Netting a second straight New Zealand Secondary Schools title will be the goal for St Kentigern College when they join netball’s leading schools in Rotorua.
The Auckland school is one of 16 New Zealand teams coming together at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua from October 10-13 to compete at the national secondary schools championships.
The defending champion Saint Kentigern College side, which won the title for the first time last year, returns along with last year’s finalists and fellow Auckland school Mount Albert Grammar School who will be another team to watch.
The annual tournament, which was established in 1993 and is one of the most keenly contested events on the Netball New Zealand calendar, sees 16 teams from the Upper Norther Island, Lower North Island and South Island go head-to-head over four days.
Three schools will be making their first appearance at the national tournament including Howick College, St Pauls Collegiate School and Queen Margaret College while Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) will be gunning for an unprecedented sixth crown.
Saint Kentigern’s look set to defend their title with two national secondary schools representatives in Tayla Earle and Tori Kolose as well as Ashleigh Garner who played in this year’s Beko Netball League.
They won their maiden schools crown last year with a thrilling one-goal finals victory, ending Mount Albert Grammar’s stranglehold on the tournament.
MAGS are again coached by Paula Smith who was also part of the Beko League this year and sees the return of Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea who is in the national schools side.
Last year’s mid-courter and defender of the tournament, Ainsleyana Puleiata and Renee Savai’inaea, will be back for St Mary’s College and both players are members of New Zealand’s Secondary Schools team.
Other teams to watch include Epsom Girls’ Grammar School and Manukura who both boast national players while St Hilda’s Collegiate School will be spearheaded by the Heffernan twins, Georgia and Kate, who both played at the Beko League level.
Former Silver Ferns captain Julie Seymour will have her coaching hat on for the week with St Margaret’s College from Christchurch while fellow former Fern Angela Mitchell will guide Ashburton College as they return to the top 16.
The four-day tournament will be an opportunity for national selectors Kiri Wills, Mary-Jane Araroa and Charissa Barham to gauge the talent at secondary school level.
In their 100th year, St Andrew’s College will once again feature at the NZSS Netball Championships in Rotorua in the second week of the school holidays.
St Andrew’s College have qualified for the 16-team tournament over each of the past four years, having finished 10th in 2014 and 15th in both 2015 and last year.
StAC qualified second for nationals at the recent SISS tournament, losing to Dunedin’s St Hilda’s Collegiate 38-33 in the final, after beating Dunedin’s Columba College 40-28 in their semi-final. They also won this year’s Canterbury Supernet competition.
Some questions and answers below from team captain Samantha Molloy.
School: St Andrew’s College
Coaches: Kirsty Carline
Captain: Samantha Molloy
Samantha Molloy, Olivia Clark, Jess Allan, Amelia Holmes, Olivia Tutty, Amelia Sharpe, Georgia Woollett, Heitawhiri Cooper, Brianna Fidow, Kate Allan, Alice Thomson, Emily Allan.
What’s it going to take for your school to do well in the NZSS Nationals coming up in Rotorua?
We need to get our connection working quickly and that applies to off court as well, we need to make sure that we are respecting and enjoying each other’s company off court as well.
What local competitions has your school team played in this year and how did your team go?
We have played in the Saturday Christchurch Netball competition, where we moved up a grade from Senior 1 to Premier 2 and placed 4th. We played in the Christchurch SuperNet Secondary Schools Netball Competition, which we won. We played in the South Island Secondary Schools Netball Tournament, where we were runners-up.
Who are your school’s closest rivals on the netball court?
St Margaret’s College have always been a rival school having been strong contenders of the SuperNet Shield over the last few years.
Tell us about a couple of memorable matches your team has been involved in this year?
One of most memorable matches would have to be beating Villa Maria in the Supernet semi -final - and then also following this up at South Islands, beating them again to qualify for semi-finals and Nationals.
Another memorable game is the win we had over old rivals St Margaret’s College to take the SuperNet Shield. This was memorable as St Margaret’s have always been a tough side to play and this is the first year we have beaten them.
What’s the age make-up of your team?
