Sam Bird insists London Pulse are determined to make the connections right before their Netball SuperLeague round two clash with Surrey Storm this Saturday.

The Stratford-based outfit were overwhelmingly struck down 56-40 by a strong attacking Manchester Thunder in their opening game of the 2024 season at Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham last weekend.

Although Pulse goal shooter Olivia Tchine was the game's top scorer with 29 goals, Paige Reed and Lois Pearson both fired in 27 to help last season's third-place finishers achieve a convincing result.

Bird, whose Pulse side were last season's defeated play-off finalists, looked at the positives from Saturday's defeat as they head to Guildford's University of Surrey Sports Complex to face Storm who are guided by Brentwood's Mikki Austin.

The Duck Egg Blues are also looking for a first victory in 2024 after losing 63-50 to defending champions Loughborough Lightning.

"There are positives in terms of individual play but we need to look at how we are connecting," said Bird.

"We're setting those targets for ourselves and we believe in ourselves. It is round one of 20 if we make the final.

"Clearly there's a lot of work to do but I think the connections will make a difference in terms of how we perform as a group."

And Bird praised wing attack Brie Grierson's eye-catching performance in her return to Pulse colours after a three-year spell with Leeds Rhinos.

"She (Grierson) did really well," Bird added. "She's back in our squad and we were missing those sort of feeds to Olivia (Tchine) and I thought she came on and did that really well.

"She's got better and better through training when she started back with us, so yes she did really well."

Other opening day results in Nottingham saw Grierson's former colleagues from West Yorkshire Rhinos also suffering defeat to Severn Stars 57-41, as Team Bath beat Glasgow- based Strathclyde Sirens 53-49 and Cardiff Dragons and Saracens Mavericks drew 48-48.