The top 16 teams have been determined after day two of the Netball NZ U17 Champs at the Pukekohe Netball Centre, with sides from the Waikato Bay of Plenty stamping their mark.
Both Eastern Waikato and Eastern Bay of Plenty went through pool play unbeaten to advance to the play-off rounds which begin tomorrow.
They are joined by the Mt Maunganui-based Harbourside, who edged out the top Waitakere team for a top 16 place, by virtue of a 43-42 nail-biter over Whanganui in the morning. Trust Waikato Hamilton City made it the fourth team from the Waikato Bay of Plenty zone to progress through to the top playoffs.
The Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone continues to grow in force through a strong focus on developing its community coaches.
The biggest upset of the day was handed out by Hutt Valley, who toppled the otherwise unbeaten Manawatu side in the morning’s rounds. Playing as a team and carrying out the basics well, the Hutt side pulled off a spine-tingling 31-30 victory. But it wasn’t quite enough to see them through to the top 16, with Waitakere 2 claiming the spot on goal differential.
The leading teams from Auckland and Wellington continued their assertive runs at this tournament, using their strong benches to good effect and notching up sizeable victories to round out pool play unbeaten. North Harbour and Howick Pakuranga have also advanced without a blemish from their four qualifying matches.
The Netball NZ U17 Champs is the largest event on Netball New Zealand's calendar – this year featuring 38 teams and more than 450 talented young players across the four-day tournament.
Post-section play begins at 8.15am tomorrow, with the quarter-finals played in the afternoon. It is the first time a national Netball tournament has been held at the Pukekohe Netball Centre.
Day 2 Results
Team AResults Team B
Harbourside43 - 42Whanganui
Howick Pakuranga A49 - 34Waitakere 1
Rotorua18 - 55Whangarei
Mangere Otahuhu26 - 44Waitakere 2
Manawatu30 - 31Hutt Valley
InvitationalLBD - WBD*Kapi Mana
Wellington Black A47 - 18Trust Waikato Hamilton City B
Kapiti18 - 47Christchurch
Ko Rua14 - 47Taranaki
Auckland 158 - 16Invercargill
Dunedin33 - 48Eastern Waikato
Hawke's Bay29 - 56North Harbour 1
Auckland 261 - 16Nelson
Trust Waikato Hamilton City A48 - 17North Canterbury
Whangarei50 - 31Mid Canterbury
Whanganui42 - 34Selwyn
Harbourside16 - 48Howick Pakuranga A
Waitakere 253 - 13Wairarapa
Kapi Mana23 - 34Gisborne
Taranaki36 - 28Pukekohe
Christchurch53 - 22Papakura
Wellington B Gold33 - 39Eastern Bay of Plenty
Mangere Otahuhu20 - 47Manawatu
North Harbour 241 - 39Thames Valley
Kapiti15 - 42Wellington Black A
Ko Rua11 - 70Auckland 1
Auckland 244 - 23North Canterbury
Trust Waikato Hamilton City A49 - 20Nelson
Selwyn20 - 38Waitakere 1
Mid Canterbury17 - 63North Harbour 1
Rotorua25 - 45Hawke's Bay
InvitationalLBD - WBD*Dunedin
Gisborne31 - 42Eastern Waikato
Hutt Valley48 - 18Wairarapa
Pukekohe52 - 20Invercargill
Papakura25 - 41Trust Waikato Hamilton City B
*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).
Only hours after the NZU21s side won their second successive World Youth Cup in Botswana, the next generation of netballers hoping to defend the title in four years’ time were showing their skills on day one of the Netball NZ U17 Champs at Pukekohe Netball Centre.
The Netball NZ U17 Champs is the largest event on the Netball New Zealand calendar – this year featuring 38 teams and more than 450 talented young players across the four-day tournament.
“The beauty of this tournament is that it gives a snapshot of the future of New Zealand netball,” Emerging Talent Panel Selector Lee-Anne Clark says. “Even after the first day, it’s evident that there is a pretty high standard of netball coming through at the under 17 level. It’s our current area of strength, and the next generation of World Youth Cup stars will no doubt come from this group of players.”