We have five Year 13 students, so we are an old team. We have two Year 12’s, two year 11s and three Year 10’s. There is one girl playing her fourth and final nationals tournament – Olivia Clark (previously Palmerston North 2014, Ashburton 2015, Lower Hutt 2016). Jess Allen and Samantha Molloy are playing in their third and final national tournament (Ashburton 2015, Lower Hutt 2016) and Amelia Holmes, Amelia Sharpe and Olivia Tutty are playing in their second national tournament. (Lower Hutt 2016).
What’s the strength of your team?
We have a lot of fight in us and we are known for being down at half time and then fighting back, we do not give up until the game is over.
Are there individuals in your team that also play other sports?
We have a few girls that do athletics, touch, volleyball and rowing. Some play basketball competitively and socially as well.
Does your team have a motto or a mascot or any pre or post game rituals or preparations?
We have a school smurf as a St Andrew’s College Mascot. Our team motto/quote would be, ‘You can lead the horse to the water but you can’t make the horse drink.’ We also love it when our manager (Megan Hutton) raps to Vanilla Ice’s – Ice Ice Baby.
What other support has your team received to get to allow it to operate at the level it does?
Huge support from our parents, they have been amazing! Shoe Clinic for sponsoring us with new shoes for the season. We made a video to thank them, which you can see on the Shoe Clinic Riccarton Website or this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e44XU6Zh7GY&feature=youtu.be - It’s quite a laugh! Also coaches that have done specialist sessions with us – Ana Galvin and Ronelle van Dongen. And special shout out to our fitness sports and conditioning trainer – Todd Henderson aka ‘Toddie the Hottie.’
Look out for the Howick College netball team at the NZSS Netball Nationals in Rotorua in the second week of the holidays.
The multi-talented group of young players finished fifth at the recent Upper North Island regional tournament to qualify for nationals for the first time.
The team is looking forward to going, said captain Lasalle Lefale. “This is the first time for our team and the first time for our school at Nationals and we are excited to be there.”
Captain Lasalle is also the only year 13 player in a youthful group going to Nationals. “I’m only 17 as well, as we have got a few year 12s and year 11s and one year 10 as well.”
Lasalle, who plays goal attack, goal shoot and wing attack, has been in the Premier team for three years, starting off when Howick College were in the B Grade.
Howick’s rise has been steady over the past five years. In 2013 they were 6th in the B Grade of the UNISS tournament, in 2014 they were 13th in the B grade, in 2015 they won B Grade to earn promotion, in 2016 they finished 10th in the A Grade and this year they rose to fifth.
The top six placed teams qualified from UNISS for nationals.
Going into the last day of the UNISS tournament Howick had to beat Hamilton Girls’ High School to secure their historic berth for Rotorua. They won that 42-23 “That was probably the most important game for us, so it was good to win well over them,” said Lasalle.
Howick College then beat another Hamilton school, St Paul’s, in the playoff for fifth and sixth, 32-21. “The day before that we lost to them so we had to play them again and we won.”
“A key game for us at the UNISS tournament was beating St Kent’s. We won by one [29-28] in our second round of pool games and they went on to win the tournament. That gave us confidence, especially for our young girls.”
Howick plays St Kent's again in their very first match at Nationals on Tuesday week, and are also meet Palmerston North Girls' High School late on day one.
Nanise Waqaira and Iva Livani were both selected in the 20-player UNISS tournament team afterwards.
Situated in nearby Pakuranga, St Kent’s are a rival school to Howick College. “Another school that we have good sporting battles against is One Tree Hill College.”
Howick also came fifth in the Auckland Premier competition this year. The team’s motto is ‘Up the Waka’, after the Howick College emblem.
Lasalle said the team has a strong bond and they band together well when the going gets tough. “Because we are close in ages, everyone is really close with each other and we are one big family.”
“A playing strength of our team is our height. We have got three giants in our team! We have got one in the shooting end and two tall defenders.”
Howick’s team is multi-talented. “Most of us play sevens, touch and volleyball as well. Basically everybody is playing other sports!”
