Jaymie Kolose has recently returned from the Touch World Cup in Malaysia, where the Touch Blacks Women’s side made the final against Australia, and she is in the Warriors Women’s squad for the new NRL Touch competition.
She has also been selected in the New Zealand Secondary School Netball Team that is preparing to take on England U19 in July in Auckland.
We caught up with year 13 Saint Kentigern College’s Jaymie to find out more about her busy sporting life.
Congratulations on representing New Zealand at the Touch World Cup. What position do you play and how many games did you play?
For the Open Women’s Touch Blacks team I play Middle/Link. At the Touch World Cup, I played all but one pool game (that was against USA).
What was a highlight playing for the New Zealand at the recent Touch World Cup?
Representing my country at this level and also playing in the final against Australia with the world’s best touch players was definitely another highlight for me.
The touch season is over, but you still have some exciting Touch commitments coming up, as well as netball?
That was the end of the international and representative touch season for me, however I have been fortunate to be selected to play in the new NRL Touch Competition for the Warriors Women’s Touch team. School netball started last term with skills and conditioning and court work. The Auckland school competition starts this week.
What New Zealand Touch teams have you played in previously?
My debut with the NZ Touch Black Women’s team was last April 2018 for the Opens Trans-Tasman Series against Australia. I have also represented NZ in the Junior grades for the U18’s (Youth Trans-Tasman series 2017) and the NZ U15’s (Development Tour, 2014).
What were some highlights playing touch in NZ this past season?
I have really enjoyed my touch season. To make the finals for the NZSS Touch tournament was a great achievement for the team and school especially with a number of new and younger players. I then went on to represent my province Counties Manukau in the U18 Girls which we won and then moved into the Open Women’s Touch Nationals also with Counties. Unfortunately, we went down in a drop-off in the finals. So, a busy schedule but a rewarding one.
How do the two sports complement each other?
Some of the skills associated to touch can be transferred to netball, things like passing into spaces, speed to the ball and agility. When you are in an environment where you are expected to perform you make sure that the groundwork is done, things like being fit. Also playing with players with a lot more experience also makes you work harder too.
What positions do you play in netball, and have you always played there?
I move between Centre and Wing Attack. I have also played Wing Defence. I have always played these positions for school, club and representative netball.
Is this the first time you have made the NZSS secondary school netball team? What other representative netball teams have you played in the past?
This is my first year with the NZSS Netball team. I have also played representative netball for Auckland through the grades and also with Tamaki Makaurau. Highlights for me would definitely be making this team and winning a NZSS Netball National title in 2016.
How long have you been in the St Kent’s Premier netball team for?
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to my first NZSS nationals with the 2017 Saint Kentigern Premier team and was selected in the team in Year 11.
Do you also play some club netball as well?
The Auckland Secondary School competition starts this week. I am currently playing school netball and fill in for club netball in a Premier competition.
For school, the St Kent’s team had some big battles last year including the 37-39 extra time loss to EGGS in the Auckland Regional final, so a tough competition?
The Auckland secondary school competition is always a hard competition. Our team have been focusing on building connections across the court and we are really keen to get out there and play. We know that each game is going to be tough but we are ready to go!
As well as netball and Touch, do you play other sports?
I had done athletics for school, Eastern Zone and Auckland Championships over the past five years. I did the 100m and 200m. Unfortunately, I tore my hamstring and was unable to compete in the Eastern zone and Auckland Championships this year.
How long have you been your sports and what was your first sport?
I have been involved in sports since I was three or four years old starting with athletics. I played netball for club when I was six and started playing Touch when I was about seven. My first sport would have been athletics.
How much of an influence is your family on your sport, including your older sister Tori?
My family has had a huge influence on my sports. From driving me to and from games and practices to making sure I’m looking after myself to encouraging me to ‘play my best!’ Everyone in my family plays sports, it is part of who we are and what we do! You can always guarantee that you would see a family member watching from the side-line, this can be hard sometimes considering there are five of us. My older sister Tori has always been someone that I have looked up to in sport. We’ve played together at Saint Kentigern in both Netball and Touch and outside of school too. She has shown me that hard work pays off.