Even after the first day of pool play, it was also evident that the strongholds of U17 Netball in recent years – Auckland and Wellington – are continuing their domination.
Auckland 1, a team boasting strength in all areas through the court, had two decisive wins today; the first over home side Pukekohe, 53-19, and then a similar 52-25 victory over Taranaki.
Defending champions Wellington A have the advantage of experience on their side. Two of their players, Ainsleyana Puleiata and Renee Savai’inaea, were in the Netball Central team in this year’s Beko Netball League; while Silver Ferns shooting legend Irene van Dyk is assistant coach to former Wellington NPC coach Dion Te Whetu.
They beat Papakura 51-8 in their opening match, and followed that up with a convincing a 46-24 win over Christchurch in the afternoon.
In one of the early surprises, Auckland 2 overcame the traditionally strong Trust Waikato Hamilton City A side, 43-30.
Pool play continues from 8.15am tomorrow at the Pukekohe Netball Centre - the first time a national Netball tournament has been held there.
Day 1 Results:
Team AResultsTeam B
Wellington Black A51-8Papakura
Trust Waikato Hamilton City B25-36Christchurch
Hutt Valley24-31Waitakere 2
Howick Pakuranga A46-15Selwyn
Hawke's Bay59-26Mid Canterbury
North Harbour 137-16Whangarei
Eastern Waikato38-18Kapi Mana
Wellington B Gold34-36North Harbour 2
Thames Valley31-32Eastern Bay of Plenty
GisborneWBD vs LBDInvitational
Trust Waikato Hamilton City B21-17Kapiti
Christchurch24-46Wellington Black A
Auckland 243-30Trust Waikato Hamilton City A
Whanganui24-56Howick Pakuranga A
Wellington B Gold34-33Thames Valley
Eastern Bay of Plenty38-36North Harbour 2
Eastern WaikatoWBD vs LBDInvitational
Hutt Valley34-24Mangere Otahuhu
North Harbour 173-8Rotorua
*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’.
Piling on a decisive second half, the NZU21s team secured a fourth Netball World Youth Cup title when fending off Australia 60-57 in a thrilling final in Botswana on Sunday.
In a memorable first, with the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 (NWYC2017) being held on the African continent for the first time, New Zealand created history by winning back-to-back titles for the first time in their history, defending the title they won in Scotland in 2013 while adding to the 1992 and 2005 editions.
The value of the new elite domestic competition, which was introduced this year, was highlighted in New Zealand’s unbeaten campaign in Botswana where six of the 12-strong NZU21s team were regular starters for their ANZ Premiership teams.
New Zealand employed the same starting seven as used in the semi-final, Australia having a slight edge through the opening exchanges against their trans-Tasman neighbours.
New Zealand squared up the scores midway through the quarter after the Australian shooting duo of Sasha Glasgow and Kiera Austin had pushed their team out to an early lead. The New Zealanders struggled a little to breach Australia’s defensive wall through the midcourt where they were forced to work overtime to move the ball forward.
Wing defence Jamie-Lee Price, who had played much of her earlier netball in New Zealand, and in-circle defender Tara Hinchcliffe were instrumental in disrupting New Zealand’s flow and it was an efficient Australia who had their noses in front 17-14 at the end of a high-scoring first quarter.
Pocket rocket centre Kimiora Poi was injected into the match midway through the second stanza, teaming with her Central Beko Netball League team-mate Mila Reuelu-Buchanan in lifting New Zealand’s attacking momentum.
Corresponding with the defensive pairing of Kelly Jury and captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson tightening up under the Australian hoop, New Zealand staged a stirring closing half to the second stanza.
The long-limbed Jury became an increasingly influential figure, her disruption of the Australian shot and rebounding strength handing extra opportunities New Zealand’s way. As Australia’s shooting percentages fell away, New Zealand’s grew stronger when they trailed by just one, 28-27, at halftime.
Goal attack Monica Falkner was introduced for the second half, the seamless change coinciding with a telling third quarter from New Zealand.
