Netball: Central Pulse's teenage sensations setting competition alight

The poor performance of the Silver Ferns at the Commonwealth Games might to blame for some pessimism around netball at the moment, but the Central Pulse are proving there is still cause for optimism.

They're on top at the ANZ Premiership as the only unbeaten team, and their success is all the more impressive when you consider the average age of their players.

It takes a lot to keep a 21-test Silver Fern on the bench, but that's exactly what Tiana Metuarau is doing at the Pulse.

The 17-year-old's playing so well that international shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio can't even crack the starting line-up.

"She's a Silver Fern. She's amazing, and we both have two different styles of play," a Metuarau told Newshub.

However, it's her style of play which is being preferred in the pulse shooting circle - proof if you're good enough at this level, you're old enough.

"It's awesome to have the younger players gaining that experience…we need to start developing players because the older players are moving on."

With a total of four teenagers in their squad, the average age of the Pulse team is just 22. So who better for these rising stars to have as a mentor than one of the Silver Ferns' best ever – Irene van Dyk.

And while they're learning, Pulse coach Yvette Maccausland-Durie is wary she still can't push them too far, too soon.

"Just really remembering they're new to the environment, so keeping things as simple as possible and working from their base and their strength," said Maccausland-Durie. "Then just adding little bits so that each week they're feeling like they're growing."

As concern for the national set up grows after the Ferns' Gold Coast debacle, a quick glance at the Pulse should provide some reassurance about the future.