Read about older sister Tori Kolose HERE from 2015 when she was MVP of the NZSS Touch Tournament.
Despite a recent injury scare, 17-year-old Paris Lokotui is fit to play after being selected for the New Zealand Secondary School netball team.
Last year Lokotui was selected for the New Zealand Secondary School team but was unable to play because of an ankle injury.
After once again being named in the New Zealand Secondary School side this year, history threatened to repeat itself when she injured the same ankle playing in the Beko Netball League a couple of weeks ago.
Fortunately, she recovered quickly and had been able to play and train on it since last week and therefore would be able to compete against the England Under 19 team in July.
“To be selected and a part of the NZSS team again is just awesome,” she said.
Lokotui, who predominantly plays goal defence and goal keeper, has been playing for the Queen Margaret College Senior A netball team since year nine, making this her fifth year in the side. It’s not just all netball for Lokotui however, she also plays basketball, water polo, sevens rugby and volleyball.
Lokotui has been able to learn from some of the game's best players while playing for the Central Manawa in the Beko Netball League, as well as occasionally training with the Wellington Pulse.
“It has exposed me to what being a professional athlete is,” she said. “To be successful, you must be in a team environment where everyone is for each other and that everyone has their mind focused on the same goal.”
She was also one of 12 young New Zealand sportswomen who were awarded a Tania Dalton Foundation scholarship this year. The scholarship is in honour of the late Tania Dalton, who made 37 appearances for the Silver Ferns and died suddenly in 2017.
As part of the scholarship, Lokotui was set up with legendary New Zealand goal shoot Irene Van-Dyk as a mentor, who she said she looked up to both on and off the court.
“Not only was she an amazing netball player but she shows attributes such as kindness, respect and gives back to the community which really inspires me.”
Van-Dyk said one of Lokotui’s strengths was her work ethic. “She does not shy away from hard work.” Lokotui trains at least six days a week, including team trainings, strength and conditioning sessions, and matches.
Van-Dyk said that her hard work showed on the court. “Her ability to read the game is absolutely fantastic. She hunts for the ball, she doesn’t get stuck at goal keeper.”
Lokotui is one of two Wellington players in the NZSS team to play England in July, along with Saviour Tui from St Mary's College.
Read our previous story with Paris Lokotui in October 2017 HERE
Northland netballer Dannielle-Rose Dephoff will join the New Zealand Secondary Schools squad that plays England U19 in July in Auckland.
We caught up with the Bay of Islands College year 13 player as she juggles her busy life in Kawakawa training and playing netball for school and club and of course attending school.
Congratulations on making the team – what was your reaction after your heard you had been selected?
When I received the call in my mind I just went ‘wow, I actually done it.’ I was excited, nervous and definitely a bit surprised all at the same time. The reason I was so surprised was because I was up against thousands of other amazing, naturally talented and hard-working girls throughout New Zealand.
Was this the first time you trialled for the NZSS team, or had you made previous NZSS training squads before?
This would be my first and last ever year trialling for the NZSS team. I've played against only a few of my new teammates in previous years (that I know of) and that was in representative tournaments.
Are you from Northland?
I was born in Whangarei and raised in Kawakawa. I am from Kaeo which is further up north and also a little place called Motatau - Which is also known as ‘the centre of the universe! I went to Kawakawa Primary school, then transitioned from KKPS into Bay of Islands College after year 8. I have been at BOIC ever since I started secondary school.
You play defence – you have recently changed positions?
Growing up I have been through and played all seven positions. When I started Secondary school and up until mid-last year I was circle defence; GK and GD.
Mid last year my coaches and I came to the realisation that I wasn't going to grow any taller and my dream of playing circle defence for the rest of my life was never going to happen! So with that in mind my representative coach played me in mid court from then on. When I first started playing in the mid court I wasn't too fond of it, but then it grew on me and now my preferred positions would definitely have to be C or WD.
What other representative netball teams have you played in?