Shooter Maia Wilson continued her outstanding tournament with a dominant display under New Zealand’s hoop, the dynamic midcourt pairing of Reuelu-Buchanan and Poi were pivotal in driving forward and finding the shooters while Sokolich-Beatson and Jury took the sting out of Australia’s scoring opportunities.
With New Zealand jumping out to a six-goal advantage and in control, Australia replaced Glasgow with towering shooter Emma Ryde in a bid to stem the flow. But it was the young women in black who went into the last break with all the momentum, when leading 45-41.
In a frenetic finish, Australia threw everything into their efforts as they tried desperately to reel in their old foes but anchored by their two Silver Ferns, Jury, the player of the match, and the rock-solid Wilson, New Zealand proved unshakeable.
Continuing to fine-tune, the NZU21 team delivered another decisive effort when despatching Pacific neighbours Samoa 85-33 on the second day’s play at the Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 (NWYC2017).
The New Zealanders were again able to give a number of players decent court time following an equally impressive first-up 89-22 win over Northern Ireland in their first match of pool play in the Botswana-based tournament. Showcasing their depth of talent and variety, New Zealand were able to play several combinations without disrupting the structure or flow of their game plan. Defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson was the only player not to take the court, the captain recently returning from a back injury.
``We’re pleased with how we’re progressing after the first two games of pool play,’’ coach Kiri Wills said. ``It’s great that we’ve been able to run a number of different combinations while giving all of our players good court time as we get important match-time under our belts ahead of the challenging games ahead.’’
New Zealand were quickly into stride, the connection between fleet-footed wing attack Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and goal shoot Maia Wilson on song from the outset. Samoa had few answers to Reuelu-Buchanan’s slick play where her quick turn and release to Wilson under the hoop gave New Zealand the upper hand. At the other end of the court, Kelly Jury and Abby Erwood’s superior height allowed the in-circle defensive duo to take ownership of Samoa’s circle.
Quick with their through-court transition and a rock solid defence propelled New Zealand to a handy 19-9 lead at the first break.
Retaining the same seven for the second quarter, New Zealand scored the first five goals on the resumption to ensure there was no slip in standards.
In her first outing of the tournament, WBOP goal attack Monica Falkner showed her increasing confidence from range in a telling partnership with Wilson. The defensive trio of Kelly, Jury and Fa’amu Ioane nullified Samoa’s options on attack while restricting their opponents to just eight goals.
Displaying the overall strength of their 12-strong team, New Zealand showed few chinks in whatever combination took the court, finishing with a flourish and scoring 24 goals in the run home.
Showing her versatility, Falkner finished with a stint at wing attack while rising young teenaged talent Tiana Metuarau produced a 15-minute final quarter cameo with her combined shooting ability while also picking up useful turnover ball on defence. New Zealand play their third pool match against Scotland later tonight (Monday, NZ time).
Giving most of their players an early taste, the NZU21 team opened their Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 (NWYC2017) campaign in style with an 89-22 win over Northern Ireland.
Putting the finishing touches on their preparation in South Africa ahead of the Botswana-based tournament, the New Zealanders finally got to put months of hard work and fine-tuning into practice with a commanding outing.
In one of the most talented NZU21 teams ever assembled, captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson was able to take a full part in the action after being sidelined with a back injury for the last two weeks of the ANZ Premiership, having stints at both goal defence and wing defence in the team’s tournament opener.
``That was a good starting point for us and it was great that we maintained a consistent intensity through the four quarters,’’ NZU21 coach Kiri Wills said afterwards.
``It has set a platform and now we need to keep building towards the more challenging games ahead. It was great to get a number of players out on court and now it’s about pressing forward and focussing on our standards and improving across the board.’’
With a strong representation of ANZ Premiership performers, there was no shortage of firepower in New Zealand’s starting line-up which included Silver Ferns Kelly Jury (goalkeeper) and Maia Wilson (goal shoot) as well the team’s youngest player Tiana Metuarau, the teenaged schoolgirl shooter showcasing her enormous talent during her first year at the elite level.
After winning the last title, held in in Scotland four years ago, the New Zealanders are looking to defend the title for the first time in their history after achieving wins in 1992, 2005 and 2013.
