Porirua net­ballers on learn­ing curve

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIED - KRIS DANDO

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan says she is lov­ing the na­tional netball league com­pe­ti­tion, de­spite en­dur­ing a bumpy ride per­son­ally.

The mid­courter is a mem­ber of the Cen­tral Zone team with fel­low Porirua play­ers Jer­maine Howard-Val­lance and Colleen Faleafaga. Cen­tral have a four­win, two-loss record go­ing into a break in the com­pe­ti­tion, and lie sec­ond in the ta­ble be­hind North­ern. Cen­tral have two more games – in­clud­ing one at Te Rau­paraha Arena on Sun­day – be­fore a fi­nal be­tween the top two sides on June 26.

‘‘I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it overall – there’s some older and ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in the group and Yvette [coach Yvette McCaus­landDurie] is great,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s quite a few girls from Palmer­ston North, so we Welling­ton play­ers are adapt­ing to their style and vice versa. We’re a fit bunch and hard work­ers and we’re hun­gry to win.’’

Reuelu-Buchanan said the com­pe­ti­tion had been a roller­coaster be­cause her own form dipped. She said her lack of con­sis­tency led to a drop in con­fi­dence, but sup­port­ing team­mates from the bench was some­thing play­ers had to get used to in this en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘I’ve over­come that fear of not starting games and I’ve got some of my mojo back now.’’

As­sis­tant coach Frances So­lia said the team was hit­ting its straps and a two-week dou­ble bye had not come at the right time.

Some of the younger squad mem­bers were find­ing the con­stant diet of train­ing chal­leng­ing, but were ad­just­ing well, she said.

McCaus­land-Durie or­gan­ised in­ter-squad matches to de­cide who would make the match-day team, a tac­tic that was pay­ing off, So­lia said.

‘‘It’s our point of dif­fer­ence and means we have no set team and po­si­tions are al­ways up for grabs,’’ So­lia said.

She said the Cen­tral play­ers see the na­tional league as a chance to push for places in the Pulse, and play­ing tele­vised matches also helped with mo­ti­va­tion.

Cen­tral lost their open­ing two matches, by one point and three points, but had gelled well and would push hard for a top-two fin­ish, So­lia said.

‘‘It’s an ex­cit­ing com­pe­ti­tion and I love see­ing where this team is go­ing and how they’re cop­ing with the next level up from par­tic­i­pa­tion netball.’’

Cen­tral net­ballers af­ter a re­cent team-build­ing ses­sion at Porirua’s Adrenalin For­est. Back row, from left, Sheri­dan Big­nall, Jer­maine Howard-Val­lance, Api Ta­ufa, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Colleen Faleafaga, Karin Burger, Tiana Me­t­u­a­rau, Talia Hul­lena and Re­nee Te Ri­ini. Front row kneel­ing, from left, Re­nee Ma­toe, Kimiora Poi and Emma-May Mur­ray-Fi­fita.

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