Australian sides put on good showing in New Zealand
Three Australian representative sides competed a brilliant few days at the 2017 New Zealand Mens Netball Championships in Invercargill.
Combined, the three teams won 14 of their 21 games, plus two showcase matches. As per AMMNA’s rules for non-Australian state representative teams at the Australian Championships, the Australian teams were not eligible for finals.
North Harbour took out the title in the Blue Pool defeating Christchurch A 54-42, having gone through the tournament undefeated. Rotorua 23s stopped North Harbour from taking out both titles, claiming the 23 & Under division 54-42.
Christchurch Masters edged past Southland A in the B Grade final, 56-54 in extra-time.
The two showcase matches pitted Australian and New Zealand Select teams against one another in a 23 & Under and Open division. These matches did not feature New Zealand players whose teams featured in finals.
Australia 23&U Select 34 def. New Zealand 23&U Select 22
Australian Open Select 32 def New Zealand Open Select 29
AMMNA wish to extend their thanks to the New Zealand Mens and Mixed Association for their hospitality. From all reports, the locals were incredibly warm and friendly and the venue and facilities were great.
lost to Christchurch Masters 30-31
lost to North Harbour Open 1 20-32
def Tamaki Makaurau B 44-18
lost to Christchurch B 29-36
def Cook Strait 43-24
def Southland B 35-11
def Dunedin 42-12
def Tamaki Makaurau B 37-16
def Southland B 49-14
Australia 20 & Under
lost to Christchurch A 19-40
def Southland A 32-30
def Dunedin 38-26
def Tamaki Makaurau A 29-28
def Wellington 46-25
def Southland B 44-12
def Dunedin 48-19
def Tamaki Makaurau B 41-28
Matt Blomeley, Australian 20 & Under coach
“It is always an incredible experience traveling to New Zealand, they are incredible hosts and such lovely people. ILT Stadium in Invercargill is absolutely stunning and Southland as hosts were very generous.
The boys did an outstanding job to finish the tournament with only one loss from eight games and that was to Canterbury A’s in our very first game, who went on to be runner’s up for the entire tournament.
From a coaching point of view, seeing each and every one of my players individually grow on and off the court as well as come together as a team to play some great netball was really satisfying.”
Australia 17 & Under
lost to North Harbour 23s 45-50
lost to Rotorua 23s 33-56
def Christchurch 23s 56-34
lost to Waikato Tainui 23s 36-48
Jill Joyce, Australian 17 & Under coach
“The trip was an excellent opportunity for the team and with only one player having international experience there was a quick learning curve for most of the team. The opportunity to represent your country doesn’t come along often or for many – this was something we discussed and as such we all embraced every opportunity and milked the most out of it.
Each of the players were set personal challenges for the week, both on and off the court and it was a real pleasure to see them rise to meet, and in most circumstances exceed the expectations. We had a very diverse group, across all areas of experience, geographic location, age and personality. To see the maturity of the group to come together as a unit, where by the end of the week were more like brothers was definitely one of the very pleasing outcomes for me.
There were some very inexperienced players in the team – five of which had never stepped onto a netball court 12 months ago, so for them to come out and put out world class performances in such a short time is a credit to them, their states and AMMNA for providing such a strong pathway for junior netball talent. This type of tour recognises the potential in our players and fosters that to continue to build the Sonix of the future. I have no doubt that we will see great things from this bunch of players well into the future.
There is a real strength in the AMMNA junior contingent at the moment. With South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT now fielding teams across the under age divisions, the netball world has really opened up for boys across Australia.
The great element from this tour is the exposure to the high level of netball, the different styles and a discovery of their own abilities and the desire to improve. These boys will take that back to their states and as the coach of this age group it is very exciting to see where this group will take the sport over the next 10 years.”
Cover image: Clusterpix Photography