Able to make changes seamlessly throughout the match helped New Zealand finally get into competition mode while blowing out the cobwebs ahead of the remaining eight-day tournament.
Mainland’s Charlotte Elley and Central’s Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, both coming off strong Beko Netball League seasons, teamed as the midcourt pairing for the first half while lively wing defence Fa’amu Ioane (Northern Stars) rounded out the team for the opening half.
The New Zealand team held their shape perfectly through the first 30 minutes to post quarter scores of 21-6 and 43-11. Changes for the second half included Netball South’s Aliyah Dunn coming on at goal shooter, her southern team-mate Abby Erwood taking over at goal defence, Mainland’s Kate Lloyd also joining the defence line at goalkeeper and Central’s exciting young wing attack Kimiora Poi slotting into the pivot’s role at wing attack.
The changes were executed with the minimum of fuss, the New Zealanders pushing out to a 66-18 lead at three-quarter time before restricting Northern Ireland to just four goals in a dominant final stanza.
New Zealand meet Samoa in their second of four pool matches early Monday morning, broadcast LIVE on the NNZ Facebook page from 12am (NZST).
The opportunity to wear the Black Dress will go on the line when 25 Silver Fern hopefuls go head-to-head at the upcoming trials.
The trials will take place in Auckland from Monday 31 July – Friday 4 August with the Silver Ferns and Silver Ferns Development Squads to be announced on August 7.
From the Silver Ferns squad, a team for the Netball Quad Series and Taini Jamison Trophy will also be announced.
To be eligible to trial, players needed to have played for a New Zealand team in the 2017 ANZ Premiership.
Silver Ferns Triallists
NAME - 2017 TEAM
Monica Falkner - WBOP Magic
Bailey Mes - SKYCITY Mystics
Tiana Metuarau - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Te Paea Selby-Rickit - Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Maria Tutaia - SKYCITY Mystics
Maia Wilson - Northern Stars
NAME - 2017 TEAM
Gina Crampton - Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Kayla Cullen - Northern Stars
Shannon Francois - Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Wendy Frew - Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Claire Kersten - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Erikana Pedersen - Silvermoon Tactix
Grace Rasmussen - WBOP Magic
Samantha Sinclair - WBOP Magic
Whitney Souness - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Elisapeta Toeava - SKYCITY Mystics
NAME - 2017 TEAM
Karin Burger - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Temalisi Fakahokotau - Silvermoon Tactix
Katrina Grant - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Kelly Jury - WBOP Magic
Phoenix Karaka - Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse
Storm Purvis - SKYCITY Mystics
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson - SKYCITY Mystics
Zoe Walker - Silvermoon Tactix
Jane Watson - Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
NAME – 2017 TEAM
Ellie Bird - Silvermoon Tactix
Jamie Hume – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Aliyah Dunn – Netball South (Beko Netball League)
Jennifer O’Connell – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
Abby Erwood – Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel
The NZU21 team has gathered in Auckland for a pre-departure camp ahead of Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 (NWYC2017), July 8-16.
After hard-fought ANZ Premiership and Beko Netball League campaigns, the athletes and staff will be looking to put the finishing touches on their preparation.
NZU21 head coach Kiri Wills says the feeling within the group is positive.
“Everyone is getting excited; we’ve been working hard for a long time and can’t wait to get into it,” Wills said.
“We’ve got a three day camp in Auckland before we hop on a plane to South Africa where we’ll complete our preparation and freshen up for a few days before our first match in Gaborone.
“Our focus has, and always will be, on taking things one game at a time, putting together clinical performances against our opposition no matter who they are, and like Team NZ did – learn from each performance and keep building.”
The NZU21 team will enter NWYC2017 battle hardened after a number of the 12 took on key roles within their ANZ Premiership teams.
“I’ve been really impressed with how they’ve all stood up in critical moments in massive matches for their teams,” she said.
“Players like Tiana [Metuarau] for the Pulse and Monica [Falkner] for the Magic nailing some big shots, and our captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson picking up crucial turnover ball for the Mystics.
“It has been great to see the New Zealand Netball public get behind them and support this next generation. These players are young, but they’ve done work; they are strong, hard athletes and we’re all looking forward to representing New Zealand in Gaborone.”