The first week of the school holidays next week promises to be busy. As well as preparing for the netball Nationals, five members of the squad have a New Zealand schoolgirls rugby sevens trial on Friday.
Howick College originally had eight players out of 120 throughout the country for those rugby sevens trials. One has since injured herself while five of them are netball girls - captain Lasalle, Shalom Setu-Veve, Iva Livani, Teuila Sotutu and Jennifer-Rose Reu.
Defending national champions Saint Kentigern College, Manukura and St Hilda’s Collegiate won the three respective regional Premier A Grade netball tournaments during last week’s Winter Tournament Week.
St Kent’s won the Upper North Island tournament in Auckland, Manukura the Lower North Island Tournament in New Plymouth and St Hilda’s the South Island Tournament in Christchurch.
The three schools will enter October’s NZSS 16-school tournament Rotorua as the top seeds from their regions.
Upper North Island Tournament
St Kent’s edged their great rivals and last year’s UNISS champions Mount Albert Grammar School 39-38 in the final. St Kent’s and MAGS had also been grouped in the same pool, with St Kent’s winning their round-robin match 39-29.
In the semi-finals earlier in the day, St Kent’s had beaten Waikato Dio 41-27, while MAGS has beaten Epsom Girls’ Grammar School 28-27. Howick College beat St Paul’s Collegiate 32-21 in the fifth v sixth match.
The six teams that qualified from the UNISS region for the NZSS nationals were:
1. St Kent’s;2. MAGS; 3. EGGS; 4.Waikato Dio; 5. Howick College; 6. St Paul’s Collegiate
The A Grade Pool winners earlier in the week were: St Kent’s, EGGS, One Tree Hill College, Aorere College, St Cuthert’s College, St Peter’s College, Trident High School and Rotorua Girls’ High School.
Whangaparaoa College won the UNISS B Grade tournament, McAuley won the C Grade and Mercury Bay College the D Grade.
Saint Kentigern College’s Tayla Earle was the Midcourter and Player of the Tournament, MAGS’ Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea was the Shooter of the Tournament and EGGS’ Greer Sinclair was the Defender of the Tournament.
The UNISS A Grade Tournament Team was:
Theresa Ngata (Aorere College), Bianca Nagaiya (EGGS), Greer Sinclair (EGGS), Tamara Leoni (EGGS), Hannah Riddle-Pelchen (Hamilton GHS), Lyanne Eukaliti (Hillcrest HS), Naise Waqaira (Howick), Iva Livani (Howick), Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toparea (MAGS), Armani Lam (MAGS), Maddy Gordon (MAGS), Ruby Young (MAGS), Tori Kolose (St Kent’s), Tayla Earle (St Kent’s), Ashleigh Garner (St Kent’s), Kate Littlejohn (St Paul’s), Lisa Mather (St Peter’s), Ki-Tana Tuhakaraina (St Peter’s), Khiarna Williams (Trident HS), Ali Wilshier (Waikato Dio)
Lower North Island Tournament
Manukura from Palmerston North finished third at last year’s NZSS Nationals and successfully defended their title in New Plymouth on Friday.
Manukura beat St Mary’s College 44-30 in the final.
Manukura had beaten Queen Margaret College 43-17 in their semi-final, while St Mary’s had defeated Palmerston North GHS 43-23.
Palmerston North GHS beat Queen Margaret College 27-23 in the playoff for third and fourth and Sacred Heart College Lower Hutt beat Newlands College 49-26 in the playoff for fifth and sixth match.
Wairarapa College won the B Grade division, with Wanganui Girls College second.
The five teams that qualified for the top 16 NZSS nationals from the Lower North Island tournament were:
1. Manukura; 2. St Mary’s; 3. Palmerston North GHS; 4. Queen Margaret College, 5. Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt.
