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Time for Central Pulse to kick on: coach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/04/2017 Cathy Walshe

Three games into netball's new national premiership competition, coach Yvette McCausland-Durie can sum up Central Pulse's mindset in just four words.

"Content, but not happy," she said ahead of Monday's fourth-round match against new franchise the Northern Stars in Auckland.

The Pulse sit third on the ladder in the six-team competition, with two wins to their credit offset by a narrow two-goal loss to the Magic.

McCausland-Durie, also the Silver Ferns assistant coach, is taking a measured approach to the new-look competition which has replaced the trans-Tasman league.

She's working hard to combine a squad which covers a wide range of experience and age groups.

At one end of the spectrum are seasoned internationals like Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant and 32-year-old English midcourter Sara Bayman, while at the other is promising 16-year-old shooter Tiana Metuarau.

Melding such a disparate range of players into a cohesive team takes time, but McCausland-Durie is satisfied with the progress to date in the first phase of the premiership.

"We've got quite a few new combinations, and we decided we needed to consolidate and have a base," she said.

"Now it's about making changes to get improved performance - it's not have-a-go day, and everybody gets a turn.

"It's great to have five out of six points, but I don't think we've been consistent in any way."

McCausland-Durie says it's important the Pulse improve their efficiency in the attacking third, where she wants a more direct path to the shooting circle.

A more compact game, with fewer passes, cuts down the risk of turnovers but it's something that can't be rushed as players take time to build their links.

"We've got work to do around our shooting volume - we want to lift that," McCausland-Durie said.

"Our accuracy's great, now let's get more ball and keep the accuracy."

She estimates the Pulse have been playing at around 65 per cent of their capacity, and says it's time to start building on that.

"There's more to be done and there's more creativity needed.

"We're very clear that it's game three of 15 games, and we have to now be using some variety and adding to our game."

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