Short buildup trips up young Southland side in first game
Southland have not made the best of starts to their NPC netball campaign but coach Reinga Te Huia was feeling optimistic despite losing 53-44 to Western at Hawera yesterday.
"I'm feeling really positive. It didn't feel like we'd lost - it felt like we'd grown so much in that hour of being on the court," Te Huia said.
Southland struggled early, losing the first quarter 19-8, but then regrouped to draw the second quarter.
"We improved as we went on in the game, which is what I thought would happen because we've had quite a short buildup into the competition," Te Huia said.
"It wasn't actually as bad as it looked.
"We were just trying to get our combinations together.
"We'd only had one full training together, so I told the girls that they needed to be patient and persevere with each other.
"After the first quarter we decided to start again and move on, and that's what they did."
An ankle injury early in the game to Sara Bartley forced a reshuffle of the court, with Kendall McMinn moving from wing defence to goal defence, while 16-year-old Eden Millan was introduced into the shooting circle for the final quarter and showed plenty of potential.
"She went out there and did everything she was asked to do and slotted some really good goals," Te Huia said.
"I definitely think she's one to watch and I think there's a few kids - this is a really young team - who are stars for the future."
Southland will be on the road again next weekend when they take on Tasman in Nelson.
"We are really looking forward to next week's game and I really feel like we've made huge steps forward," Te Huia said.
- © Fairfax NZ News