The A Grade Tournament Team was:
Edyn Boyes ()Palmerston North GHS), Beyonce Rehutai Wellington East Girls College), Tiuana-Marie Aiono (Queen Margaret College), Braxton Te Rini (Manukura), Saviour Tui (St Mary’s), Asher Grapes (Hastings GHS), Ainsleyana Puleiata (St Mary’s), Diahn Tepania-Strickland (Manukura), Brooke Neilson (New Plymouth GHS), Grace McLean (Queen Margaret College), Jaydi Chaffey-Taylor (Napier GHS), Paris Lokotui (Queen Margaret College), Diaz Tepania-Strickland (Manukura) Paige Neilson (New Plymouth GHS), Liana Mikaele-Tuu (Hastings GHS), Lin Tokalautawa (Palmerston North GHS), Antonia HeiHei (Manukura)
South Island Tournament
Dunedin’s St Hilda’s Collegiate defended the title they won last year, beating St Andrew’s College 38-33 in the final.
St Margaret’s College beat Columba College 37-32 in the playoff for third and fourth, while Christchurch Girls’ High School defeated Southland Girls’ High School 33-29 to finish fifth.
The five schools that qualified for the NZSS nationals are:
1. St Hilda’s Collegiate; 2. St Andrew’s College; 3. St Margaret’s College; 4. Columba College; 5. Christchurch Girls’ High School
Of note, Columba College were seeded in 15th coming into the tournament and Christchurch GHS 11th, while Southland GHS who featured in last year’s nationals were seeded fourth but finished seventh.
Blue Mountain won the B Grade and Fiordland College won the C Grade.
Up to this year, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School has never had a New Zealand Secondary Schools netball representative.
Last month that all changed when not one but three of their players were named in the 12-strong NZSS team to travel to Australia in September to attend the Netball Australia 17-and-under training camp and play in a round-robin tournament with three other teams.
Greer Sinclair, Bianca Nagaiya and Tamara Leoni are all in the NZSS squad for the trip to Canberra.
Greer is Year 12 and in her second year as captain of EGGS and said that hard work and a healthy team culture has paid off for the trio’s selection. “Bianca [also Year 12] and I got a trial last year but neither made it, but we worked hard throughout the year and all three of us were selected which rewards our extra effort.”
Year 13 Tamara was also a member of the Aotearoa Maori Netball International Secondary School (AMNISS) team that won the International U19 Schools Challenge tournament in Fiji in May – beating the Australians twice (30-26 and 40-28).
“We also have two girls in our school team that were in the Cook Islands U21 team that competed in the junior world championships in Botswana recently [won by New Zealand], said Greer.”
The Cook Islands U21 representatives were Nina Tai Roberts and Celeste Patutama. Amie Hucker was a recent NZ U15 Indoor representative that competed at the Junior Worlds in South Africa last month.
Last year EGGS were winners of the Carole Craighead Trophy for best overall school results in the Auckland Netball Secondary Schools competition, reflecting the development of their netball programme.
Greer, Bianca and Tamara have all been part of Auckland representative teams in recent seasons, with the U17 side finishing runners-up to Wellington two years running, this year losing 25-34 to them in the Anna Rowberry Cup final. Greer and Bianca made the U17 tournament team.
The last round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier competition was played earlier this evening, with EGGS beating Westlake Girls’ High School 39-31 to finish third. St Kent's and Mount Albert Grammar School met in the grand final that followed.
The win for EGGS over Westlake this evening reversed their 35-40 defeat to them earlier in the round-robin, after early beating them comfortably in a pre-season tournament.
It’s the first of three major competitions that EGGS hope to compete in in 2017, for the third consecutive year, with the Upper North Island Secondary Schools (UNISS) Tournament and the New Zealand Secondary Schools tournament to come.
“Our goal is to try and beat our record from last year when we finished fourth, fourth and fourth.” Greer explained before this evening's match. “We want to try and work on getting a top three placing this year.”
First goal achieved.
The top six teams from the UNISS tournament qualify for the 16-team nationals, being played in Rotorua in early October.
Last year, EGGS were beaten by Palmerston North’s Manukura in the playoff for third and fourth. Greer and Bianca both made the tournament team.
Greer said that MAGS and St Kent’s are again amongst the teams to beat at UNISS and nationals.
“MAGS are really close rivals, but we have had some close games against them this year and they have lost some games such as their one-point loss to One Tree Hill College who we beat by 14 the next week.”
