After reaching the halfway point of the Beko Netball League unscathed, Central’s intent for the second half of the campaign is simply to keep getting better.
Posting an unblemished record against the five other teams in the league, Central have sprinted past most opponents while forging an impressive record. The challenge now is focussed on maintaining their own exacting standards.
In high spirits after producing a convincing 65-51 win over defending champions South in Invercargill last weekend, Central are adamant they will not be distracted when they meet the Northern Comets in Round 7 action in Otaki on Sunday.
Aligned with new entity, the Northern Stars, the Comets have taken time to find their feet and currently prop up the foot of the table with just the one win.
Coach Natalie Milicich has fashioned a well-drilled and highly-competitive team but remains mindful of Central getting ahead of themselves, citing the improvement all teams will make after now having plenty of game time under their belts.
``That’s why we can’t sit back,’’ she said. ``There’s always room for improvement. As a group, we’re constantly pushing ourselves and we certainly haven’t rested on our laurels, that’s for sure. There’s no sitting back from them, they want to be better than last time which is a great attitude.
``They set themselves targets to make sure that we ‘re working towards that every time we take the court and we came pretty blimmin’ close to it in our last game.’’
Milicich will be restored to a full complement this weekend after Renee Savaiinaea, Ainsleyana Puleiata and Rhiarna Ferris missed the South outing due to rugby sevens commitments last weekend.
Pulse players Karin Burger and Sheridan Bignall will also see game time.
``I was so proud of them, it was our best game so far,’’ Milicich said of the latest result.
``We scored off 80 percent of our possession which at any level of netball is pretty sensational. The thing that was most pleasing was that we did not make many mistakes and because we’re consistently striving for better, that certainly showed at the weekend.
``There’s a great feeling in the team, they’re really engaged and always just wanting to do that little bit better which is awesome.’’
An individual highlight in a polished team effort was delivered by shooter Jermaine Howard-Vallance who slotted 49 goals from 55 attempts at 89 percent.
``If you want to be really picky, the one thing that did let us down against South was our transition from gains to score, so that’s something we’ll be looking at this weekend. Any ball that we gain we want to make sure we score off,’’ Milicich said.