Two-point shooting set to liven up nationals
Two-point shooting should make the trip to national championships next week more interesting for the Manawatu under-19 and Central under-23 teams.
New rules are being trialled at the age-group competitions in Dunedin, which start on Monday, and one is two-point shooting, with a second circle, inside the shooting circle, marked 3.5 metres from the post as a scoring option.
Manawatu under-19 coach John Atkins said two-point shooting was an important part of the game and they have changed tactics.
"We have been marking out circles at training and getting plenty of practice, both on attack and defence," he said.
He said there is a risk teams could be left behind if they stick to the old style of just shooting one-pointers.
Manawatu are seeded second in section C with North Harbour, Southland, Waitakere and Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Manawatu have strong defenders in Jessica Searle, Lilee Stephenson and Megan Webb, good midcourters in Kiwa Shelford-Salt and Renee Te Riini, who is the captain, and sharp shooters in Hannah Rowe and Emma-May Murray-Fifita.
Olivia Tilyard, a wing defence or goal defence, has joined the team from Hawke's Bay.
Manawatu will be up against last year's team members Jessica Bird and Danielle Gray, who are playing for Dunedin, while former Manawatu under-17 player Shaani Temata-Frost is playing for Christchurch.
The Central under-23 team will be looking to improve on their fifth-placed finish from last year when they head to Dunedin.
There are six teams at the championships, with Central playing Mainland, North, South, Waikato-Bay of Plenty and the SISSAS invitational team.
Manawatu's contribution to the squad is the Manukura pair of shoot Renee Matoe, who is the captain, and midcourter Sheridan Bignall.
Te Amo Amaru-Tibble (Wellington) and Rhiarna Ferris (Hawke's Bay) are from outside Manawatu, but play club netball for Manukura, while the rest are from Wellington.
The Manawatu under-15 and under-15 development teams are competing at the North Island championships in New Plymouth, starting tomorrow.
The other rule changes are at centre pass, the centre can have one foot in the circle, instead of both feet fully in before the whistle is blown and injury stoppages are just 30 seconds.
Central Zone under-23: Te Amo Amaru-Tibble (Wellington/Manawatu), Sheridan Bignall (Manawatu), Ellie Bird (Wellington), Karin Burger (Hutt Valley), Rhiarna Ferris (Hawke's Bay/Manawatu), Gemma Hazeldine (Wellington), Crystal Lawrence (Wellington), Renee Matoe (Manawatu, Laura-Meg McClone (Wellington), Whitney Souness (Wellington), Brooke Watt (Wellington).
Manawatu under-19: Kiwa Shelford-Salt, Anania Kerehoma-Cook, Renee Te Riini, Emma-May Murray-Fifita, Keturah Manihera, Hannah Rowe, Lilee Stephenson, Megan Webb, Olivia Tilyard, Jessica Searle.
Manawatu under-15: Awhina Anderson, Braxton Te Riini, Sia Muliaga, Diahn Strickland, Connie Marshall, Allazae Turahui Te-Uawiri, Seasons Turahui Te-Uawiri, Toni Heihei, Tahlia Runga, Hayley Dixon. Coach: Lana McCarthy.
Manawatu under-15 development: Kayla Ihaka, Axion Pene-Ferguson, Kimberly Shaw, Georgia Ponsonby, Paige Lush, Bindi Nimmo, Elen Barr, Mia Waiariki, Kiwi Hunter-Rogan, Jessica Pease. Coach: Nikole Whaanga.