When: Friday and Saturday September 2 and 3, 8.30am
Where: Westbrook Netball Courts, Malfroy Rd.
STRETCH: Kahukura Tri Colours' Whitiaira Taiepa tries to secure possession during the opening weekend of the Kurungaituku Netball Tournament. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER A_260816sp6.JPG
Competition will step up a notch when the second weekend of the long standing Kurungaituku Netball Tournament starts tomorrow.
After last weekend's lower and social grade tournament, this weekend it's the turn of the A, B and C graders as well as the masters competition.
"The Ngongotaha team are hopefully going to take the A grade," said Netball Rotorua secretary and tournament organiser Mary Thompson.
"We have a team from Australia - Mai Styles - who are hopefully going to give them a good run for their money. Quite a lot of them are ex-pats."
The Australian club has previously entered the tournament.
"So we do know they are quite a strong club. They have three teams playing throughout the tournament."
Ngongotaha were runners-up to Whakarewarewa at last year's A grade tournament. Whakarewarewa have chosen not to defend the title.
The Southern Souls from Manurewa are another A grade side Thompson expects to do well.
"They are a strong club and have entered the A grade for the first time, so I think they must think they are in with a chance."
In the B grade section, Thompson picks out RSM from Te Awamutu as a strong team.
"Marist Shakers did well in our local competition, so we'll be hoping they do a good job as well."
Thompson said she is looking forward to the masters competition.
"A lot of those teams like to have a lot of fun as well so that's something to look forward to."
Last weekend was played in changeable weather conditions.
"I've got to commend the teams. None of them withdrew, even though they got wet and cold."
The Kurungaituku Tournament started in 1933 with six teams competing over one weekend and has grown to become the biggest netball tournaments in New Zealand. As it is held at the end of the season, many teams choose to make it their end of year celebration.
Splitting the tournament over three weekends has been necessary because of its popularity. The third weekend will be a secondary schools tournament on September 9 and 10.