Returning Players Boost Pulse Roster

Published: Thu 11 Jul 2024 03:58 PM
July 11, 2024
Scrapping against the odds throughout the season, Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse now find themselves flush for options as they head into the business end of the ANZ Premiership netball league.
Key personnel lost for large chunks of the campaign are subsequently slowly filtering back into the on-court action, giving the Pulse a timely boost ahead of crunch matches against the Mystics and Tactix in their last two games of the regular season. Matches which will go a long way to determining the positioning of the top three teams for the Finals Series.
Long-limbed shooter Amelia Walmsley and midcourt dynamo Maddy Gordon are the latest to re-join the fray following Tiana Metuarau’s comeback a few weeks ago and leaving the Pulse now, seemingly, spoilt for choice.
In the most intense of games, Walmsley and Gordon were injected for their first court minutes in eight and 10 weeks respectively, against the Magic in their latest outing when the scores were tied at 36-all with four minutes to go in the third quarter.
``This has been my first major injury, so to be able to go through the rehab process alongside my mates, and there’s been a few of us injured, to be able to do that and get back out on court and have our full initial starting seven out on court at the same time, as well, for the first time this season was pretty special,’’ Walmsley said.
``We just had to embrace it and throughout the week as well, I was being pretty diligent with all my processes just to be as prepared as possible. We knew it was going to be a tight game and whatever it was going to look like, we just knew we needed to go on as prepared as possible for any situation.’’
With the Pulse gunning for top spot and a home Grand Final and the Mystics looking to secure a place in the top three, a right royal match-up is looming in Auckland on Saturday.
``We know the Mystics will be super, super hungry,’’ Walmsley said.
``They’re fighting for that third spot in the Finals Series, so they’re going to bring out everything possible. I imagine that Grace (Nweke) and Peta (Toeava), (both returning from injury), will play full games against us, or close to that, and will do everything possible to give them the best chance to try and win.
``Obviously, we’re going to try and not let that happen.’’
With Gordon, Walmsley and Metuarau expected to add to their court minutes in the coming weeks, the Pulse have built an enviable depth for the challenges ahead.
``We can definitely give them a good crack,’’ Gordon said of the Mystics. ``It’s exciting that us three will definitely get more minutes and it’s perfect timing, not only for us, but just to lift the team a little bit more and it’s cool that we have all those other options as well.
``The people who are on-court are strong but the bench is also strong, so I think we can throw anything at them which will be exciting.
``We’ve been so lucky to be able to have Martina (Salmon), Claire (Kersten) and Kiana (Pelasio) with us. We definitely wouldn’t be where we are without them. So, credit to them, they’ve done a great job and made it much easier for us to slot back in.
``I think it’s going to be a heated match, especially for us wanting to win to get a home final but also for them wanting to win to make the play-offs, so I’m expecting it to be very exciting.’’

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