Getting game time Metuarau’s goal

New Southern Steel shooter Tiana Metuarau has enjoyed her first months with the team after...
New Southern Steel shooter Tiana Metuarau has enjoyed her first months with the team after shifting from the Central Pulse. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Tiana Metuarau is looking forward to getting back on court.

The 20-year-old has long been considered one of New Zealand’s most promising shooters.

But after breaking out as a 17-year-old at the Central Pulse in 2017, she has spent recent years behind Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Aliyah Dunn.

It was her hometown team and a good, successful set-up.

But in the end the prospect of another season on the bench proved too much.

After a stressful off-season, she eventually made the decision to move to Dunedin and join the Steel.

It is a move she has been happy with, although she returns to Pulse country with the team as the ANZ Premiership’s pre-season tournament begins today in Otaki.

The increased opportunity had been a big lure and she hoped to keep doing the right things over the weekend to earn the starting goal attack bib.

"It’s kind of been a bit like that the last couple of years," she said of being the Pulse’s third shooter.

"I guess last year was a wee bit different because we needed a back-up wing attack and I’m in no way a regular wing attack.

"It just got repetitive. I really loved the game time I got last year, but all I wanted was some consistent game time and to start.

"Sometimes I wonder if it cost me my spot in the Silver Ferns squads I’ve been in the last few years.

"So it was definitely the right choice to make."

The Steel had been a franchise that had appealed both due to its success and what it offered in the way of work ethic, coaching and stability.

Knowing that she was going to come south and get good training was key for her and her mother, former Silver Ferns player and coach Waimarama Taumaunu.

It had taken her a couple of weeks to settle in after moving south, having not lived away from home before.

But she was enjoying it so far and found she was getting what she hoped from the experience.

Last Thursday had provided an interesting experience.

The Steel played the Pulse in two pre-season matches in Queenstown.

They had been games she had "really not wanted to lose", but the Steel came up short in both.

The team will play plenty of netball over the next three days.

It faces the Northern Stars today and Northern Mystics tomorrow, both at 5pm, before playing the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic at 10am on Sunday.

Training partners Georgia White, Grace Namana and Laura Overton will join the squad for the tournament.

Meanwhile, import shooter George Fisher will link with the team on Saturday after completing her stint in quarantine.

ANZ Premiership Pre-season tournament, Otaki

Southern Steel
v Northern Stars, today, 5pm
v Northern Mystics, tomorrow, 5pm
v Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Sunday, 10am

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