Spoils shared on opening night of 2018 Trans Tasman Cup
New Zealand’s 20 & Under team staged a famous come-from-behind victory to open the 2018 Trans Tasman Cup at Priceline Stadium in Adelaide last night.
Australia were out of the blocks early – leading by five goals at quarter time and took a handy 27-21 lead at the main break, as Manawa-Zane Aranui and Taylor Fraser sat at 90% accuracy collectively. But errant passing and a stagnant attack end saw the good work come undone as the visitors, in particular Tane Apaapa, who wreaked havoc in defence.
The Kiwis crawled back to within a solitary goal on several occasions in the third quarter, but only took the lead for the first time in the match deep in the final term. Shooter Zeblin Watene-Ka was strong from start to finish.
Aussie defender Jake Novak left the court with severe back spasms just before half time and was assessed overnight at hospital.
Despite a solid final term from New Zealand, Australia proved too strong in the first test of the Mixed Open division.
A 6-1 start from the home side was just the beginning they were after, before heading to the first break with a commanding 18-9 lead. Australia’s Michael Solomon was in stunning form, netting 17 straight in the opening term.
Both sides struggled for ascendancy for most of the second quarter before Australia turned out a 10-4 run to the main break to take a commanding 35-20 lead.
Samoan international Julianna Naoupu was creating plenty of space in New Zealand’s goal third, but was swung to goal attack for the second half, as Mark Overton was brought on to goal shooter and Greg Lorde shifted from goal attack to wing attack.
The Kiwis started the third quarter well, before fading away – a contrast to the final quarter where they held the Sonix scoreless in the last five minutes of the match.
Australian coach Kristie Leahy cleared the bench in the final term, ensuring all 11 players gained valuable court time, and West Australian debutant Laura Jenour getting her first taste of international netball.
Both the 20 & Under and Mixed Open divisions will tackle the second test on Thursday from 6:30pm.
20 & UNDER
New Zealand 47 def Australia 44
(10-15, 21-27, 34-37, 47-44)
Watene-Ka 38/41 93%
Vercoe 2/3 67%
Te Kawa 7/13 54%
Aranui 21/23 91%
Fraser 16/21 76%
Hoogwerf 5/5 100%
Starting line ups
Australia 58 def New Zealand 45
(18-9, 35-20, 51-31, 58-45)
Solomon 43/46 93%
Billings 11/13 85%
Nexhip 4/6 67%
Naoupu 25/29 86%
Lord 8/12 67%
Overton 12/15 80%
Starting line ups