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Pulse ready to attack Firebirds in netball

16:44 Fri Apr 13 2012

Central Pulse coach Robyn Broughton harbours no hopes of launching a trans-Tasman netball league stealth attack on Queensland Firebirds this weekend in Brisbane.

One-time easybeats, with just five wins in four years, the Pulse have shown enough in their first two games this season to keep the stuttering Firebirds on edge.

The defending champions are winless after two rounds, struggling to find the speed and fluency which was a hallmark of their game last year.

The Pulse, with a new coach in Broughton and some key acquisitions headed by Silver Ferns Joline Henry and Paula Griffin, have a new-found confidence which paid dividends last week with a 47-42 win over Southern Steel.

The Firebirds were unbeaten last season, and Broughton admits to some surprise at their performance so far in this year's competition.

"They're stuttering a bit on attack, and their links don't seem to be very fluid but I'm sure those things will be fixed," Broughton told NZ Newswire.

She said Adelaide Thunderbirds' 10-goal win last week over the Firebirds had provided some valuable insights.

Their strategy in pushing the Firebirds' attack upcourt and wide had restricted the feed into towering shooter Romelda Aiken with particular effect.

"That's the way I've always thought would be best, then keep the hands over the ball so they can't get the big high ball into Romelda."

After falling 51-47 in their first-up match to Northern Mystics, the Pulse have tightened up their midcourt and feed into the shooters, with Griffin looking sharper on the turn and in splitting the circle with shooter Caitlin Thwaites.

Broughton is pleased with the improvement, but wants to see more consistency and focus.

"Against the Steel, we were five up, then we got to 10, then we let it go back to five," she said.

"We should have won by more than 10. That's how much better I thought they were, and they need to believe that too."