Ever since the end of my primary school years I have played in Kerikeri representative teams. I have been playing in the Tai Tokelau Maori netball teams ever since I was 11, so about 6 years now! I have also played in the Whangarei U19s team for two years now and I was recently chosen to play in the Northland Cluster U17s team for 2019.
What is a favourite aspect of playing netball?
My favourite part about netball is meeting new people at tournaments, and seeing all the other talented girls who are as passionate about netball as I am. Meeting new people would have to be one of my favourite things about netball because I get to make new friendships which will last a whole lifetime.
What netball centre do you represent, and do you play club and school netball?
I represent Kerikeri netball centre, and have done since year 7. I play in Whangarei with my Club team, The BUBZ. I also play in Kerikeri with my school team.
The reason I play club netball and school netball is because I get to learn off amazing people who are older than me who have been playing the game for a long time, and in my school team get to learn and grow with/off girls my age. Last year I played club which was an amazing experience because I got to learn so much and develop myself not only as a netball player but as a young woman. We didn't win our competition but it wasn't really about the outcome for us it was more about the process and journey we took from the start to the finish of the season.
How much travelling is involved for you playing and training for netball?
Right now I am working on balancing all my team and personal trainings as well as my school and home life. I train locally which is very good for me and my busy whanau. On weekends I play in Kerikeri which is only about 30 minutes away from where I live and also Whangarei, which is only about 45mins away from my hometown.
Do you someone or people you admired growing up, helping you to get to this stage?
Growing up I have been forever surrounded and inspired by so many amazing people, and it’s not only the women in my life who have helped me through my journey it’s also been my dad and many of my uncles. My mum and several my "aunties" have always been my favourite players or mentors over my years of growing up. They have taught me all i know about the game.
What other sports have you played? Has netball always been your main sport?
When I was about four I started my sporting life off with rugby, then as I turned seven my mates at the time and I swapped our rugby jerseys for netball dresses. Later on when I started secondary school I got into Waka Ama and Rugby 7s, but ever since I was seven years old netball has always been my main sport.
Tell us about the support you have?
In the north everyone knows everyone, so as I grew up I have had the pleasure of learning that I have about 30 or so non-related aunties and uncles who care for me and teach me things as if I was their own. My family is one of the most supportive groups I have in my life, and I am sincerely grateful to be blessed with the most motivating, and uplifting family I could ever ask for.
I have had several coaches over the years and give all thanks to them for I would never have made it this far without them, they have given me the most knowledge, the most drive and the most support to get me where I am today.
Most of all I’d like to thank my parents, living with three other siblings it hasn't been easy on my parents to juggle around their work lives, my siblings and I, and paying bills every day. They have been the back bone to my entire netball journey and I would like to thank them for always being there when I need.
Thank you and go well!
Manukura have attended the NZSS netball tournament every year since 2005 and last year finished fifth in one of the country’s toughest school national tournaments.
One of their players, Brody Manson, has just been selected in the NZSS team that plays England U19 in July in Auckland.
She is also one of six Manukura players named recently in the Aotearoa Māori Netball International Secondary School (AMNISS) team that hosts the International Schoolgirls Netball Challenge in Palmerston North at the end of this month.
We caught up with Brody as the 2019 season is just getting underway.
Congratulations on making these teams. What was your reaction to being selected?
Excited, grateful for the opportunity, super surprised - it was just out of nowhere really. Being that it is my last year of school I thought that the opportunities had come and gone for me.
What were your expectations at the start of the year, and what was the selection process for both these teams?
Honestly, I never really thought I was good enough to be selected but after making the squad of 22 for NZSS there was a chance of making the team. It was a surprise to be named in both teams and I’m excited.
NZSS Selection process: Regional Talent ID camp then move to Centre Talent ID camp at the end of last year. I was then shortlisted to attend the NZ Development camp and got called into the camp in early January. From there 22 squad players were named and the final selection was made last Wednesday.
AMNISS Selection process: Open trial process in February which gained selection into a squad of 15 players to compete at the Pacific Nations Cup Tournament in Auckland in March. From there you have to attend the National AMNOHL Tournament to be considered for the Team.
