The Manukura team, with individual players Braxton Te Riini (WA) and Emily Autangavaia (GS) who were both selected for the tournament team.
Three of the first four spots in last week’s NZSS Netball Championships were filled by Auckland schools, with Saint Kentigern College edging Mount Albert Grammar School 35-34 in a gripping final.
In the playoff for third and fourth, Manukura School from Palmerston North beat Epsom Girls’ Grammar School 45-40. Two of Manukura’s players, Braxton Te Riini and Emily Autangavaia, were selected in the tournament team.
Manukura, who finished sixth last year and seventh in 2014 were pleased with their performance, explained their coach for the week Renee Matoe.
“We definitely thought we had a chance at making the final though and at the end of the day it just comes down to be being able to play at our very best in the games that matter, and we couldn’t quite pull it off in our semi-final against St Kent’s.”
Manukura lost to champions St Kent’s 33-38 in their semi-final on Thursday afternoon, following a morning quarter-final 41-22 win over Rotorua Girls’ High School.
“We definitely had our moments and opportunities to take control of the match against St Kent’, but we couldn’t quite do so. Third is still really good for us, and to be one of the top netball schools in New Zealand is great,” said Renee who is also a current Beko League Central player and who took the coaching reins off Yvette McCausland-Durie who is the new Pulse coach.
Manukura went into the NZSS tournament as Lower North Island tournament champions. Did that increase the team’s expectations last week?
“Yes there were expectations, but they were own ones that we set ourselves. So for us to be able to go there to nationals knowing we were ranked top from our region helped with our focus and confidence.”
As well as Manukura, Lower North Island schools filled the other top six finishing spots, with Wellington’s St Mary’s College defeating Wellington East Girls’ College 41-20 in the playoff for fifth and sixth.
Another special win for Manukura last week that Renee pointed to was against Wellington East Girls’ College.
“We’ve had a really good tussle with Wellington East over the years and this year we played them at Lower North Islands again, to make the final, and that was a really good game. Coming up against them last week we got off to a good start. But before we knew it they were back in it and they went up by 4 and then we managed to come back. It was a really tough game to come away from and it showed the girls what it takes to pull through in these encounters.”
Manukura won that match 37-29, but Wellington East drew the first quarter and won the third quarter 9-6. Manukura pulled clear to win the fourth quarter 13-4.
Family ties plays a part in Manukura’s success.
“We have three sets of sisters in our squad, so it’s quite cool having half the team related!
“They are all older-younger sisters and different ages. The first pair has been at Manukura for five years and the other sets of sisters have come in from different schools. It makes for a good dynamic in our squad.”
Braxton Te Riini and Emily Autangavaia made the tournament team, while two other Manukura players played for the NZSS side earlier this year.
“Braxton and Emily have both improved as the season’s gone on and their performances at the NZSS tournament over the whole week really showed that.”
Emily is Year 13 and plays Goal Shoot and Braxton is Year 12 and plays Wing Attack. Emily is from Auckland she made the Manawatu U19 team this year and Braxton was the captain of the Manawatu U17 team and made in the Aotearoa Maori team that competed in the Trans-Tasman tournament earlier this year with the NZSS team.
Goal Keep Antonia Heihei made that NZSS team earlier in the season and also the U20 Aotearoa Maori team and Goal Attack Diahn Strickland made the NZSS team.
Summing up last week’s tournament, Renee said that the glass is definitely half full. “We have got some work to do in looking at what we could have done better in our skills and our fitness levels, and hopefully we’ll keep improving next year and come back stronger.”
Manukura’s results at the NZSS tournament were:
“It’s bloody amazing, this is all we’ve worked for all week, all year, this is so special for us,” was how Saint Kentigern College’s captain Georgia Ropati summed up her team’s NZSS Netball Championships victory this afternoon in Lower Hutt, immediately after beating Auckland rivals Mount Albert Grammar School in the tournament final.
St Kent’s held on throughout a tense fourth quarter to beat MAGS and deny them what would have been a fifth straight title.
St Kent’s won the final 35-34, but not without soaking up oodles of pressure from the MAGS team, led by defender Elle Temu.
MAGS threatened to derail St Kent’s in the fourth quarter, but St Kent’s protected a slim lead throughout most of the final stanza and MAGS were left to rue a couple of late midcourt turnovers that could have seen them take the final into extra time.
St Kent’s got off to a flying staff, skipping out to an early lead. MAGS came back to trail 11-8 at quarter-time. MAGS’ second quarter was their best period of the match, and they came back to lead 22-17 at halftime.
