Souness han­dling jump up to Ferns

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - DAVID LONG

Amid the dis­ap­point­ment over the Sil­ver Ferns’ per­for­mances in their first two games of the Quad Se­ries, Porirua’s Whit­ney Souness was a pos­i­tive ray of light.

The 21-year-old wing at­tack played in the sec­ond half of the win over South Africa and was on court for the en­tirety of Wed­nes­day night’s loss to Eng­land.

‘‘It was ob­vi­ously a re­ally tough game,’’ Souness said of the 49-45 loss to Eng­land in Auck­land.

‘‘But for me it was the first time I got to play a full game at in­ter­na­tional level and it was very dif­fer­ent. It was an awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence, but there are lots of learn­ings from it.’’

Sil­ver Ferns coach Ja­nine Southby has one eye on the Com­mon­wealth Games dur­ing this Quad Se­ries and Souness has surely done enough to sug­gest she’s go­ing to be a long-term mem­ber of this squad.

She at­tacks the ball with en­ergy and isn’t afraid to get stuck in.

Souness demon­strated these at­tributes in the ANZ Premier­ship for the Pulse and has now taken them to the next level, even though she’s no­ticed it’s a big jump up.

‘‘It’s re­ally dif­fer­ent, the level of com­pe­ti­tion and the phys­i­cal­ity,’’ she said.

‘‘You don’t find it as much in the ANZ Premier­ship, it is still phys­i­cal, but this was up an­other level.

‘‘It’s very dif­fer­ent play­ing for the Pulse and then com­ing into this en­vi­ron­ment and I’m try­ing to em­brace it.’’

The week­end’s test win over Aus­tralia was Souness’ last for a short while as she’ll sit out the Taini Jami­son Trophy se­ries against Eng­land, be­cause of squad ro­ta­tion.

She ad­mits it will be tough to watch from afar, af­ter en­joy­ing her­self so much in the Sil­ver Ferns en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘I have to be on watch in case any­thing hap­pens, but I’ll have a break for the next se­ries,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ll hope­fully be able to sup­port the girls in Porirua, be­cause that’s where I live.

‘‘I’m try­ing to keep up with my stud­ies and I do a bach­e­lor of sport­ing ex­er­cise at Massey University in Welling­ton,’’ she added.

‘‘That keeps me busy and I’m try­ing to get my head around ev­ery­thing, be­cause it’s all hap­pen­ing pretty quickly and I have to make sure I keep ev­ery­thing bal­anced.’’

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Eng­land’s Beth Cob­den puts pres­sure on Whit­ney Souness in Auck­land last week. Aus­tralia47

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