“It’s really close competition, and when we are playing MAGS and St Kent’s we just need to get right the mental side of it.”
Greer has been in the EGGS Premier team since Year 9. She was vice-captain in Year 10 and captain for the first time last season. There’s currently a good balance of young and senior players in the squad. “Our team ranges from Year 10 to 13 and we have one Year 9 development player, so we have a good mix.”
Greer is a specialist defender, with goal defence her preference, Bianca is a specialist attacker with goal shoot her most common position and Tamara plays both goal shoot and goal keep.
Greer and Bianca have been playing netball all their lives. Bianca is Auckland born and bred, while Greer is from Waiuku who started at EGGS as a boarder but now lives in Auckland.
As well as netball, Bianca plays tennis. “Last year I was in the top tennis team at school, but nowadays I just play tennis with my dad and more for fun.”
The signing of St Mary’s College defender Renee Savai’inaea highlights a strong youthful presence in the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse ranks for next year’s ANZ Premiership netball competition.
The addition of the multi-talented sportswoman completes the 10-strong Pulse roster for 2018 which features four teenagers.
Savai’inaea, 17, (Ngāti Porou and Magiagi/Vailele in Samoa), who is equally adept at both goal and wing defence, will join recent World Youth Cup winning teenaged talent Tiana Metuarau, Aliyah Dunn, 17, and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, 19, in the Pulse line-up.
A New Zealand under-21 squad member and New Zealand Secondary School rep, Savai’inaea has a strong netball pedigree but is also a key member of the St Mary’s College rugby team, playing lock in 15s and also part of their Condor and World Secondary School Sevens. She is also a Wellington basketball representative.
A member of this year’s successful Central Beko Netball League team, which went through the season unbeaten, Savai’inaea is still coming to grips with her promotion but is confident she can juggle the demands of school work with elite level netball.
``I certainly wasn’t expecting this and I’m just really excited,’’ she said. ``Now I just want to grow as a player, ask lots of questions and learn off experienced players like Katrina (Grant) and try and gain as much knowledge as possible.’’
With the Pulse and Beko teams training and playing together throughout the season, as well as being part of the Pulse team during the Super Club tournament, Savai’inaea has gained a good grounding of what to expect in the step up.
``Everything that happened this season has definitely helped me prepare and will mean it won’t seem all new when I go in next year,’’ she said.
For Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie, the selection of Savai’inaea ensured the correct court balance was achieved. That includes players being able to play at least two positions while being given opportunities to grow and develop in other areas.
Above average height, Savai’inaea is a strong and powerful athlete, the teenager ticking three important boxes for the coach.
``Firstly, she’s quick and has the ability to use her speed to get turnover ball,’’ McCausland-Durie said.
``She has the ability to grow quickly and to learn. We saw this at Super Club when she was able to transfer from theory to practise really quickly.
``The other piece that she also does really well is that she’s got a very strong conditioning base so has a really high work rate whether it be from goal or wing defence.’’
Deciding against signing an import for next season, McCausland-Durie has no concerns about the four youngsters she will have in the ranks.
``It indicates they have always tracked ahead of their own age groups,’’ she said. ``They are very talented players that have had opportunity to be exposed to the rigours of a high performance environment from an early age.
``First and foremost, this decision allows us to grow our own players. Renee is born and bred in Wellington and has played all her netball through Wellington and that’s a really big part of who we are, to commit to growing our own people.
``It’s also a reflection of our commitment to growing players who can continue to step up, above this level and through to international. Picking players who have been nationally identified gives them and us an opportunity to continue to grow netball, not only for Central but for New Zealand.’’
Netball New Zealand is pleased to announce the 2017/18 Silver Ferns Squad and Development Squad, as well as the teams to compete in the Netball Quad Series and Taini Jamison Trophy.
The 16-player Silver Ferns squad features three new faces including NZU21s shooter Monica Falkner, Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse midcourter Whitney Souness and Silvermoon Tactix defender Temalisi Fakahokotau who makes her return to the national programme after playing two Tests in 2014.
