be back after making the jump up from the Beko Netball League this year.

After a stellar 2019, the stylish Ekenasio cemented her place in the Silver Ferns team for the Netball World Cup later this month while the continued growth of exciting teenaged talent Metuarau and Dunn offers plenty of scope looking ahead.

“We are so incredibly lucky to have three great shooters,” Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.

“As shooters, they’re quite a different group in terms of what we can do, and we haven’t fully explored all the variations that we can run with those combinations, so we want to continue to evolve and grow that work to ensure that we’ve got variety.

“With Tiana, 18, and Aliyah 19, our job is continuing their growth and what we can do to help them. There’s plenty of opportunity to do that in changing combinations and variations while adding different strategies to the ways in which we play in the shooting circle.”

Dunn, who was the most accurate shooter during this year’s competition, is a Silver Ferns squad member while Metuarau is in the Silver Ferns Development squad. Both were strong contributors in the NZU21 team’s run to the World Youth Cup title in 2017.

At opposite ends of their careers, Rore, 32, was a key figure during 2019, an impressive season helping the rangy defender regain her Silver Ferns spot while Temu, 19, cut her teeth for the first time at the elite level.

“The most important thing about having Katrina and Elle back is we’ve now had two seasons with those two together,” McCausland-Durie said.

“Elle hasn’t had a huge amount of on-court time in the ANZ, she’s had plenty of game time with Katrina in the practise environment and we’ve seen a huge amount of growth.

“They’re both really comfortable, they’ve got good mobility and that can be quite a different defensive style.

“Elle has got really good range and is quite under-estimated in terms of her wing span and her height. She has got really good timing to find where the opportunities are to get turnover ball, has got the mobility and reads play very well defensively.”

The five latest signings have completed the Pulse’s roster for 2020, the coach delighted with the consistency of selection.

“Retaining eight players from this year is huge,” she said.

“Part of the goal in our operations plan is that we retain six to eight players per season. This is the second time now that we’ve had eight back and that continuity certainly assisted us this season in giving us a strong base.

“What it does allow us is that we can now have some variety and make some other changes and points of difference rather than settling in a whole lot of new combinations. We’ve got a number that are there, that have had time and now we can build.”

Pulse team for 2020 ANZ Premiership:

Karin Burger, Aliyah Dunn, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Maddy Gordon, Kelly Jury, Claire Kersten, Tiana Metuarau, Katrina Rore, Renee Savai’inaea, Elle Temu.