NWYC2017 will be played in Gaborone, Botswana from July 8-16. The NZU21s are defending world champions.
They have been drawn in Pool A against Sri Lanka, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Samoa, with their first match against Northern Ireland at 8am (local time), Saturday 8 July.
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson (C): GD/WD/GK
Charlotte Elley (VC): C/WD/WA
Aliyah Dunn: GS/GA
Abby Erwood: GK/GD
Monica Falkner: GA/GS
Fa’amu Ioane: WA/C/WD/GD
Kelly Jury: GK
Kate Lloyd: GK
Tiana Metuarau: GA/GS
Kimiora Poi: C/WA
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan: WA/C
Maia Wilson: GS
International Netball Federation Appointed Umpires/Officials – NZL
Fay Meiklejohn (Umpire Appointments Panel)
NZU21s NWYC2017 Match Schedule (all games shown in local time):
Note: Botswana is -10hours behind New Zealand
Day 1, Saturday 8 July: 8am, New Zealand v Northern Ireland
Day 2, Sunday 9 July: 2pm, Samoa v New Zealand
Day 3, Monday 10 July: 10am, Scotland v New Zealand
Day 4, Tuesday 11 July: REST DAY
Day 5, Wednesday 12 July: 9am, New Zealand v Sri Lanka
Days 6 – 9: Finals (Pools reconfigured)
The Beko League development netball series Grand Final is this coming Sunday in Auckland between the Central and Mainland teams.
Central go in to the final as top qualifier and unbeaten through 10 matches, having done so using 18 players. Five of the 18 have been current secondary schoolgirls, Ainsleyana Puleiata and Renee Savai'inaea (both St Mary’s College), Danielle Tafili (Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt), Antonia Hei Hei (Manukura) and Jessica Pease (Palmerston North Girls’ High School).
Both Antonia and Jessica are defenders, both are year 13 players captain their school teams and both were recently in the Aotearoa Maori Netball International Secondary School (AMNISS) team that won the International Schools Challenge in Fiji. Both also made their Beko League debuts in Queen’s Birthday Monday’s penultimate round match against the Northern Marvels at home in Palmerston North.
Speaking with College Sport Media, Antonia and Jessica were excited to play their first games.
“Stepping up to that higher level was definitely nerve-racking but being in front of my home crowd was settling for me and I really enjoyed it, said Antonia.
“The girls in the team made it a really welcoming atmosphere,” said Jessica, who joined the squad for the first time for the weekend of her debut match. “It was a really big surprise for me being called in for this match at the business end of the season. I was only there for the Friday night training and then we went into camp on Sunday and played on Monday. It was just the first catch and pass that I was most worried about.”
Antonia has been training with the team, other than the time that she was away with the New Zealand Maori team on their successful Fiji trip. “It’s been a high level of intensity, but I’ve learnt a lot from that as well and coach Nat [Natalie Milicich] has been really good.” Training has included playing practice games against the Pulse squad.
Antonia has been in teams that have beaten Australia in finals three years in a row, for the AMNISS team in Kuala Lumpur in 2015, for the NZSS side in Auckland in 2016 and with AMNISS again last month in Fiji.
For Jessica, this was her first trip away overseas with a New Zealand team. “It was a whole new experience for a lot of us. I had been in the team last year as well, so it was good to beat Australia after losing to them last year in this same team.”
In fact, the last several weeks have been big for Jessica. “At the trials for the AMNISS team [Easter] everyone was so close and I had no idea if I was going to get in or not. Then to get in and then win the tournament and then be called into the Beko team upon my return was really cool.”
Both players played for their school teams at last October’s NZSS championships in Lower Hutt, with Manukura finishing third and Palmerston North Girls’ High School ending up 10th of 16 teams.
Antonia says that Manukura netball is looking up. “In the past years we had finished fifth to ninth so third last year was close. We only lost to champions St Kent’s by 5 goals [33-38] in our semi-final and this year we’ll be confident of going for the final.”
Manukura has a settled team this year too. “We have only lost two players, so we are still a well-gelled team.”
