Souness swings it to Norths

On fire as cen­tre

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Whit­ney Souness showed her class as Norths 1 over­came a spir­ited KBJ 1 29-26 in their Kapi Mana pre­mier net­ball semi-fi­nal clash on Satur­day.

The game was in the bal­ance un­til Souness, who re­cently made the New Zealand sec­ondary schools side, switched to cen­tre.

There, her drive and speed made all the dif­fer­ence, Norths pres­i­dent Elaine Wi said.

‘‘ The game was al­ways go­ing to be in­tense,’’ Wi said. ‘‘ KBJ had to fire from the word go and they did, but our bench was bet­ter.

‘‘Whit­ney go­ing into cen­tre changed the game. She was out­stand­ing, es­pe­cially in that at­tack­ing end.

‘‘She kept KBJ on the back­foot for much of those last two quar­ters.’’

Solid Norths shoot­ing and KBJ turnovers at cru­cial times kept the favourites at arm’s length.

Hav­ing no ‘‘ ex­tra life’’ if they lost in this for­mat, de­spite be­ing un­beaten and top qual­i­fier, made the af­fair even more tense, Wi said.

Norths 1 will now face a buoy­ant Rockz 1 in this Satur­day’s fi­nal, af­ter Rockz despatched Kahu­rangi 1 39-27 in the other semi-fi­nal.

Wi said the teenage el­e­ment in the Norths’ pre­mier side — with Souness be­ing one of the old­est at 17 — will hold them in good stead for the fu­ture.

De­spite the likes of Colleen Faleafaga, Mila ReueluBuchanan and Souness all play­ing Su­per League, col­lege and rep­re­sen­ta­tive net­ball, all gave time back to Norths, the club they grew up with.

‘‘Some might look at their age, but they are ex­pe­ri­enced when you look at the level of net­ball they are play­ing reg­u­larly,’’ Wi said. ‘‘ We hope they’ll be play­ing for Norths for many years and I know they’ll sup­port the club. ‘‘You’ll see Whit­ney help­ing with the ju­niors and at prize­giv­ing she’ll be do­ing the dishes or set­ting up ta­bles.’’

Wi said she ex­pected a nail­biter fi­nal be­tween Norths and Rockz at 11am at the Mun­gavin Ave courts.

Pho­tos: KRIS DANDO

On the at­tack: Norths wing at­tack Mila Reuelu-Buchanan looks to feed the cir­cle dur­ing her team’s tight pre­mier win over KBJ on Satur­day.

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