The squad has a combined total of 420 Test Caps, while the Development Squad features three players from the victorious NZU21 team, as well as the return of Ameliaranne Ekenasio following the birth of her first child.
Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby says she was impressed with the performances at trials, particularly the young players coming through.
“This is a crucial time for us as we countdown to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April,” Southby said.
“Our upcoming matches against Australia, South Africa and England will provide further opportunities for us to build combinations and expose players to the intensity of Test Match Netball.
“There is some exciting, young talent coming through and we’ve seen them stand up and consistently deliver under pressure in the ANZ Premiership and at Netball World Youth Cup. Now we’ll get the opportunity to test them on the international stage.”
The Silver Ferns will open their international season in Brisbane on Saturday 26 August against South Africa’s SPAR Proteas in the Netball Quad Series.
2017/18 Silver Ferns Squad
Name – 2017 Team
Gina Crampton – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Kayla Cullen - Northern Stars
Temalisi Fakahokotau – Silvermoon Tactix
Monica Falkner - WBOP Magic
Shannon Francois – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Katrina Grant – Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Kelly Jury - WBOP Magic
Phoenix Karaka – Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Bailey Mes – SKYCITY Mystics
Grace Rasmussen - WBOP Magic
Te Paea Selby-Rickit – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Samantha Sinclair - WBOP Magic
Whitney Souness - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Maria Tutaia - SKYCITY Mystics
Jane Watson – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Maia Wilson - Northern Stars
Silver Ferns team – Netball Quad Series
Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Whitney Souness (on debut)
Silver Ferns team – Taini Jamison Trophy
Monica Falkner (on debut)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit
2017/18 Silver Ferns Development Squad
Name – 2017 Team/Zone
Ellie Bird - Silvermoon Tactix
Ameliaranne Ekenasio – Netball Central
Abby Erwood – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Jamie Hume – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Claire Kersten – Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Tiana Metuarau - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Erikana Pedersen – Silvermoon Tactix
Storm Purvis – SKYCITY Mystics
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson – SKYCITY Mystics
Zoe Walker – Silvermoon Tactix
The depth in talent in secondary school ranks continues to impress new coach Mary-Jane Araroa who has confirmed her New Zealand Secondary School team to travel to Australia.
Twelve players and three reserves have been named in the national team in what Araroa said proved a tough selection process.
The team will assemble in Auckland on September 25 and travel across the Tasman to attend the Netball Australia 17-and-under training camp. The NZSS team will take part in round-robin match play against three 17-and-under teams – competing against the best 36 Australian athletes in their age-group.
Coach Mary-Jane Araroa said she was looking forward to working with the talented group of school athletes.
“I have seen some real turn of events over the years within this age group and the competition for spots at this level has gone from strength to strength,” she said. “It is just amazing as the standard of skill and talent is exceptional.
“I am very excited and can’t wait to start focusing on this core group.”
The Emerging Talent selection panel of Araroa, Charissa Barham, Pelesa Semu, Nic Jones, Jen Hooper and Lee-Anne Clark had a tough ask of naming players in the absence of a regular trial and players were considered over a number of competitions including the Beko Netball League and the recent Netball NZ U19 and U17 Champs.
It meant four players were named from outside the New Zealand Secondary Schools squad which had been named after the national development camp in January.
They also lost shooters to the NZU21 team which enabled Tamara Leoni, from Epsom Girls Grammar, and
Diahn Te Pania-Strickland, from Manukura, to be selected from outside the squad.
Also picked from outside of the squad include mid-courter Braxton Te Riini (Manukura) and defender Lyanne Eukaliti (Hillcrest High School) who both stood out at the Netball NZ U19 Champs.
Araroa, who has stepped up from the assistant role last year, said the panel had been impressed by the depth of talent to select from.
New Zealand Secondary Schools Team 2017: (Zone and School)
Shooters – Tamara Leoni (Northern, Epsom Girls Grammar), Bianca Nagaiya (Northern, Epsom Girls Grammar), Lahaina-Lee Upu-Toporea (Northern, Mt Albert Grammar School), Diahn Te Pania-Strickland (Central, Manukura).