Two of Antonia’s teammates also recently joined her in the AMNISS team at the Fiji tournament. Wing attack Braxton Te Riini (Year 13) and goal attack Princess Tomoana (Year 12)
Goal attack/wing attack Diahn Strickland made the NZSS team last year, but she has been out injured for the first part of this year so wasn’t available for the AMNISS squad.
Both Manukura and PNGHS play in both the Manawatu club and secondary school competitions on Tuesday nights and Saturdays respectively.
Manukura field two teams in the club competition, the school side and one made up of mostly old girls. Antonia, Braxton and Diahn all play in the old girls team. “Just to stretch ourselves a bit more and also to develop some new players in our group because the majority of our school side are older.”
Jessica is co-captain of the PNGHS team, along with another key player Sisavaii Muliaga. But with Sisavaii away with the Samoan U21 team a lot, Jessica is the team’s principal captain at the moment.
PNGHS have lost more school leavers than Manukura. This year their squad has been increased from 10 to 12 players, half of whom are new players this year and half being year 11s.
Both schools are working towards the Lower North Island Tournament in New Plymouth, where a top five finish there will see them qualify for the NZSS tournament in Rotorua in October.
As well as finishing third at nationals last year, Manukura are the defending Lower North Island champions.
PNGHS are confident of qualifying. “I think we have the skill to get to nationals, it is just us believing in ourselves and knowing that we can get be a national side,” said Jessica.
Netball is Antonia’s main sport, saying she plays other sports but only socially. She is originally from Auckland, but came down with her family to Manukura and Palmerston North three years ago. Next year she hopes to study teaching but isn’t sure where yet.
“It depends how netball goes, wherever that takes me will probably what university I end up at but I am happy to wherever there are opportunities.”
Jessica also plays rugby and athletics. “Last year I was lucky enough to get into the Manawatu women’s wider sevens squad, I only played regionals but I’ve learnt so much and am looking forward to playing more rugby in the future.”
“I do a bit of athletics, when I am not playing netball or rugby. Earlier this year I broke the PNGHS 100m hurdles record and I went to North Islands and made the final, finishing sixth.”
From Palmerston North, Jessica isn’t sure yet what she’ll be doing next year, but sporting success could dictate that one.
This weekend, both Antonia and Jessica will be watching the Beko final between Central and Mainland with interest.
It’s always good to beat the Aussies, so Napier Girls’ High School’s Jaydi Taylor-Chaffey and the Aotearoa Maori Netball International Secondary School (AMNISS) team were naturally thrilled to beat them twice in the space of a few days recently at the International U19 Schools Challenge tournament in Fiji.
The AMNISS side played the Australians once in pool play and won 30-26 and then met them again in the grand final and this time stretched their advantage to 12 goals, winning 40-28.
Vice-captain and Year 13 player Jaydi said that the team exceeded their expectations.
“I was quite nervous actually, I wasn’t expecting at all that we were going to clean sweep the tournament,” she told College Sport Media.
“I was expecting Aussie to be a bit better than that. They were good, but last year they were way stronger and so I was expecting more of the same,” she added.
Jaydi was also in the AMNISS team last year that lost to Australia 24-42 in Auckland before almost going on to beat the New Zealand Secondary School team in the same tournament – losing 28-29.
How come the margin of victory over Australia grew between the two games in Fiji?
“I just think that we had such a good warm-up in our final. We were just really prepared to go out there and win, we felt way stronger, way more focused and it all came together for us.
“In contrast we had a bit of a poor warm-up in the first round when we played them.”
The recent tournament in Fiji ran from five days from 16-20 May.
The AMNISS side won all eight round-robin games before beating Fiji in the semi-final and then Australia in the final.
The team improved steadily as a cohesive unit as the tournament progressed.
“As a team we built really well throughout the week, I feel like our first game was a bit niggly as we hadn’t really had any time together playing as a team. But throughout the week we improved more.
“The Fiji team that we played in the semi-final [winning 36-21] we played first up [winning 47-24] and I feel like we improved more from that first game.
“We only had a few trainings together beforehand so we bonded together really quickly and the result was us winning the tournament.”
