Hayman steps up to help Canterbury win

GEOFF LONGLEY
Last updated 05:00 17/09/2012

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Liz Hayman proved herself a rising prospect, ably filling Ellen Halpenny's shooting shoes in Canterbury's 50-47 national championship victory over Waikato in Christchurch yesterday.

Newcomer Hayman, 20, a 1.9-metre goal shoot was thrust into the spotlight with Halpenny sidelined by a foot injury. She returned an impressive conversion rate of 84 per cent, with 32 from 38 attempts, and looked far from out of place.

Hayman's debut effort drew praise from coach Tania Hoffman.

"I thought she did a really good job out there and wasn't fazed by the pressure."

That pressure grew during the game as the home side, who had started strongly to lead 16-9 at quarter time, saw their advantage whittled back to one by the fourth quarter, 46-45.

Waikato missed a comfortable shot that would have tied the match.

Canterbury then appeared to raise their defensive intensity and Waikato wilted, making several turnovers in the final minutes.

"It was good we lifted but I did not like to have got there in the first place after the great start we got," Hoffman said.

Waikato made early changes, benching struggling shooter Elsa Brown at quarter time, and working to peg back the red and blacks' lead, with replacement Jessie Waitapu slotting 19 of 29 attempts.

Hoffman hopes Halpenny will be fit for Canterbury's next round-robin match against Otago in Dunedin on Sunday as the side shoots for a fourth successive win.

Hayman was paired with fellow 20-year-old shooter Gemma Hazeldine for the first half yesterday.

She was then replaced by 19-year-old Sophia Fenwick in the second.

Canterbury are unbeaten, along with Auckland-Waitakere, while Waikato have a win and a draw.

Results: Canterbury 50 (Elizabeth Hayman 32/38, Gemma Hazeldine 6/11, Sophia Fenwick 7/11) Waikato 47 (Jessie Waitapu 19/20, Brooke Leaver 25/30, Elsa Brown 3/8) Quarter-time scores: 16-9, 27-22, 39-37; Wellington 53 Otago 47, Auckland-Waitakere 51 Bay of Plenty 48.

Division 2: Counties-Manukau 46 Southland 37, Tasman 55 Eastern 46, Western 56 North 51.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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