Net­ballers stand­ing out

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

Toko­roa’s top Un­der-17 net­ballers are prov­ing their worth at the Net­ball NZ Na­tional Un­der- 17 Cham­pi­onships in North Har­bour this week.

This is Toko­roa’s first ven­ture into en­ter­ing a team into the na­tional cham­pi­onships and head coach Tanata Riki said they have cer­tainly proved they be­long. The young side started with other teams in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion as bot­tom seed of the tour­na­ment but af­ter just two strong days they look set to move into crossovers sec­ond in their seed.

The girls were placed in Sec­tion One with last year’s win­ners Christchurch, third placed Pukekohe, Pa­pakura and Far North.

Riki said her team’s first hit up was against the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and al­though they went down, it was a ‘‘good ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

Sec­ond up Toko­roa took on Pukekohe in what Riki de­scribed as a ‘‘bril­liant, nail-bit­ing’’ en­counter.

They went down by one point but the ta­bles turned in their next game against sec­ond seed Pa­pakura who Toko­roa beat con­vinc­ingly 29- 23. Riki said re­sults are un­pre­dictable as that same side beat Pukekohe just the day be­fore.

She said the points ta­ble in­di­cates they will head into crossovers to­day in sec­ond seed ‘‘which is great’’.

‘‘We have an­other two hard days of crossovers and fi­nals but ev­ery­one is start­ing to look and say ‘who’s this team?’.’’

The team, made up of play­ers from all over the district, has bonded re­ally well, she said.

The Toko­roa Net­ball Cen­tre made a huge com­mit­ment to en­ter a team into the com­pe­ti­tion. Heather Wil­liamson said it gives play­ers an op­por­tu­nity to make a mark with se­lec­tors na­tion­ally and within the re­gion to view how good the play­ers’ skills are.

Net­ballers in Toko­roa have given this team great sup­port. A huge fundrais­ing pro­gramme was un­der­taken to con­trib­ute to fi­nances for travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion and new uni­forms.

Riki is joined by co-coach May­lene Meroiti and man­ager Juanita Shadrock, both well es­tab­lished and com­pe­tent net­ball strate­gists.

Team shoot­ers are Myarnee Kingi, Bon­nie TeMiha, Am­bert Brown. Mid­courters are Chan­tae Wil­sonJenk­ins, Paige Cuff, Cher­ish Si­mone, Tiare Manu.

De­fend­ers are Ree­gan Ford, Makaia Riki-TeKanawa (Cap­tain), Paris John and Danni Jane Umaki.

Re­sults are avail­able on the Toko­roa Net­ball Cen­tre and mynet­­sults web­sites.

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