Girls' High beaten by height, coach happy with gains
New Plymouth Girls' High School didn't find the improvement on the scoreboard they were after against New Plymouth Old Boys in premier one netball last night.
Hoping to improve on their 59-24 defeat in round one, the schoolgirls stepped up slightly, but still lost 53-33 in the McDonald Real Estate competition match.
Starting off well, Girls' High trailed by only two goals at the end of the first quarter at the TSB Stadium.
The teenagers played with patience and showed composure as they worked the ball through court, managing to find their shooters through the Old Boys defence.
Once in the circle, shooters Emma King and Nikita Roberts displayed cool heads, however coach Josie Cleaver said the height of Old Boys goal keep Daneka Wipiiti proved too much in the first half.
"We really struggled with Daneka's height, which we didn't have against Inglewood last week.
"Her size was very intimidating and we struggled with those shots under the goal. That was probably worth about 10 points alone."
Down 24-16 at halftime, it was the third quarter that hurt Girls' High, as their turnover rate crept up and Old Boys began to find their rhythm.
Although she had hoped for a closer result, Cleaver was happy with the improvement her side had shown.
"I'm still pleased with the improvements that the girls have made through the season; they're not being thumped like they were which is really positive."
Cleaver said the defensive combination of Kelly Jury and Olivia MacDonald, who pulled in their fair share of intercepts, worked well, while goal attack Nikita Roberts was solid on her return from a six-week break.
"All of the others held their own as well. We've now got to try and get more consistency in our game, regardless of who our opposition is," Cleaver said.
Raukura stayed busy on the adjacent court, clocking up a 50-30 win over Naumai.
However the team's technical adviser, Che Tamati, said the win wasn't pretty.
"We didn't stick to our game plan. We set goals and we didn't stick to them."
Tamati said having a bye last week hadn't helped their rhythm, however Tamati praised Naumai for the improvements they had made since their last encounter.
"They've improved a lot, particularly with their ball movement around the attacking circle.
"It was very speedy and they were quite controlled. I know our defence found it quite hard tonight."
Looking ahead to next week's match against Tysons, Tamati said Raukura needed to keep their heads in their own game.
"We can't get caught up with what everyone else is doing, and need to remain focused."
In the late game, Tysons had a decisive 81-30 win over Waitara High School. Defender Terai Sadler put in a player of the match performance in what was her second game of the season.
Premier two action will be on show at New Plymouth's TSB Stadium tonight.
TSB Stadium, tonight 6.30pm – Opunake HS v SHGC 6.30pm – Western Suburbs Havoc v Hawera HS 7.45pm – The Locals v Western Suburbs Tigers 7.45pm – SRSC v NPOB
Taranaki Daily News