The netball season is just getting underway, so the mahi is just starting – what is your training and playing routine over the next few weeks?
I have two netball and basketball practices, four conditioning sessions, one Premier club netball and basketball game and one SS netball and basketball game a week. Playing netball for school is a priority but also making sure I am prepared for the AMNISS campaign.
How was the experience in training with the Central Beko team recently?
Being at the next level of high performance was great. I learnt that there is more off court things that need to be completed and it is a lot of self-managing that takes place.
What are your favoured positions - you are a centre or wing attack?
I like centre better but I can play both. Centre is more my type of style as I have more freedom and I’m not confined to one area of the court.
Tell us about your netball and background? You are from Northland?
I have been playing netball for 10 years now, I really only started playing because all my friends played and trained at lunchtime so I joined in. I come from a small town in the north, Dargaville where my family still lives. There was never really much competition or opportunities being in such a small town and I guess my family wanted more for me and they were my main driving force into moving away and excelling in all aspects of life really.
We decided I would move down after my first year of high school at 14 years old. I was fortunate enough to be coming down with family friends who I spent the first couple of years with which made the process a of moving away from home and my friends a lot easier but I was still anxious and scared to be in a different environment and out of my comfort zone. I am now in my fourth year of school at MANUKURA and couldn’t be happier with the sacrifices me and my family made at the start of this journey.
How long have you been a member of the Manukura Senior A team for?
This is my second year in the Senior Team. Last year we missed out on top 4 on count back so our goal was to finish 5th. We lost four players from last year so we still have a solid base to work off for this year.
Basketball is another one of your main sports – you also play for Manukura’s Senior A team?
I play for the Senior A Basketball team at MANUKURA. We competed in the Single A grade last year and were fortunate enough to take out the Championship. We are a group that have been together for a while now so we are looking forward to what this year will bring us.
Tell us about the support you have?
I have the most amazing support system behind me in everything I do no matter how far or near they may be. The amount of love, support, commitment and time my family invests in me is incredible and is what allows me to attend and be part of these teams, which I cannot be more grateful for. They are the backbone to my success and I wouldn't be in this position without them.
Thank you – and good luck for the season ahead!
View the NZSS team that plays England in July HERE
A 12-strong New Zealand Secondary Schools netball team has been selected to play the England U19 team in July.
The NZSS side will host the English for a block of training and match-play from 1-4 July in Auckland.
Within the group there are eight athletes currently playing at Beko Netball League level or higher, including Grace Nweke, Nanise Waqaira, Taneisha Fifita and Khiarna Williams who have seen court time during the ANZ Premiership.
NZ Secondary Schools head coach Charissa Barham said it was a terrific opportunity for the country’s next generation of stars to gain experience against quality opposition.
“It’s been exciting to see the wider NZ Secondary Schools squad develop and we are looking forward to seeing what this team can do in match-play situations,” she said.
“This is a key stepping stone within Netball New Zealand’s development pathway and by having a home campaign we have allowed cross over with Silver Ferns to allow for a unique experience to inspire some of our next group of elite players.”
The team is:
Olivia Burnham - Villa Maria College (Mainland)
Dannielle Dephoff - Bay of Islands College (Northern)
Taneisha Fifita - Waitaki Girls’ High School (South)*
Jaymie Kolose - St Kentigern College (Northern)
Vika Koloto - Baradene College (Northern)
Paris Lokotui - Queen Margaret College (Central)*
Brody Manson - Manukura (Central)
Parris Mason - New Plymouth High School (Central)
Grace Nweke - Avondale College (Northern)
Saviour Tui - St Mary's College (Central)
Nanise Waqaira - Howick College (Northern)
Khiarna Williams - Trident High School (Waikato Bay of Plenty)
*subject to medical clearance
The Northern Mystics have added schoolgirl Grace Nweke to their full-time playing squad for the remainder of the ANZ Premiership.
The Avondale College student and 1.93m tall goal shoot will turn her full focus to the Mystics having previously split her netball workload between the BEKO Netball League, where she was part of the Northern Marvels, and the ANZ Premiership.
