Netball

Four of MAGS' premier netballers and two from St Kentigern College make up half the 12-strong New Zealand team which will assemble next week ahead of the U19 transtasman netball tournament in Rotorua in late May.

Out of MAGS are captain Holly Fowler, in her fourth year in this side, and also in the New Zealand Under 21 squad, Maia Wilson, Alanis Toia-Tigafua and Caitlin Dowden, while the St Kentigern duo of Sydney Fraser and Amorangi Malesala round out the Auckland schools' representation.

Coach Julie Seymour says the calibre of trialists this year is outstanding.

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"We are fortunate to have had a group of 24 of our top secondary school netballers to choose from and it was a close call," she said. "The new format of the transtasman U19 netball tournament next month means we need to ensure we select the best possible team and I am confident in the group we have chosen."

The tournament will feature four teams, with the NZSS team competing against Aotearoa Maori and two teams selected from the Australian U19 squad - Australia Gold and Australia Green.

Toia-Tigafua, Dowden, Fraser and Malesala are joined by MAGS' Elle Temu and St Kent's Mererangi Paul in the Netball New Zealand 26-strong Pathway to Podium (P2P) squad for the next 12 months.

P2P is a talent development programme run in partnership between Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand and delivered through 14 regional talent hubs. These regional hubs provide nationwide access to facilities and training as close as possible to their homes, families and peer support, until the players are ready to enter the formal high performance system. The P2P programme provides support and guidance in areas such as performance planning, training regimes, mental skills training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition.

Auckland premier schools netball starts this Saturday.

Rowing
MAGS rowers Jonathan Winter and Fergus McSwiney have been selected for the Rowing New Zealand Junior squad and will compete at the World Junior Rowing Championships on the Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro in August.

In the U18 pairs, Jonathan and Fergus won gold in the Auckland and North Island championships this season, and silver at the Maadi Cup national championships. They were then invited to trial for the junior squad, which is a direct pathway to eventually be considered for selection for the top New Zealand rowing crews.

At the World Junior Championships, Jonathan and Fergus will form half of the New Zealand four. MAGS was the only school to have more than one rower selected for the U18 junior crews.

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Rugby
Last season's 1B finalists will contest the 1A First XV competition, which kicks off this Saturday.

Aorere defeated Papatoetoe 31-14 to seal one berth out of the always intense promotion-relegation games, while 1B champion Dilworth made history, reaching the top flight after 109 years after edging Onehunga 12-10.

Dilworth teams have played in 1B finals in 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2011-13, but had always fallen at the last hurdle, on six occasions, in their bid for promotion.

The new coaching team of Ally Patterson and August Williams will prepare their squad for Saturday's opener at home to Otahuhu, who enjoyed such a fine 2014 season.

In the other big 1A games, St Peter's host neighbours and defending champs Auckland Grammar, while MAGS and Sacred Heart will do battle on Eden Park. Aorere host King's.

North Harbour's 1A competition also kicks off on Saturday, with champions Westlake BHS away to Orewa. Rosmini host Massey in a TV clash which is sure to be tight. There will just be six teams after 1B finalists Long Bay and Mahurangi withdrew because of the departure of too many senior players.

The fourth year of the Chiefs Secondary Schools First XV competition kicks off this Saturday with schools challenging for the Chiefs Cup and Chiefs Trophy.

Sixteen top-ranked schools in 2014 from Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Thames Valley and King Country will play in the annual two-tier competition with eight teams involved in the Cup and Trophy competitions.

The competitions will be played over four weeks, starting this weekend with three pool matches and concluding with cross pool playoff matches that are planned to be held on Friday, May 22 in Rotorua.

The Chiefs Cup final will be played as curtain-raiser to the Chiefs-Bulls Super Rugby match at Rotorua International Stadium that night.

Chiefs region schools U18 development camp selectors will view the Chiefs Cup and Chiefs Trophy matches to help identify players for the selection of up to 50 players to attend the U18 camp to be held in the first week of July school holidays, which also forms part of the selection process for the NZ Schools team.

Water polo
Auckland Grammar and Westlake Girls' High are respective national schools champions after the championships in Wellington earlier this month.

Auckland Grammar edged close rivals Sacred Heart in the division one boys' semifinal on penalties after a late goal with two seconds on the clock led to the shootout to break the 5-5 stalemate, to deny the east Aucklanders a three-peat repeat, before beating Tauranga's Aquinas College 7-4 in the final, while Westlake GHS clinched their ninth national girls' crown and second on the trot with a 12-7 win in their final over Kristin. Top scorers were Kristin's Jess Marsden (3), Grace Tobin (3), and Westlake's Emily Nicholson (5), Nadia Pavlovich (3), and Bernadette Doyle (2).

St Cuthbert's made their mark in the bronze medal match, riding home with a convincing 11-4 win over Wellington East. St Cuthbert's top goalscorers in the match were Kelsey Snelgar (3), Rosa Clark (2), Ellie Tomoana (2), and Caitlin Parker-Allen (2).

Tournament MVP: Emily Nicholson (Westlake GHS).

Tournament team: Antonia Young (GK, St Cuthbert's), Emily Sanderson (Rangitoto), Sarah Doyle (Carmel), Bernadette Doyle (Westlake GHS), Grace Tobin (Kristin).

Several Aucklanders are in the New Zealand Schoolgirl squad announced ahead of December's transtasman series: Gabrielle Milicich, Mikayla Eruera (Baradene), Sarah Doyle (Carmel), Farrah Mistry (Diocesan), Liana Dance, Grace Tobin, Jess Marsden (Kristin), Emily Sanderson, Stacey Landry (Rangitoto), Chantelle Conroy, Aimee Cogger (St Mary's), Antonia Young, Ellie Tomoana, Rosa Clark, Kelsey Snelgar (St Cuthbert's), Bernadette Doyle, Nadia Pavlovich, Emily Nicholson (Westlake GHS).

Squash
It was a hectic but successful school holidays for Westlake BHS premier squash players Rafa Yam, Matthew Lucente and Gabe Yam.

The trio participated in a couple of World Squash Federation junior circuit events, which allowed them to earn points for world rankings and gain international tournament experience. A memorable experience was also representing New Zealand in a test match against Australia.

Rafa Yam started his campaign by finishing runner-up in the boys' U17 of the Australian Junior Open in Sydney. He exceeded expectations with an upset win over a highly fancied second-seeded Malaysian in the semis.

The circuit then moved on to Timaru for the New Zealand Junior Open where Matthew Lucente finished as plate runner-up in the open division.

Invercargill was the next stop for the trio for the annual transtasman test between the best U13s, U15s, U17s and U19s of New Zealand and Australia. The boys won all their matches in their respective age divisions (Rafa Yam in the U17s, Lucente and Gabe Yam in the U15s). These wins helped New Zealand claim victory over the Australians and keep the Transtasman Test Match Shield with a 27-9 overall score.

The last leg of the circuit was the Oceania Junior Championships in Invercargill. Rafa Yam reached the semifinals but was unable to play his remaining games because of injury and ended fourth in the U17 division. Lucente and Gabe Yam, in the U15 division, seeded 1 and 2 respectively, showed dominance in the early rounds. This included convincing wins against the Australians in both their semifinal games. In the finals against Gabe Yam, Lucente lived up to his seeding and was crowned Oceania U15 champion.