Naumai realise importance of another victory

HANNAH FLEMING
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2012

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A determined Naumai team has its sights set on a win tonight as it looks to remain in the hunt for a top-four spot.

The Hawera-based side have won their last two games and sit three points behind fourth-placed Tysons, who they face in McDonald Real Estate premier one netball tonight.

Coach Vicki Roberts said her side had received a welcome boost last week with the inclusion of ex-New Plymouth Old Boys defender Hannah Kelly, who is back in the area on work placement.

"She has come back at exactly the right time. She had an outstanding game against New Plymouth Girls' High last week. Just having her experience there helped us out a lot."

Roberts said the previous two wins had helped lift team morale heading into the match against a "classy" Tysons side.

"I think now that we've got a couple of wins under our belt the girls are starting to believe in themselves a little bit more.

"They're not going to take them lightly, but they really just want to take what they've been practising on to the court and give it a good go."

Roberts targeted Tysons shooters Chantelle Ngaia and Ebony Sampson as a key combination that they needed to focus on.

"As long as we can limit the ball that gets to them then we can hopefully match them throughout the rest of the court. But they use their heads so we have to be on our game defensively, attacking-wise, and not hold anything back."

Making the top four was important for the South Taranaki side, said Roberts, not only for them, but also for the younger players coming through the ranks.

"The Coast and us were always those outside teams, and we always have something to prove to show we're eligible to be up there.

"We don't want to go through that stage of promotion-relegation, we feel we deserve to be up there. But we've got to bring the goods."

Playing adjacent to Tysons and Naumai will be third-placed NPOB against Waitara High School.

Despite having two losses in a row, the New Plymouth team should still grab a comfortable win.

In the late game, Inglewood should start favourites against NPGHS.

Points: Premier one, Inglewood 18, Raukura 15, NPOB 13, Tysons 9, Naumai 6, NPGHS 3, Waitara HS 1; Premier two, Stratford 19, The Locals 16, Sacred Heart 15, Western Suburbs Havoc 15, Western Suburbs Tigers 7, NPOB 7, Hawera HS 6, Opunake HS 0. MATCH-UPS Premier One TSB Stadium, New Plymouth 6.30pm, NPOB v Waitara HS 6.30pm, Tysons v Naumai 7.45pm, Inglewood v NPGHS

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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