Nweke, who was born in New Zealand and is of Nigerian descent, has grabbed the spotlight with her shooting accuracy, temperament and athletic ability on court.
The talented former high jumper only turned 17 in February and still has a full year left at secondary school – something the Mystics management was mindful of when including the teenager in their squad.
Mystics coach Helene Wilson said she was pleased to see Nweke officially join the ANZ Premiership but would still be wary of managing the youngster’s workload.
“Grace has been a training partner with us and of course made an impact on court in the ANZ Premiership over the past few weeks,” Wilson said.
“She knows our set-up, the players and is coming to grips with what is expected at this elite level.
“There is no doubt that Grace is an exciting prospect for both the Mystics and New Zealand netball, but we also need to be mindful that she is still very new to the high performance environment.”
Nweke has so far put up 166 attempts at goal in the 180 minutes she has played to date with an 83 percent accuracy, showing plenty of maturity against some of the best defenders in the country including Silver Ferns Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury most recently in Round 6.
“Finding the right balance for Grace is very important to the Mystics because she is certainly a player to watch for the future. And she still wants to have fun out there,” Wilson said.
A squad of 22 players has been named by Netball New Zealand from which the 2019 New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) team will be chosen by the end of April.
The squad is:
The Emerging Talent Selection Panel, including Adrienne Morrin, Charissa Barham, Paula Smith and Jen Hooper, has confirmed the squad which was selected from a number of NZ age-group tournaments and camps.
NZSS Head coach and panel member Charissa Barham said selectors had assessed performances at last month’s National Development Camp, the ANZ Premiership pre-season tournament in Ōtaki along with various secondary school tournaments last year.
“It has been a thorough process and we have had the opportunity to look at a number of players,” she said.
“There are some athletes who were involved with the NZSS team last year and plenty of new faces who are pushing hard for selection this year.”
The squad includes six members from last year’s NZSS team which competed in Australia.
Barham said selectors would continue to monitor those involved in the Beko Netball League and ANZ Premiership whilst also viewing footage from the 2019 National Development Camp.
The 2018 secondary school and age-group representative netball season was once again hard-fought and thrilling to the end.
A number of players are sure to go and play BEKO Development and ANZ Premiership netball in the coming years - two in this list below already have and others are already preparing to join their new teammates in the New Year.
As always, the list below is not defined as a 'best of' one, more a celebration of some of the players we have followed and others we have interviewed this year, for their individual and team performances. Vote in the poll at the bottom for your College Sport Media Player of the Year.
Addi Albert-Jones (Mount Albert Grammar School) – The centre was the captain of the MAGS team that won the NZSS title for the sixth time in the past nine years but just their first since 2015. Albert-Jones helped conduct her side to a clinical 32-23 win over Westkake GHS in the final, timing their season and NZSS run to perfection after finishing third in Auckland and runners-up to Epsom GGS at UNISS. Albert-Jones was one of four MAGS players to make the tournament team, including Crystal Mayo, Halaevlau Toutaiolepo and Ruby Young. In July, all four players had made the National U19 Tournament Team as part of the winning Auckland side. The previous week before the NZSS tournament, Albert-Jones represented the NZSS team in Canberra.
Tayla Earle (Saint Kentigern College) – The versatile Earle was the Midcourter of the Tournament at the NZSS tournament and was also named as the Secondary School Netballer of the Year for 2018. Her Saint Kentigern side finished third after a thrilling extra-time 36-33 win over Auckland rivals Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, who had won Auckland and UNISS. This came hot on the heels of representing her country when the NZSS team met England and Australia U17 teams in Canberra. Rotorua-raised Earle was earlier named as the MVP of UNISS in early September. She joins the Northern Mystics in 2019.
