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
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