After five rounds of pool play from 16 March until 20 April 2018 and semi-finals on 27 April 2018, Waikato University and Collegiate netball teams met on Sunday, 6 May 2018 at Papakura's Pulman Arena to play off in the 2018 Super 12 final.
These two teams have met many times over this competition, with Collegiate winning the last three encounters. This is after a period of four years where University won the competition.
The game started with high expectations as both teams were packed with reputable players, and Laura Langman from University in particular got a loud cheer.
University started well and were in the lead initially only to see Collegiate ahead by three goals at the end of the first quarter with the score being 13 goals to 10.
The second quarter was also highly contested, and there was nothing in it with Collegiate only gaining a goal overall.
The half time score was 27 goals to 23.
Collegiate then had a dominant third quarter with some strong, fast play and they benefited from good turnover ball that they converted.
Conversely University, despite working hard seemed to lack connections and cohesion.
The three quarter score was 45 goals to 32.
In the final quarter Collegiate built on their momentum including making a number of player changes and won the game 64 goals to 45.
Collegiate played a relentless and systematic game and are worthy winners for the fourth consecutive year.
There were some brilliant phases of play by both teams and a large number of spectators were present at the final.
For Collegiate the shooting combination of Amy Latu and Alyssa-Jean Savelio were outstanding and they were fed some great ball from Anne-Helen Rasmussen at wing attack and centre.
The defensive effort by the team overall was outstanding and they constantly hunted for the ball.
For University, mid courters Laura Langman and Ali Wilshier were strong and the defensive combination of Lyanne Eukaliti, Rachel Fabling and Amy Christophers were made to work hard.
Fiesola Puamau at goal shooter the whole game proved the most consistent.
In the play-off for third vs fourth Marist Verdettes beat Fraser Tech in what was a competitive game.
Marist led from start to finish but Fraser did win the final quarter. The first quarter started goal for goal and the first quarter score of 16 goals to 10 did not reflect the competitiveness of the game.
And the second quarter was very close with Marist only leading at half time by 31 goals to 23.
Marist was strong in the third quarter and led by 48 goals to 31 but Fraser had a strong finish to win the final quarter and to reduce the gap.
The final score was 55 goals to 46. Overall a good game that could be described as the experienced against the up and coming.
Both teams had some nice phases of play and was a pleasure to watch. It was also a real achievement to see three Waikato teams in the top four.