MAGS sim­ply too good to beat

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

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.

have,

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‘‘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.

Photo: PHO­TOTEK

Ep­som Girls’ Is­abella Masani looks to pass.

Mt Al­bert Gram­mar’s Ala­nis Toia-Ti­ga­fua takes the ball.

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