Much more like it for Saracens Mavericks as improved show downs Pulse
- Credit: ZAC GOODWIN/PA
Much better was the verdict from both boss and player as Saracens Mavericks returned to winning ways in the Netball Superleague.
The Hatfield-based franchise have only lost once in six outings so far this year but last week's draw with Strathclyde Sirens, a result that came after Mavs led by three with two minutes to go, certainly felt like a hammer blow.
But they got back to basics and showed some real grit to grind out a 39-32 success over London Pulse, a victory that brought the smile back to the face of director of netball Kat Ratnapala.
Speaking to Sky Sports she said: "We put in a better performance. There were definitely more patches that we can be proud of.
"We are always looking at ways we can improve but we’ll keep building and after last week I was happy with the character and resilience.
"Pulse came out fighting in the last quarter and we definitely didn’t want that same result.
"It wasn’t a good feeling last week and we have had a long hard look at ourselves, the management team included, and we pushed on."
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Part of that improvement has come from more conversations with the squad trying to find ways to interact on and off the court, a task made very difficult with the COVID-19 restrictions.
Ratnapala added: "The squad is gelling and we have had some really interesting conversations, even on the bus. We’re using the drive up now [to Wakefield] to our advantage.
"That connection [between the players] is massive. With COVID the girls aren’t living together and they cannot socialise.
"It is difficult to find that time to gel, everyone is sick of Zoom, but it is really important to find that connection off the court as well as on it.
"And we are starting to see that now."
It was a point echoed by England international Kadeen Corbin as she looks to find her groove with forward partner Ine-Mari Venter.
She said: "Our partnership is coming. It’s very new but it is developing and in each training session we have, each game, we are talking and developing that communication.
"A win is a win and we needed those three points to get us in a good place going forward.
"We let it slip a bit in the third quarter, they beat us in that quarter and that is not good enough.
"We need to learn how to take care of our own ball."