Southland A start with win against Wellington in NZ Men's Netball Championships
Southland A got off to an ideal start at the New Zealand Men's Netball Championships in Invercargill on Wednesday.
The home team defeated Wellington 40-24 in their opening game of the tournament at ILT Stadium Southland.
Wellington had some experienced players on deck, but once Southland adjusted their game they managed to steadily build their lead, with Sam Dixon producing a strong performance in the victory in front of a home crowd for the first time.
Southland A lost a thriller to the Australian 20s team in their second match of the day 32-30 in a closely fought encounter.
Their third game was also a thriller, but yet again they were on the wrong side of the ledger losing 26-25 to Tamaki Makaurau A.
The southerners are looking to improve on previous seasons when they finished runners up in the B-Grade in 2009 and 2010 at the tournament, which is in its 33rd year.
The Southland B team put up a brave fight in their three opening day losses to Tamaki Makaurau B 33-22, Canterbury B 33-15 and Christchurch Masters 37-16.
The event features 18 teams, including defending champions North Harbour, while Christchurch are another team to watch after capturing 18 previous national titles.
There are also three teams from Australia.
Christchurch A picked up two comfortable wins to start off their campaign.
They defeated Australia 20s by 40-19 and were too strong for Dunedin 59-10.
North Harbour Open edged Australian Reserves 32-20 in their opening match.
Southland A take on Christchurch A on Thursday at 10am followed by a local derby against Dunedin at 1:30pm.
Things do not get any easier for Southland B against North Harbour Open at 9am on Thursday, followed by a match against Australian Reserve at 4pm.
The group stages are completed on Friday morning before playoffs commence, with the final placings confirmed on Saturday.