The improvement was there for all to see as the resurgent Central Pulse pushed last year's trans-Tasman netball finalists the Northern Mystics all the way in their season opener in Auckland on Sunday.
But it was still another loss, the Wellington-based visitors leading at times and having battled to a 37-all deadlock heading into the final quarter before eventually losing by four points, 51-47.
The new Pulse coach Robyn Broughton was encouraged but wants a better shooting percentage than the 73 percent her side got in, compared to the 86 percent success the Mystics managed.
Broughton also wants her midcourters to get the ball into the circle faster, because if the shooters aren't under such pressure from slow feeds then their shooting statistics will improve.
The Mystics' Silver Fern shooter Cathrine Latu missed only one goal in the entire match, shooting at 97 percent.