Haier Pulse Head Coach Robyn Broughton has quickly refocused her team following the historic victory over the table-topping Adelaide Thunderbirds in front of a sell-out crowd in Wellington on Monday night. “The result against the Thunderbirds was fantastic, but we won’t know whether or not it was a breakthrough for this team until we see how we go in the games to come,” she explained. “We now know for sure that this group of players has the will and the fight to win and to put away a good team in a tight game. Theyreally wanted it and they showed that they wanted it.
“I feel I’m getting to know them a lot better, especially some of the ones that I’ve never had anything to do with before. I do enjoy them and felt that they deserved a win with all the hard work that they’ve put in. They want to play well and they don’t want to make mistakes like throwing the ball away – it’s just that many of them have never had perfection demanded of them before.
“One thing I have seen is how the win has ignited some of the players. They have trained really well so far this week, but I’ll only know on Monday night against the Steel how much they’ve actually learned.”
The Haier Pulse’s round 8 win against the league leaders has been labelled as the biggest upset so far in the 2012 ANZ Championship, butthere have been a number of other results that have gone against the form book as teams have struggled to find consistency.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen in this competition,” added Broughton. “I watched the Steel play the Firebirds who were at their very best when they played us in Brisbane, but in Invercargill they were nowhere near that. On last week’s results you might think that the Mystics are in the best form, but that could all change in the next round – you just don’t know.”
Facing the Southern Steel in Dunedin is the next assignment for Broughton and her charges and the coach is only too aware of the challenge presented by her former team.
“Their key player is probably Donna Wilkins. I know how good she is because I coached her for years and she’s the one who often keeps them in the game. She’s shooting at over 90% in the ANZ Championship this year after giving birth to her third child in January, which is just amazing.”
The Haier Pulse take on the Southern Steel at the Lion Foundation Arena in Dunedin on Monday at 7.40pm. The match will be shown live on Sky Sport 2 and don’t forget you can keep up to date with all the latest news from the Haier Pulse on facebook.com/Haier.Pulse or twitter @HaierPulse.
Match reports and statistics are also available from www.anz-championship.com