Rotorua Girls' High School were always in control during their 47-38 victory over the Murupara Stingers in the Rotorua Netball Premier 1 division.
Rotorua Girls' got out to an early lead, ahead 11-6 after the first quarter, and were able to stay in front for the entire game, played at the Westbrook Netball Courts yesterday.
A highlight of their play was the combination between goal shoot Natalia Healey-Forde and goal attack Taryn Stone who appeared to have a near telepathic connection up front and displayed some excellent shooting.
Both sides brought intensity to the match-up and tempers threatened to boil over midway through the second quarter when a Murupara player appeared to lash out at one of the Rotorua Girls' players. The umpires were able to step in and cool things down without further incident.
Rotorua Girls' held a comfortable 24-14 lead at halftime.
To Murupara's credit, despite trailing by about 10 goals for the majority of the game, they stuck to their guns and enjoyed periods of dominance to ensure the lead did not get out of hand.
After three quarters, Rotorua Girls' led 35-23.
A combination of Rotorua Girls' mixing up some of their positions and Murupara fighting to the end actually saw the Stingers win the fourth quarter, reducing the deficit to nine points, which will give them a boost in confidence heading into the next round.
Rotorua Girls' coach Carol Holt said she was "really pleased" with the ball movement and defence her team displayed. She said the combination up front was "probably the key at the attacking end".
"We ran some really good game plans and those girls know where they need to be. We made a few changes in the fourth quarter and it took them a little while to get used to it, but once we got settled they were all right.
"It's about making sure all the girls get game time, so they can experience being out there and what it's all about to play in the premier grade," Holt said.
She said goal defence and co-captain Te Awa Forrest and wing defence Teina Cassidy were also standouts.
Rotorua Netball results
Marist Magic 49 v Kahukura Red 44; RGHS Prem 1 47 v Murupara Stingers 38; Mitchell Downs 53 v Pikiao Warriors 44.
Waikite Panthers 50 v Marist Rebels 46; Whaka Black 44 v Eastside Gurls 1 37; Ngongotaha Gold 64 v Rotoiti Gold 37.
Tuhoe 46 v Manawatahi Taiohi 24; Reporoa Rangers 53 v Waikite Flamez 49; Marist Inferno 59 v Kahukura Blue 33.
Waikite Social 43 v Ngongotaha Hapori 35; Pikiao Raiders 51 v Ngati Kea Ngati Tuara 25; Kahukura White 53 v The Chix 16.
Manawatahi Black 44 v Vegas Lady Bugs 23; KTTTOF GIRLS 45 v Eastside Gurls 2 30; Hinemoa Point 38 v Marist Souls 30.
JPC Coll Y10 Black 25 v JPC Coll Y9 Maroon 12; WHHS Jnr A 25 v RGHS Jnr A 23; RLHS Jun A 32 v Rotoiti Juniors Y9 & 10 12.
RIN Taonga 22 v WHHS Jun Dev 16; Kahukura Jun Red 42 v Rep Coll Y9 & 10 26; RLHS Jnr Gold 22 v RGHS Jnr Maroons 15.
WHHS Y9 & 10 Gold 21 v JPC Coll Y10 Blue 13; Tawiuau Tirotiro Y9 &10 21 v JPC Coll Y9 Yellow 16; RLHS Jnr Blue 26 v Kahukura Jnr White 14.
WHHS Y9 & 10 Violet 27 v JPC Coll Y9 Orange 6; RGHS Jnr Blue 34 v WHHS Y9 Blue 13; RGHS Jnr Blue DWn v JPC Coll Y9 Orange DLs; WHHS Y9 Blue 21 v WHHS Y9 & 10 Violet 15.
Open Sec A
JPC Coll Sen A 25 v RGHS Jnr Prems 15; Ngongotaha Pirahnaz 31 v Murupara AS Y11-13 22; JPC Coll Y10 White 35 v RLHS Sen A 23.
Open Sec B
RGHS Prem 2 20 v Huiarau Tukana Y11-13 13; Nga Wharekura o Rotorua Y11-13 34 v WHHS Sen Dev 15; WHHS Sen A 48 v Rep Coll Sen A 19.
Open Sec C
WHHS Sen B 14 v RLHS Sen Devel 8; JPC Coll Sen Devel 43 v Rep Coll Sen Deve 9; Kahukura Snr Blue 19 v WHHS Sen Blue 12.