Souness swings it to Norths
On fire as centre
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.
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.