The AMNISS team was made up of players of different ages. “It was really good developing the young ones, they are so talented at such a young age and its awesome seeing them all come through.”
There were two Hawke’s Bay players in the team, Jaydi and Year 12 Wing Attack/Goal Attack Asher Grapes from Hastings’ Girls’ High School. There were four from nearby Manawatu, including three Manukura players.
Back in New Zealand, Jaydi is busy training and playing netball twice a week.
The Napier Girls’ High School Senior A team play in the local secondary school competition on Tuesday nights and in the Hawke’s Bay club competition on Friday nights.
One of her teammates and good friends is NZSS player Briana Stephenson, while another player to look out for coming through the Napier GHS ranks is Year 10 midcourter Paris Petera.
Napier GHS is gearing up for the Lower North Island Tournament later this year in New Plymouth, where the top five finishing teams from that qualify for the main draw in the NZSS tournament in October in Rotorua.
“That is one reason why are playing in the club grade as well, to get that extra bit of competition.”
Last year the five schools that qualified for nationals were Manukura, St Mary’s College, Wellington East Girls’ College, Palmerston North Girls’ High School and Wellington Girls’ College.
Midcourt is Jaydi’s favoured position but her extra height dictates she also plays a lot as a defender in local teams. She also plays basketball for her school team.
Also coming up are games for the Hawke’s Bay U19 representative team. This coming weekend there’s a rep tournament in Palmerston North.
Jaydi’s netball role models include Kayla Cullen, Phoenix Karaka and Katrina Grant, amongst other Silver Ferns.
Mum and dad played competitive netball and rugby respectively so they’re always great support. She thanks her netball coaches, Becs Gabel and Dan Short (AMNISS) and Annemarie Kupa (NGHS) for their support.
Jaydi is undecided about what she’s doing next year, weighing up heading to Auckland or Wellington for university and netball.
The AMNISS team that won the International Schools Challenge in Fiji was:
Storm Collings-Gilmer, (St Orans College). Tayla Earle, (Saint Kentigern College), Asher Grapes, (Hastings Girls High School), Antonia Heihei, (Manukura), Tamara Leoni, (Epsom Girls Grammar), Paris Lokotui, (Queen Margaret College), Parris Mason, (New Plymouth Girls High), Jessica Pease, (Palmerston North Girls), Jaydi Taylor-Chaffey, (Napier Girls High), Braxton Te Riini, (Manukura), Princess Tomoana, (Manukura), Khiarna Williams, (Trident High School)
Their results were:
1. vs Fiji U19 - Win 47 - 24
2. vs Auckland Tonga - Win 45 - 26
3. vs Indigenous Australia - Win 57 - 16
4. vs South Africa - Win 43 - 15
5. vs Fiji Secondary Schools - Win 58 - 17
6. vs Auckland Samoa - Win 59 - 21
7. vs Fijiana FANZ - Win 60 - 22
8. vs Australia - Win 30 - 26
9. Semi Final vs Fiji U19 - Win 36 - 21
10. Final vs Australia - Win 40 - 28
The Beko Netball League is the development competition running alongside the ANZ Premiership. The league consists of 31 games run over 13 weekends, culminating in a Grand Final in Auckland on 18 June.
A number of secondary school netballers are involved in one of the six teams and College Sport Media is profiling some of these players.
Danielle Tafili is one of four secondary school players in this year’s 16-strong Netball Central squad. Central qualified top for the Grand Final with two matches to spare. She has been training hard with the squad since the start of the year, while she’s also talented volleyball player and made the tournament team at the 2016 NZSS tournament.
Name: Danielle Tafili
Beko Netball League Team: Central
School: Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt
What positions do you play?
Goal Keep / Goal Defence
At what age, and how did you become involved in netball?
I became involved in netball when I was 5. My mum encouraged me to play. She also volunteered to coach my school team as there was no coach at the time. She coached me throughout my primary and intermediate days as our school went from years 1-8.
What are your earliest memories of playing and what is your playing background?
