St Margaret's faces big challenge to win semi
St Margaret's College senior A netball coach Helen Bryant is under no illusions about the task that confronts her side in the semifinals of the knockout college series.
The Christchurch school take on Auckland's Mount Albert Grammar School in the final four stage of the competition on Monday night at CBS Canterbury Arena. The game will be televised on Sky Sport and is being played as the curtain raiser to the Tactix' trans-Tasman netball league game against the Central Pulse.
Mount Albert Grammar are the defending national secondary school champions and, with four members of their side in the New Zealand schools side, will be a difficult proposition for St Margaret's. Their defensive end features Jamie-Lee Price, the daughter of former Warriors' and Australian rugby league player, Steve Price. She is also in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic squad.
"It will be a tough encounter. They're a very strong team, right throughout the court," Bryant said.
"They've got good speed in the midcourt, and height and size in the shooting circle."
St Margaret's have progressed through to the semi-finals, after advancing from the South Island.
In their opening game, they thumped Marian College 45-9, before overcoming Marlborough Girls' College 35-15 in Blenheim.
St Margaret's and Rangi Ruru fought out a tough third round game on Sunday, with a powerful third quarter effort, propelling St Margaret's to a 29-25 victory. Both teams shot extremely well, with St Margaret's missing just one goal, and Rangi Ruru, two attempts.
St Margaret's strength lies in the midcourt where wing attack and captain Anteisha O'Connell, wing defence Katelyn Inch, and centre Samantha McKellar lead the way. Shooters Jessica Prosser and Madison Lloyd are talented players, while Olivia Mendonca and Lucy Thomson anchor the defence.