“We just knew that we had to treasure possession when it got tight, said a relieved Georgia. “We just knew that every centre pass we had to keep hold of, retain the ball and not let them come back,”
St Kent’s goalshoot Vilisi Tavui also had a great final, shooting 22 of 24 attempts, slightly better than MAGS’ goal attack Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea who was successful with 20 of 23 shots. Goal Attack Ashleigh Garner also played well.
As it had been all tournament, the St Kent’s midcourt combination of Jami Kolose, Tayla Earle, Mona Silao and Tori Kolose was fast through the court and hard to handle.
Head coach Nicola Lewis praised her team. “It’s a really special win. We have got the upmost respect for MAGS. We always know that playing them is going to be a real competitive, skilful, fast game."
Nicola pointed to the depth in the St Kent’s squad as a key pointer to the win. “To have our squad come together and play like they did all this week and to have two of our senior players [Sydney Fraser and Mererangi Paul] not even to take the court and for these girls to pull this off is special for the hard work that they have put in.”
St Kent’s had played through the tournament with wins over St Margaret’s College (52-20), St Hilda’s (49-26) and Palmerston North GHS (46-27) in pool play. In crossover matches, they defeated Rotorua GHS (50-24), Wellington East Girls’ College (44-42) and Manukura (38-33).
Apart from the final, coach Nicola said the hardest game of the tournament for St Kent’s was the match against WEGC. “We went into extra time in that match. A game like that was good for us; it made it us rise to the challenge a bit more and prepare a bit better for the semi-final against Manukura who were a physical side. Both of those games gave us the preparation we needed to for this final against MAGS.
The win for St Kent’s was their third in four matches this year over MAGS, after earlier wins in the Auckland competition by 37-36 and 40-35. MAGS had defeated them 23-22 in the recent Upper North Island Championships.
In the playoff for third and fourth the Palmerston North based school Manukura beat Auckland’s Epsom Girls’ Grammar School 45-40. Like St Kent’s in the final, Manukura got off to a flyer and led 13-7 at quarter-time. EGGS came back to win the next two quarters 12-11 and 11-9, but Manukura held on to take third spot.
The playoff for fifth and sixth was a blowout win to St Mary’s College over Wellington rivals Wellington East Girls’ College, St Mary’s winning 41-20 and winning the third quarter 11-0.
St Margaret’s College were the best placed South Island school, beating Rotorua GHS 35-22 in the playoff for seventh and eighth.
At the conclusion, an attacker, a mid-courter and defender of the tournament were all named. These were
A Tournament selection was named. These players were:
The stage is set for a blockbuster final day at the NZ Secondary Schools Netball Champs with Mt Albert Grammar School and Saint Kentigern College to contest tomorrow’s Grand Final in a repeat of 2015.
Day 3 had it all – fans were left on the edge of their seats at the Walter Nash Stadium with three nail-biting extra-time matches, one going to extended extra-time.
With places in the Grand Final up for grabs, it was Mt Albert Grammar School who was first to confirm their spot with two victories, defeating St Mary’s College and Saint Kentigern College.
This will be the eighth consecutive year Mt Albert Grammar School has contested the decider and they’ll be looking to lift the trophy for the fifth consecutive time.
Their opponent wasn’t decided until the final match of the day, with Manukura and Saint Kentigern College both still in contention.
Leading at every break, Saint Kentigern College cemented their spot with a 38-33 victory.
Play will get underway at 9am tomorrow with the Grand Final to be played at 1.40pm.
View full draw and results
Results - Day 3
Pool Team 1 Score Team 2
G (9-16)Marlborough Girls' College 29-40 Wellington Girls' College
H (9-16)St Andrew's College 33-40 Baradene College
H (9-16)Palmerston North Girls' High School 47-48 Aorere College
G (9-16)Southland Girls' High School 40=35 St Hilda's Collegiate
E (1-8)Mt Albert Grammar School 40-24 St Margaret's College
F (1-8)Saint Kentigern College 44-42 Wellington East Girls' College
F (1-8)Manukura 41-22 Rotorua Girls' High School
E (1-8)St Mary's College 33-35 Epsom Girls Grammar
H (9-16)Aorere College 38-30 Baradene College
G (9-16)Wellington Girls' College 37-42 St Hilda's Collegiate
G (9-16)Southland Girls' High School 40-32 Marlborough Girls' College
H (9-16)St Andrew's College 34-35 Palmerston North Girls' High School
E (1-8)Mt Albert Grammar School 34-25 St Mary's College
F (1-8)Wellington East Girls' College 31-25 Rotorua Girls' High School
F (1-8)Manukura 33-38 Saint Kentigern College
E (1-8)Epsom Girls Grammar 41-32 St Margaret's College
One of Netball's biggest events of the year, the NZ Secondary Schools Netball Champs, has seen it's first day of competition.
The event is being held at Walter Nash Centre in Lower Hutt and features 16 of the best secondary school Netball teams from across the country competing for the right to be crowned champions.
