MAGS simply too good to beat
Sometimes you take the wins however you can get them.
Mt Albert Grammar School took some small steps towards a shot at the Auckland secondary schools title with a hard-fought 35-20 win over Epsom Girls Grammar School on June 13.
Epsom Girls coach Waana Araroa is full of praise for MAGS, who were simply too good at the Auckland Netball Centre.
‘‘We always look forward to playing those games ... there’s no better team to test yourself against,’’ she says.
‘‘We had a good start. But you have to play at a high standard across all four quarters, not just one or two.’’
It’s been a magnificent month for MAGS after winning the New Zealand College Netball Championship on June 1, and they’re in the search for more silverware to put in the trophy cabinet.
However, co-coach TeAroha Keenan says her young side are not at the level they need to be if they want to make it happen.
‘‘It was probably not as clinical as what we would want.
‘‘But it’s food for thought for where we want to go over the next few weeks.’’
Coming back down to earth after the elation of the nationals at Trusts Arena has been a little challenging, Keenan says.
The other key element, she says, is to avoid the drop-off in talent once players finish high school.
‘‘The players suppose, struggled.
‘‘Four girls were involved in the New Zealand Secondary Schools and some players have been in the team since year 9.
‘‘There’s a bit of weariness which is the reason to give the younger ones a go,’’ Keenan says.
MAGS were always in control of their round three clash against Epsom and led at the end of each quarter.
Young Epsom shooters Ella Corbin and captain Isabella Masani did their best to help their side reach 20 goals but there weren’t enough opportunities. Isabella has moved into the goal attack position to make room for Ella at goal shoot, who is beginning to show promise.
‘‘Ella has come a long way,’’ Araroa says.
‘‘Her shooting stats have demanded she starts.’’
Heading into round four Epsom play Auckland Girls’ Grammar while Mt Albert face McAuley High on June 20.
Epsom Girls’ Isabella Masani looks to pass.
Mt Albert Grammar’s Alanis Toia-Tigafua takes the ball.