Hawke's Bay will play for ninth to 12th positions on the final day of the under-17 national netball tournament in Auckland today after a win and a loss yesterday.
The Lee-Anne Taylor-coached side lost 44-21 to Wellington Black A but bounced back to beat Dunedin 44-36 on day three at the outdoor Pukekohe Netball Centre.
"While the score difference was large I was incredibly proud of how our girls never gave up," said Taylor, singling out defenders Bree White, Valentine Kahukura and Jaimee Tapine in combination with captain Hinehea Keil and Summer-Rose Taylor set the platform for the second day.
Taylor felt the Wellington score didn't reflect the intensity and skill of her players.
Down 11-4 after the first quarter and 22-10 at halftime, the Bay threw the kitchen sink in the final spell to match the victors but it wasn't enough.
The stifling circle defence prompted Dunedin to concede turnovers which Bay foragers converted into goals at the other end.
Wing defence Tapine was lethal on attack and defence, driving the ball and making intercepts.
Janayah Lewis and Imke Kitchin shot at 100 per cent in the first quarter for a two-goal margin but Dunedin retaliated in the second spell to take a five-goal lead into halftime.
Valuable intercepts from Asher Grapes and Tapine and strong drives to the circle edge from Keil and Myer Crawford-Pakoti saw Kitchin push the bay back in the lead in the third quarter.
Tireless Kahukura and White caused confusion in the circle while Maddison Kaye's composure fed Grapes and Kitchin to score.
Assistant coach Rebecca Martin said: "It was impressive to see us respond under pressure and see us implement key tactics that gave us the winning edge."
Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch and giant slayers Howick Pakuranga, predominantly year 11 players, vie for the top-four Anna Rowberry Cup.