The South Canterbury under-19 netball team had a mixed second day at the national age-group tournament in Auckland.
After a confidence-boosting 50-26 win over Eastern on Monday night, it could not maintain the momentum yesterday against Southland, losing 36-25.
However, after missing out on top-eight qualification, it won its first post-section match against Waitakere 33-29 last night.
South Canterbury coach Angela Mitchell said the team had improved on defence on day two, helping it overcome the spirited Waitakere challenge.
"It was a really close match and we only pulled away from them in the final quarter," she said.
Mitchell said the attacking end "clicked" against Eastern, but they fell into the defensive traps set by Southland and were unable to fight their way back into the match. She said the win over Waitakere showed the team could be competitive for the remainder of the age-group tournament.
"We really wanted to lift our intensity on defence and I felt we did that [yesterday]," Mitchell said
"We were a lot tighter as a group and everyone stepped up."
New Zealand age-group representative Alice Eddington was making an impact with her shooting, while Dana Mulcahy was productive from wing defence, which allowed fellow Craighead team-mates Georgia McRae and Emily Coughlan to continue their strong partnership in the defensive circle.
South Canterbury will play Howick-Pakuranga and Otago today.
Mitchell said she knew little about the North Island side but had a preseason match against Otago to reconsider as she prepared for the southerners.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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