Mid-court – Braxton Te Riini (Central, Manukura), Victoria Kolose (Northern, St Kentigern College), Ainsleyana Puleiata (Central, St Mary’s College), Tayla Earle (Northern, St Kentigern College).
Defence – Renee Savai’inaea (Central, St Mary’s College), Theresa Ngata (Northern, Aorere College), Greer Sinclair (Northern, Epsom Girls Grammar), Lyanne Eukaliti (Waikato-BOP, Hillcrest High School).
Wellington Black A have kept two hands firmly on the Anna Rowberry Cup for a second year, beating perennial rivals Auckland 1 in the final of the 2017 Netball NZ U17 Champs played at the Pukekohe Netball Centre.
Playing outdoors but undercover, before an enthusiastic crowd of 400, the defending champions Wellington A Black surged ahead in the third quarter of the final, and had to fend off a final charge by Auckland 1, to win 34-25.
Wellington’s assistant coach Irene van Dyk attributed the victory to a special harmony in the team.
“We didn’t have a full squad until the week before the tournament, with two players in the Beko [Netball] League, and others fulfilling commitments to other sports. But they all worked so hard to bring it together, which showed the harmony in this amazing team,” she said.
Wellington had been pushed hard in the morning’s semi-final clash, by the young Howick Pakuranga team of predominantly Year 11 players; the capital side eventually winning 29-22. Auckland had a more comfortable run into the final, beating Christchurch 54-26.
The Aucklanders took an early lead in the final, with goal shoot Bianca Nagaiya shooting well. But Wellington put pressure on late in the quarter, forcing Auckland into unnecessary errors, to close the gap to 7-5 in Auckland’s favour.
Van Dyk gave the Wellington side a rousing pep-talk, and they responded by contesting every ball and snatching the lead. Auckland had adapted by the end of the quarter, but Wellington held onto their advantage, 13-12, at halftime.
A wall of defence across court from Wellington gave them a formidable restart. Wing attack Salote Taufa deftly fed shooter Saviour Tui, for Wellington to score six unanswered goals in the third quarter, and lead 26-17 going into the final spell. Although Auckland rallied, Wellington maintained their intensity to take the win for the second year running.
Howick Pakuranga took out third place with a 29-16 victory over Christchurch.
The four-day outdoor tournament is the largest event on Netball New Zealand’s calendar, featuring 38 teams and more than 450 talented young players from throughout the country.
NZ U17 Tournament Team
Jess Allan – Christchurch
Olivia Clark – Christchurch
Tayla Earle – Auckland 1
Maddy Gordon – Auckland 1
Paris Lokotui – Wellington 1
Bianca Nagaiya – Auckland 1
Ainsleyana Puleiata – Wellington 1
Renee Savai’inaea – Wellington 1
Leehava Saverio – Howick Pakuranga
Greer Sinclair – Auckland 1
Saviour Tui – Wellington 1
Emily Ussher – Eastern Waikato
Nanise Waqaira – Howick Pakuranga
Khiarna Williams – Eastern BOP
Ruby Young – Auckland 1
Day 4 Results
Team A Team B
Hutt Valley31V21Wellington B Gold
Thames Valley38V29Mangere Otahuhu
Hawke's Bay35V37Eastern Bay of Plenty
North Harbour 224V52North Harbour 1
Trust Waikato Hamilton City B26V29Waitakere 1
Wellington Black A29V22Howick Pakuranga A
Manawatu39V41Trust Waikato Hamilton City A
Auckland 248V36Eastern Waikato
Hutt Valley26V37Thames Valley
Wellington B Gold41V28Mangere Otahuhu
Kapi Mana23V30North Canterbury
Trust Waikato Hamilton City B34V32Whangarei
Eastern Bay of Plenty23V46North Harbour 1
Howick Pakuranga A29V16Christchurch
Trust Waikato Hamilton City A29V37Auckland 2
Hawke's Bay49V34North Harbour 2
Wellington Black A34V25Auckland 1
*Please note: Each team who plays the Invitational Team will be awarded 4 points for a win, and the score will not be included in the goal differential calculation. For this reason, in the system these games have been recorded as ‘won by default’ (WBD).
