Options aplenty for Kia Magic coach

Press Release March 27, 2013

Rewarding players for their off-season efforts has strengthened Kia Magic coach Noeline Taurua’s selection hand for Sunday’s ANZ Championship netball clash against NSW Swifts in Tauranga.

Able to field two different attacking lines in the first-round win against Canterbury Tactix, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty mentor is still in the process of getting a grip on the merits of her players in the cut and thrust of the competitive environment.

``I’m in a different mindset now in regards to tinkering,’’ Taurua said. ``Players have put up their hands in regards to their efforts in the pre-season, so it’s giving them the opportunity to see what they’ve got and I’ve never done that in the past. I’m really proud of what individuals have been able to do.

``It’s not tinkering with a starting seven at this stage, it’s really reward for what individuals have done in pre-season and now it’s up to them as to whether they can deliver in real time.’’

With the trans-Tasman component entering the reckoning, the stakes are expected to lift considerably for this match-up after both teams recorded lopsided 23 and 15 goal wins against Tactix and West Coast Fever, respectively.

Whoever fronts for Kia Magic, there will be no radical change in plan for their first encounter against an Australian team and one with which they have shared a close rivalry since the inception of the comeptition.

``Every week we just tweak, there won’t be wholesale changes to our strategies,’’ Taurua said. ``All our pre-season training has hopefully encompassed everything we’re likely to face no matter who the opposition.

``We’ve been working the two for a very long time in regards to whether it’s going to be space marking or pure man-on-man, so for some of them (players) it will be acknowleding the difference and just making sure we’re clear on that.’’

Overall Taurua was pleased with the opening round efforts and resultant statistical analysis, with consolidation and final execution being the main priorities this week. She is mindful of what Swifts will bring to the table after their impressive opening.

``Swifts had a brilliant opening game…..they were on fire and their timing was near-perfect,’’ she said. ``Even though they did have a bit of a lull it didn’t last long, so for us I’m just excited to see how we are placed against a different style and opponents who looked really good the previous week.’’

After a rebuilding year in 2012 when they introduced a new coach and new players, the Sydney-based Swifts finished just out of the money with a fifth-placed finish, knocking off some of the top teams along the way. But now bedded in, they are set to be an entirely different proposition.

Jane Hunt
Kia Magic media liaison
Ph: 021-107-0287

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