Netball: Sinclair's guile helps propel NZSS to title

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Rotorua's Samantha Sinclair has led her New Zealand Secondary Schools netball team to their second title in as many years at the Trans-Tasman Secondary Schools Netball Tournament.

The New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) team defeated Aotearoa Maori 42-15 in the final last night at the Energy Events Centre.

Aotearoa Maori were a shock qualifier for the final after beating the Australians in their semifinal.

The New Zealand Secondary Schools team came out on fire during the first quarter of the final, racing away to an early 6-0 lead.

About five minutes into the match it was evident the Aotearoa Maori team were in trouble, calling an emergency time out.

When the teams returned to the court, relentless shooting from Maia Wilson and Chiara Semple helped put the NZSS team up 13-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Hometown hero Sinclair was in the thick of the action early on with some deft touches in offence and physical dominance in defence and turnovers.

She continued to enjoy a tight tussle with opposition mid-courter Hayley Lee throughout the match.

Meanwhile, a few shots were going amiss for the Aotearoa Maori side who were being forced to shoot relatively deep.

It took until four minutes before halftime for one of the NZSS's shooters to miss their target, with the pairing of Semple and Wilson putting the netball on a string for the most part.

After the break, and with a healthy lead, the NZSS team went to work to close out the match.

Some confident and calming defence from professional netballer Jamie-Lee Price helped her side finish strong.

Rotorua's Grace Namana came on late in the game putting in a good shift at goal shoot for the NZSS team.

In the end it was a comfortable win for the NZSS side, who won the match by 27 points.

However, credit was due to the Aotearoa Maori outfit who continued to battle throughout the match.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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