Pulse retain young trio for 2018 ANZ Premiership

Pulse retain young trio for 2018 ANZ Premiership

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse have retained the services of talented young trio Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness and Karin Burger for next year’s ANZ Premiership.

On the back of their exploits this year, all three will be a part of next week’s Silver Ferns trials, and while their natural ability is a given, the key component of continuity in the Pulse ranks is an added reason to leave the coach smiling.

“It’s huge for us to get Tiana and Whitney back, they were both starting line-up players and played a critical role in our ability to make it through to the runner-up position in this year’s competition,” head coach McCausland-Durie said.

Teenage schoolgirl shooter Metuarau, 16, was a late addition to this year’s team, stepping up to replace a pregnant Ameliaranne Ekenasio, while pocket rocket wing attack Souness, 21, returned this year after missing all of 2015 with a serious knee injury.

“They’re hugely talented, they’ve both been around multiple programmes for years and the fact both had the consistent (game) time this year has made a really big difference in terms of their development,” McCausland-Durie said.

Athletic defender Burger, 24, has continued to grow her game at the elite level after being named Beko Netball League Player of the Year in 2016.

“She’s very composed and quite task-focused, doesn’t let the occasion get to her, has belief in herself and has taken her opportunities,” McCausland-Durie said of Burger. “She’s just bubbling under the surface and is ready to go.”

In 2018, the attention will turn to giving her more exposure in the top echelon and building on her all-round defensive qualities.

The trio join long-serving captain Katrina Grant, who was confirmed earlier this week, as the first four to commit to the Pulse’s roster for 2018.