Georgie Edgecombe – St Peter’s School – The St Peter’s Head Girl flew the flag as the sole representative from Waikato in the 14-strong NZSS team that toured Australia in early October. The defender and captain of her school team for the past three years, Edgecombe credited her NZ selection by concentrating on netball over her other sports, in particular basketball and touch. She also returned after a midyear setback when she was side-lined from the start of the National U17 tournament with a knee injury and her Hamilton City team finished 10th of 42 teams. The youthful St Peter’s team were seeded 19th at UNISS and finished 12th. One of four training partners selected for the The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic squad for the 2019 ANZ Premiership season.
Tiana Metarau (Wellington East Girls’ College) – The year 13 shooter shot 185 goals at 84.5 percent in the ANZ Premiership for the Central Pulse, which was higher than six shooters on percentage in the top 10 highest aggregate goal shooters in the competition. Completed her second season in the Pulse, making the New Zealand A Development team and the Silver Ferns training squad. She was also the Super Club Shooter and Player of the Tournament. College Sport Wellington Netballer for the third consecutive year. Metarau returned to her WEGC school team to help them to a fourth placed conclusion at LNISS and then on to 14th at the NZSS tournament.
Parris Mason (New Plymouth Girls’ High School) – Parris Mason was the Defender of the Tournament at the NZSS tournament as NPGHS capped off their most successful year in several seasons by finishing sixth and beating tournament winners MAGS 31-20 along the way. Just year 11, Mason is a key player her school will build their team around over the next two years. Prior to the NZSS tournament, Mason – who has also represented NZ in touch and basketball – helped NPGHS to a second placed finish at LNISS, losing 20-22 to Manukura in the final. Mason, midcourter Boston Falaniko, wing defender and goal defender Brooke Neilson and defender Isla Vink were all named in the tournament team. NPGHS also won the local Premier 2 club final and earned promotion next year. In July Mason and Falaniko made the tournament team from the North Island U17 Championships. Taranaki finished eighth.
Georgia Stroud, Olivia Burnham and Hannah Glen – Villa Maria College – Representing the Mainland netballers in this list, Stroud and Burnham were selected together as the only two South Island players in the NZSS team that toured Australia while Glen was the only South Islander named in the tournament team at the end of the NZSS tournament played in Timaru the following week. The trio were not only key members of the their school’s Senior A and in the Netball Mainland Baby Beko squad, they also excel in other sports. Stroud plays in the midcourt and is a national U19 surf lifesaving champion and middle distance runner and Stroud and defender Burnham were half of Villa Maria’s team that broke the SISS 4x400m record in March. Attacker Glen is a bronze medalist U18 quad Maadi Cup rower. Villa Maria beat St Andrew’s College 33-23 to win this year’s Canterbury Supernet title and beat Southland Girls’ High School 39-26 in the SISS final. At the NZSS tournament they finished 12th of the 16 teams. In representative netball, Stroud and Glen were in the Canterbury U19s and Burnham in the Canterbury U17s.
Khiarna Williams – Trident High School – Two years to go at school, but Khiarna Williams has a full season playing in the BEKO League under her belt and was recently selected as one of four training partners alongside the the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the 2019 ANZ Premiership season. The specialist shooter played with confidence and composure all year as WBOP finished runners-up to Central in the BEKO competition. She then made the tournament team at the U17 North Island Championships representing Eastern Bay of Plenty, and again at UNISS as Trident finished 11th, and toured Australia with the NZSS team in October. Also a member of Trident’s volleyball team that were national champions in 2017. A BoP Sports Awards Junior Sportswoman finalist this year too.
2015: Maia Wilson (Mount Albert Grammar School)
2016: Renee Savaiinaea (St Mary’s College)
2017: Nanise Waqaira (Howick College)
The Champion of Champion series is not intended to be a definitive list of the ‘best’ athletes in each code, rather it celebrates many of the leading athletes and teams in each that College Sport Media has followed this year. Preference has gone to those individuals/teams that CSM has interviewed and profiled in 2018. Got a story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fifty netballers from around the country have been selected for the three-day 2019 National Development Camp in the New Year in Cambridge.
The group – which was selected, based upon performances at National Age Group Championships, Regional Secondary Schools and NZSS Championships and in conjunction with Zone led talent identification programmes – will be split into five teams to attend the camp.
