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Pulse need confidence to attack Steel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017 Cathy Walshe

The Steel are runaway favourites after completing a 15-game unbeaten streak in the premiership's inaugural season. © Hagen Hopkins The Steel are runaway favourites after completing a 15-game unbeaten streak in the premiership's inaugural season. Shooter Cathrine Tuivaiti says Central Pulse must rid their game of hesitancy it they are to have any chance of beating Southern Steel in Wednesday's netball premiership grand final.

The Steel are runaway favourites after completing a 15-game unbeaten streak in the premiership's inaugural season.

That run has included two 13-goal wins over the Pulse, and one 80-44 pounding last month.

The Pulse have rediscovered their confidence since that loss, finishing second after the regular season then beating Northern Mystics 59-52 in the elimination final.

Tuivaiti says Sunday's win over the Mystics has given the Pulse's self-belief a real boost at just the right time.

"I think for some reason when we go up against the Steel, we lose confidence in each other.

"It's been an ongoing trend in all three matches we've had against them," she told NZ Newswire.

"We need to prove to ourselves that we're good enough to play this game, and we need to let the ball go."

Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie says that hesitancy was evident in the first half against the Mystics.

"We just didn't let the ball go - we were in position, and we just didn't trust each other enough," she said.

"But if you let it go, things will happen."

The Pulse have two creative, skilful and composed shooters in former Silver Fern Tuivaiti and 16-year-old goal attack Tiana Metuarau, and need to feed the pair with confidence to have any chance of winning.

They also need an alert seven-player through-court defence to shut down the Steel's supply of ball into towering Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid.

McCausland-Durie said the skill and height of the 1.98m Fowler-Reid isn't insurmountable.

"While Jhaniele is absolutely critical for them and that's a challenging space, it's not one we can contest," she told NZ Newswire.

"The opportunities for us are really outside and early, getting our attacks really vigilant on defence.

"Just trying to frustrate their ability to get the line speed they normally use will be key."

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