Big challenge for Manukau
Counties Manukau need to be at their best to upset North in round two of the national netball championship at Strathallan College in Karaka on Friday night.
That's the goal of coach Tanya Heap after their division two opponents thrashed Eastern by 45 points in the opening round last Sunday.
Heap and her team were thrilled with their 45-43 first-up win against Tasman in Karaka last Sunday. But they know that significant improvements are needed if they are to make it two wins from two.
"We'll have to bring our A game," Heap says.
"North absolutely smashed Eastern so it's going to be a very big challenge for us.
"It was really great to get that first win under our belts.
"The girls really did well to come from seven points down at halftime to win by two.
"It was really exciting," she says.
"It was a great team effort but there's certainly lots of stuff we need to work on."
Heap pinpointed the transition from defence to attack as an area needing plenty of attention. She says it has to do with getting the timing of the pass and movement off the ball right.
She says the receivers were sprinting into position before the player with the ball was in position to pass.
Defence was one area of the Counties Manukau game that did please Heap.
"They did some fantastic work on defence and managed to shut down the opposition which was good for the most part.
"We didn't starve them of ball but we did make it difficult for their shooters. There was pressure all through the court."
Debutantes Isarena Chan (Mangere Hawks) and Stephanie Collins (Mellons Bay) were key contributors in this department.
The two 17-year-olds got a pat on the back from their coach after the match.
"Isarena and Stephanie did really well. They did some fantastic work on defence and managed to shut down the opposition which was good for the most part."
Eleven of the 12-member Counties Manukau team got a run against Tasman.
The North match will be the last opportunity for Counties Manukau supporters to see their team in action.
Counties Manukau's next matches against Southland and Eastern will be away games.
The match against North starts at 11.30am.