1 - Wellington Black A
2 - Auckland 1
3 - Howick Pakuranga A
4 - Christchurch
5 - Auckland 2
6 - Trust Waikato Hamilton City A
7 - Eastern Waikato
8 - Manawatu
9 - North Harbour 1
10 - Eastern Bay of Plenty
11 - Hawke's Bay
12 - North Harbour 2
13 - Taranaki
14 - Waitakere 2
15 - Harbourside
16 - Dunedin
17 - Waitakere 1
18 - Whanganui
19 - Trust Waikato Hamilton City B
20 - Whangarei
21 - Thames Valley
22 - Hutt Valley
23 - Wellington B Gold
24 - Mangere Otahuhu
25 - Pukekohe
26 - Nelson
27 - Gisborne
28 - Mid Canterbury
29 - Invercargill
30 - Papakura
31 - North Canterbury
32 - Kapi Mana
33 - Selwyn
34 - Rotorua
35 - Kapiti
36 - Ko Rua
37 - Wairarapa
38 - Invitational
The final four teams to fight it out for the Anna Rowberry Cup at the Netball NZ U17 Champs are all the usual suspects, bar one.
Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch – all winners of the title over the past four years – have again played their way through to tomorrow’s semi-finals at the Pukekohe Netball Centre. But the young Howick Pakuranga side is the giant-slayer joining them.
Howick Pakuranga boasts a team of predominantly Year 11 players. They beat Taranaki 37-20 in this morning’s top 16 playoff match, to come up against a more experienced Trust Waikato Hamilton City in the quarterfinals. But with their strong defence and steady shooters, the Howick Pakuranga side caused a minor upset in outgunning Hamilton, 32-20.
They will now line-up against defending champions Wellington Black A in tomorrow morning’s semi-final clash. Wellington continued their determined march towards the final with two almost identical victories today – 44-21 over Hawkes Bay, and 44-19 over Manawatu in the quarter-final.
Auckland 1 were also in decisive form, knocking Harbourside out of contention with a 72-21 defeat, before coming up against their sister side, Auckland 2, and winning 35-22.
Their semis opponents, Christchurch, had a tougher battle to make it through to the top four, with a one-goal win over North Harbour 1, 35-34. But in their quarter-final square-off with Eastern Waikato, the tall timber and fast mid-court in the South Island side proved too strong in the last game of the afternoon, winning 40-33.
Tomorrow’s final will be played at 2.45pm at the Pukekohe Netball Centre – the first time a national tournament has been played there.
All of the placings of the 38 teams in this year’s Netball NZ U17 Champs will be determined on tomorrow’s final day. The four-day outdoor tournament, featuring more than 450 talented young players from throughout the country, is the largest event on Netball New Zealand’s calendar.
Day 3 Results
Team A Team B
Trust Waikato Hamilton City B47V27Mid Canterbury
Wellington B Gold47V30Nelson
Kapi Mana19V25Hutt Valley
Thames Valley35V33North Canterbury
Wellington Black A44V21Hawke's Bay
Eastern Bay of Plenty26V38Trust Waikato Hamilton City A
Eastern Waikato43V34Waitakere 2
North Harbour 225V55Auckland 2
Taranaki20V37Howick Pakuranga A
Christchurch35V34North Harbour 1
Rotorua 51 (WBD)V24Invitational
Trust Waikato Hamilton City B29V22Hutt Valley
Mid Canterbury33V28Kapi Mana
Wellington B Gold31V35Waitakere 1
Ko Rua39 (WBD)V29Invitational
Wellington Black A44V19Manawatu
Trust Waikato Hamilton City A20V32Howick Pakuranga A
Eastern Bay of Plenty34V28Taranaki
Harbourside24V48North Harbour 2
Waitakere 225V47North Harbour 1
Auckland 135V22Auckland 2
*Please note: Each team who plays the Invitational Team will be awarded 4 points for a win, and the score will not be included in the goal differential calculation. For this reason, in the system these games have been recorded as ‘won by default’ (WBD).
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