Players will undergo a series of movement competency screenings with fitness tests to be submitted prior to the camp.
A competitive short-tournament structure will be held during the three days where the players’ ability to thrive under pressure will be observed.
The five teams will be led by coaching experts including New Zealand’s Pathway to Podium (P2P) specialist coaches – Jodi Brown, Irene van Dyk, Sandra Edge, Rebecca Gable and Anna Galvan.
P2P head coach Yvette McCausland-Durie and Tania Karauria will also provide support to these coaches in the build-up to the camp which runs from January 18-21.
The players selected are:
Maria Folau, Maia Wilson, Erikana Pedersen and Jamie-Lee Price. All former Mount Albert Grammar School netballers involved in the just completed Constellation Cup series between New Zealand and Australia.
Folau passed through the school gates over a decade ago, but Wilson, Pederson and Price were all part of MAGS teams that won a four-peat of NZSS Netball titles between 2012-15.
This year’s winning captain Addi Albert-Jones said that the benchmark that these MAGS teams set is a big part of the school’s netball culture.
“It was great to carry on the success of past MAGS teams, and we still keep in touch with former players. Most of our families are friends, so when we see Maia and Jamie, Holly and others we say hi to each other,” continued Addi.
Holly is Northern Stars midcourter Holly Fowler, who spent five years in the MAGS team and won four consecutive titles between 2012-15. Elle Temu is another recent player who is joining the Pulse in 2019.
Of this year’s winning team that beat Westlake Girls’ High School 32-23 in last week’s NZSS final in Timaru goal shoot Sharne Pupuke-Robati and goal attack Crystal Maro played in 2015.
In 2016 MAGS lost to Saint Kentigern College in the final in Lower Hutt, Last year MAGS finished sixth.
What was the key to MAGS being on top again this year?
“There were seven of us in this team that won the national title last week who have been playing together since we started at MAGS. We played together in Year 9 and Year 10 and we won all our games except one so we have come through as a tight group,” explained Addi.
“The one game we lost was in Year 10 in Singapore on an international tour and we lost to an Australian school but we ended up beating them in the final.”
Last week in Timaru MAGS won the title, but suffered one loss, going down 30-31 to New Plymouth Girls’ High School.
“I think that game showed us that just the MAGS reputation will not get us through, that we need to play to the best of our ability every game we play.”
On the road to the final, beating Saint Kentigern College was a highlight.
“Beating them by 10 [40-30] was a big result for us because we have been through games against them when we have lost to them by similar scores so we understand how it feels. For the girls to come out on top with a win like that really gave them confidence.”
The win over St Kent’s was on the penultimate day, propelling them into the final against Westlake.
Westlake were fast and accurate and well-coached by former Silver Fern April Ieremia.
“Our game plan from the start of the final was to dominate, to put ourselves ahead and stay in front, because the girls thrive off this.”
That is exactly how the final panned out, MAGS leading from start to finish.
MAGS qualified second for nationals from the Upper North Island Secondary Schools (UNISS) tournament, losing to Epsom Girls’ Grammar School in the final.
MAGS finished third in the Auckland Premier competition. “We missed out on the final, we lost a game to Westlake by one goal and we needed Epsom to beat St Kent’s but St Kent’s won that so we didn’t make it through.”
The future looks bright for MAGS. “There will a few Year 12s and Year 13s so I think MAGS will have a good team in the near future, as long they stay together and enjoy playing with each they will be fine.”
Captain and centre Addi was the only MAGS player in the NZSS team’s tour to Australia just prior to the nationals in Timaru. The team played the Australian U17 squad and an England U17 side in series of non-tournament matches. “It showed us where we need to be to compete with the Australians, it gave us a taste of how drilled they are and the level we need to be ourselves to compete with them.”
Addi, Crystal Maro, Halaevlau Toutaiolepo and Ruby Young all made the tournament team from the NZSS week in Timaru from MAGS.
The netball season now over, the focus turns to the classroom for the MAGS netballers with NCEA exams just around the corner. Many also play other summer sports such as touch, sevens rugby and athletics.
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