My earliest memories of playing netball were in primary/intermediate where I grew up playing alongside Renee Savaiinaea [Beko teammate and St Mary’ College]. We’ve been playing together ever since primary and to this very day which I find special. We’ve always played in the defence circle together. I remember being invited to PIC training when it was my last year in intermediate, where I also met Tiana Metuarau [Beko/Pulse and WEGC]. However when I was at college I decided to then join the club competition and play for PIC to better my game. Over the past few years I’ve been at PIC I’ve been so lucky to have amazing coaches such as Waimarama Taumaunu who have expanded my knowledge of this game and have always trained me and the girls at a high level. It was a huge step from playing school girls netball into playing club level and realised that it is a much more physical game, which I love.
Favourite on-court netball moment or highlight in your career thus far?
The highlight of my netball career would be making the Aotearoa Maori Secondary Schools team in 2016. This was because ever since then, I grew a passion for netball and realised I wasn’t too bad at after all. After getting named MVP for my team at the inter-national secondary schools tournament really pushed me to train harder so I could make other teams this year such as the Central Beko Team.
What challenges and rewards are there for you training and playing in the Beko League, with and against all the aspiring elite level players?
What I find challenging is trying to balance my school work as well as playing/training for netball as netball probably takes up majority of my time throughout the week, it is very full on. I found that since I’ve been in this Beko team I’ve been so lucky to have trained alongside the Pulse who have helped me with my defensive game giving me advice and tips. Also, playing against them has always been a challenge for me as I would usually be up against Catherine Tuivaiti, Tiana and Te Amorangi. I personally think it’s awesome being a part of this team as we are all supportive of each other and I’m truly grateful for this opportunity.
Will you also be playing for your school team this year and if so what’s coming up with them that you will be playing in and striving for?
Since this is my last year I’ll be playing for school because I’ve never been to the Lower North Islands or Nationals as I’ve been playing club since I was year 10. I’m looking forward to the school experience and playing with my age group. I believe our school team is striving to make Nationals this year as we’ve missed out on previous years at Lower Norths.
Tell us a bit more about your club and competition?
This would be my third/fourth year playing for PIC. Throughout the years I’ve been at PIC I’ve gained so much knowledge about the game (still got a lot to improve on) and honoured to have such amazing coaches with great experience. Every year we always enter in the Super Club Tournament held in Palmerston North. This year would’ve been the fourth year in a row we’ve won this tournament. Our main competition which we are involved in is the Netball Wellington Centre competitions, which are the games we play on Saturdays.
Who are your favourite netballers?
To be honest I don’t really have a favourite netball player but I would say Katrina Grant and Phoenix Karaka as they’re my favourite defenders in the ANZ competition and also from Pulse who I support 100%.
Do you have a motto or saying you live you or that motivates you?
Family motivates me to play better.
What are your pre-game rituals?
I find this weird but I always have to put on my left shoe before my right. It’s just an automatic thing I do.
What other team/individual sports do you play?
Volleyball has always been a sport I would say I play at a high level. Even though I didn’t make the NZ team I would say I represented Wellington and played for an Oceania Club where they are looking for players to represent their own countries/cultures, for example Samoa, Cook Islands etc. Since I made the Beko team I decided to focus on netball and give up volley until netball season is over. This was a hard decision as I love volleyball just as much as netball.
What subjects do you take at school and do you know what you’ll be doing/studying next year?
I take SUS, English, Maths, Religious Studies, (which is compulsory at our school because I attend a Catholic school) Physical Education and Maori. University hasn’t been on my mind lately but if I was to go I would study criminology as I want to become a Policewoman later on in my career.
Who are your greatest supporters?
A shout-out to my parents who have always backed me in whatever decision I made and who have been my day one supporters since I started netball. Also to my club coaches who have trained me each week especially on fitness and skills which has helped me expand my knowledge about netball. Also to Natalie my Beko coach who has given up her time and moved away from her family just to coach me and the girls so we could succeed this year. Also would like to thank her for giving me this opportunity to be in this team and to even get court time as I had no expectations of me even making the team this year. A big thank you to all the other coaches who have coached me throughout the years I’ve been playing netball and to the players who I have come across to make me a better player!
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