Porirua net­baller ris­ing fast

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

It has been a month to re­mem­ber for Mila Reuelu-Buchanan.

The Porirua net­ball star made the New Zealand sec­ondary schools team and spear­headed Welling­ton East’s ef­forts in the na­tional schools knockout tour­na­ment.

Reuelu-Buchanan, who will be back at school next year, is only the third Welling­ton player to make the na­tional sec­ondary schools side since 2007.

She fol­lows fel­low Porirua teen Whit­ney Souness, who made the team from St Mary’s last year.

For­mer Welling­ton Girls’ star Emma Weenik was selected in 2009 and 2010.

Reuelu-Buchanan has made rapid progress since be­ing switched from goal at­tack to mid­court last year.

‘‘She hasn’t been a mid­courter for very long, but is a nat­u­ral feeder of the ball and has made the [New Zealand] team as a year 12, so she’s very promis­ing,’’ sec­ondary schools head coach Mar­i­anne De­laney said.

‘‘ She’s a very de­ter­mined player – quite ruth­less – and just goes.

‘‘She plays with courage, is fast and ath­letic and has worked hard on her fit­ness.

‘‘She is very coach­able and has kept im­prov­ing.

‘‘But there is a lot of talent com­ing through and the play­ers have to do re­ally well to even make it to the train­ing camps.’’

Four of the 2014 na­tional squad were also selected last year.

The New Zealand side, strongly dom­i­nated by north­ern­ers, suc­cess­fully de­fended their ti­tle at the an­nual in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment, which fin­ished in Ade­laide on Fri­day.

The 10 teams in the tour­na­ment were drawn from all around the Pa­cific. New Zealand en­tries in­cluded Aotearoa Maori and Tonga Auck­land.

There were also Fi­jian, Malaysian, Pa­cific and Aus­tralian en­tries.

New Zealand dom­i­nated the event.

Their tough­est game was early on, against Sport Aus­tralia, when they were hard pushed to win 33-29. They beat the same side in the fi­nal, 39-30.

Mean­while, Reuelu-Buchanan helped East to an ex­tra-time vic­tory over St Mary’s in a pul­sat­ing quar­ter­fi­nal of the na­tional schools tour­na­ment a few weeks ago.

East won 26-25 in golden goal ex­tra time.

Un­for­tu­nately for East, Reuelu-Buchanan was on duty in Ade­laide when they met Auck­land Girls’ Gram­mar in the semi-fi­nal in Palmer­ston.

The Auck­lan­ders won 21-19.

Budding star: Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, who has been a boon to the Welling­ton East Girls’ Col­lege net­ball side.

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