Teams are currently divided into four pools for Section Play, with Mt Albert Grammar School & Wellington East Girls' College (Pool A), Manukura (Pool B), Saint Kentigern College (Pool C) and St Mary's College (Pool D) at the top of their respective pools after Day 1.
The NZ Secondary Schools Netball Champs will run over four days, culminating in a Grand Final to be played on Friday afternoon at 1:40pm.
Day 2 will resume tomorrow from 9:00am.
Results - Day 1
Pool Team 1 Score Team 2
C St Hilda's Collegiate 42-43 Palmerston North Girls' High School
C Saint Kentigern College 52-20 St Margaret's College
D Rotorua Girls' High School 21-42 St Mary's College
D Marlborough Girls' College 39-33 Baradene College
A Wellington East Girls' College 34-22 Southland Girls' High School
A Aorere College 27-48 Mt Albert Grammar School
B Manukura 38-28 Epsom Girls Grammar
B St Andrew's College 40-33 Wellington Girls' College
C St Hilda's Collegiate 26-49 Saint Kentigern College
C Palmerston North Girls' High School 27-39 St Margaret's College
D St Mary's College 47-17 Marlborough Girls' College
D Rotorua Girls' High School 37-29 Baradene College
A Mt Albert Grammar School 59-18 Southland Girls' High School
A Wellington East Girls' College 39-36 Aorere College
B Manukura 48-32 St Andrew's College
B Epsom Girls Grammar43-21 Wellington Girls' College
Sixteen of the country’s leading netball schools descend on Lower Hutt this week for the 2016 New Zealand Secondary Schools Netball Championships.
The competing schools are split into four pools of four for pool play on Tuesday and part of Wednesday, followed by the crossover rounds on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday. The grand final is scheduled for 1.40pm Friday.
Teams have qualified from the recent secondary school zone tournaments, with the top six teams from the Upper North Island tournament joined by the leading five from the Lower North Island and South Island tournaments.
The three winners of these were Mount Albert Grammar School (Upper North Island), Manukura (Lower North Island) and St Hilda’s College (South Island).
MAGS are the team to beat – having won the title for each of the past four years.
There are three schools from the host region Wellington competing - St Mary’s College, Wellington East Girls’ College and Wellington Girls’ College. The one and only time a Wellington school has won was Wellington Girls’ College in 1999.
Three teams, St Hilda’s Collegiate, Aorere College and Rotorua Girls’ High School, will be making their debuts at the tournament. While others are returning after an absence including Palmerston North Girls’ High School for what will be their 13th appearance at the NZSS and St Mary’s College is back to attend their 10th national event.
The tournament has been playing annually since 1993, with Bay of Islands College the inaugural winners, while MAGS has the most titles having won the tournament on five occasions.
The Last South Island school to win the netball Nationals was Villa Maria College in 2008. Since then MAGS have dominated, with Manawatu’s Tu Toa wining in 2009 and 2011.
At the end of the week, a tournament squad will be named.
The schools competing and the four pools are:
Pool A: Mount Albert Grammar School, Wellington East Girls’ College, Southland Girls’ High School, Aorere College
Pool B: Manukura, St Andrew’s College, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, Wellington Girls’ College
Pool C: St Hilda's Collegiate, Saint Kentigern College, Palmerston North Girls' High School, St Margaret’s College
Pool D: St Mary's College, Marlborough Girls' College, Rotorua Girls' High School, Baradene College
The draw for the opening day on Tuesday is:
St Hilda’s collegiate v Palmerston North Girls’ High School (court 1)
Saint Kentigern College v St Margaret’s College (court 3)
Rotorua Girls' High School v St Mary’s College (court 1)
Marlborough Girls' College v Baradene College (court 3)
Wellington East Girls' College v Southland Girls’ High School (court 1)
Aorere College v Mt Albert Grammar School (court 3)
Manukura v Epsom Girls Grammar School (court 1)
St Andrew's College v Wellington Girls’ College (court 3)
St Hilda’s Collegiate v Saint Kentigern College (court 1)
Palmerston North Girls' High School v St Margaret’s College (court 3)
Marlborough Girls' College v Marlborough Girls' College (court 1)
Rotorua Girls' High School v Baradene College (court 3)
Mt Albert Grammar School v Southland Girls’ High School (court 1)
Wellington East Girls' College v Aorere College (court 3)
Manukura v St Andrew’s College (court 1)
Epsom Girls’ Grammar School v Wellington Girls’ College (court 3)
Live scoring and full draw:
To view live scorng and up to the minute results, as well as the draw for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday visit http://netballnz.co.nz/competitions/competition-detail/nz-secondary-schools-netball-champs
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand