Souness handling jump up to Ferns
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.’’
England’s Beth Cobden puts pressure on Whitney Souness in Auckland last week. Australia47