It was another blockbuster day of player signings in the ANZ Premiership yesterday, with two big names signing with the Central Pulse, finalising their roster for the 2022 season and looking to build with an exciting team on paper, and now looking to challenge the competition.
First of two new signings for the Central Pulse is Kristiana Manu’a. Standing at 1.82cm, known for her versatility and playing all three defensive positions including WD, GD and GK. Manu’a returns to New Zealand reuniting with family and friends in Wellington, where she was born.
Making her ANZ Championship elite netball debut, Manu’a suited up for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in 2015-16, playing and coached by current Suncorp Super Netball, and legendary GIANTS coach, Julie Fitzgerald.
Though born in New Zealand, Manu’a made her green and gold debut for the Australian Diamonds in the 2016 Netball Quad series after playing a majority of her netball in Australia.
Since the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball competition started, Manu’a made the move to Australia to play for the GIANTS, where she has spent her time there for the past five years. After a tough season due to an achillies injury in 2017, Manu’a made her debut for the GIANTS in the 2018 season and has made an impact on the team helping them make multiple finals appearances and grand finals, including the 2018 minor premiership win and was an integral player in the 2021 grand final which the GIANTS finished in second place.
Now returning home in season 2022 and ready to suit up in the yellow dress for the Central Pulse in front of fans, friends and family, Manu’a will be looking to settle at home after an injury-disrupted 2021 season after sitting on the bench and looking for more opportunities on the court.
The second signing for the Pulse announced today is the exciting young superstar, Binnian Hunt.
At the age of 22 and standing at 183cm, Hunt first grew up in Australia after both her parents made the move across to Australia from South Auckland.
Hunt has a strong family sporting background, with her brother currently playing for the Newcastle Knights in the NRL and a former Queensland Red Super Rugby player.
Hunt made the most of her opportunities while studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Playing for USC Thunder in the Queensland HART Sapphire series and playing as a training partner for the Sunshine Coast Lightning for four seasons.
Known for her quick speed, mobility, and strength, Hunt is able to play in the shooting circle as well as in the midcourt at WA. Hunt made her Suncorp Super Netball debut in season 2020, and made an impact in the Sunshine Coast Lightning side.
In season 2021, Hunt has flourished in the Queensland Sapphires side, helping her USC Thunder side deep into the finals series reaching the preliminary final a couple of weeks ago before falling to the first season comers, the QRT side.
Hunt had the opportunity to play in the starting line-up in the later part of the 2021 SSN season, in which Lightning made it to the finals series, in the absence of Steph Wood.
Now taking up a contract to play for the Pulse in season 2022, Hunt will be looking to have increased game time and challenge herself against the best players going around.
For the Sunshine Coast Lightning and GIANTS losing key impact players, both clubs will look to fill the positions in the upcoming Suncorp Super Netball free agency period.
With the Central Pulse roster now locked in, the Pulse will be looking to improve after a tough 2021 season and with an excited team, challenge again for the finals and give their home fans something to cheer about.
Categories: ANZ Premiership
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