Was it a night of upsets or is it just a sign of things to come in Hawke's Bay premier netball?
Outkast Sports Optimise Physio tonight walked the talk to beat defending champions Otane Thirsty Whale 48-37 in the feature Super 8 competition in Napier.
The Amanda Palmer-captained Outkast had considered the round three match at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, a "moving one" in a strategic approach towards claiming an ideal playoffs berth.
"We're very delighted," said Outkast team manager Lauren Marsh. "It was a game we wanted to win."
Marsh said the difference was perhaps a bit more belief among Outkast, especially on a youthful bench when they needed to make changes.
Outkast won three spells but tied in one - 10-8, 11-6, 13-13, 14-10.
Half gamers goal attack Angel Te Hiko 85 per cent (half game) and goal shoot Nancy Rakete-Stones 83 per cent led the attack, with GS Denise Toetoe 68 per cent (half a quarter) and GA Maddie Pakoti 64 per cent (three quarters) contributed.
"Angel came in halfway through the first quarter and she shot sharply," she said.
GS Ashlee Wilson (82) and GS/GA Pania Rowe (77) kept Otane ticking over.
Eleven-time champions Otane created history last night when they played without a Kupa in the Jewels Falcon-coached team. Tammy Kupa is the team manager and sister Becky is expecting another baby.
Marsh said it was the mindset of starting with a hiss and roar and not letting up.
"Our defence was top dog," she said, saluting GD Palmer alongside GK Barbie Thompson.
Outkast got the winning feeling from the second quarter although they felt the Otane fightback from the third spell, reducing a deficit of about 11 to six.
Falcon lamented the high error rate among her young charges.
"We were turning over far too much ball," she said, loath to find any excuses. "It just purely came down to individual responsibilities in the moment, so as players and coaches, we just need to take them on board."
While they were mindful Outkast were a good side, she again emphasised Otane were the architects of their own demise and needed to learn from their unacceptable sketches.
However, she lauded her captain Briar Chalmers and fellow defenders for winning possession.
Falcon said it was going to be an exciting maternal time for the midcourter Becky Kupa.
Anne Marie Kupa, who coaches the Napier Girls' High School Senior A side, had spent some time on the Otane bench to offer some advice.
However, Kupa's champion pupils registered the other upset loss of the night, going down 57-44 to Hastings High School Old Girls Proactive Huias.
It was coach Rebecca Martin's Huias first victory in the Super 8 competition post-shield rounds.
HHSOG led 15-12 in the first quarter, went up 29-25 in the second, kept the pressure on 45-31 in the third before closing their account 57-44.
GS Judy Brown (81 per cent) and GA Rebecca van Rooyen (82 per cent) were commanding for Huias while GS Caitlin Smith (first three quarters, 59 per cent), GA/GS Janayah Lewis (86 per cent) and GS Parris Petera (fourth quarter, 3/3 100 per cent) toiled for the shield champions.
Also earlier, All In Tremains Elusive overwhelmed Hastings Girls' High School Senior A 74-51. Elusive led 22-13 in the first quarter but the schoolgirls, playing with just seven due to injuries, fought back to claim the second spell 15-14.
However, the Charissa Barham-coached Elusive returned 18-12 in the third quarter before shutting the teenagers down 20-11 in the final spell.
Havelock North High School shooter Imke Kitchin scored 61 goals from 71 attempts (86 per cent) to hurt HGHS.
Missing for a couple of games, goal shoot Kitchin was a welcome return for Elusive, who used her as a good target in the circle.
"She's playing some good netball this year. She's moving well and has got some good strength and variety in her," said Barham.
She gave credit to her starting seven but also to those who came off the bench for adhering to the blueprint.
"I think the girls are starting to understand their roles that they might not get intercepts in their defensive positions but their roles are really important," said the assistant New Zealand Secondary Schools team coach, singling out Jemma Kendon and Rhandell Tuala-Fata for creating spaces.
Nevertheless, Barham wasn't entirely ecstatic with her side who had sporadically hit the doldrums. It was imperative to start sharper each quarter because in close affairs, a five-goal deficit could become a highway project.
She said the Super 8 was much tighter and enjoyable but teams needed to bring intensity every week to not only mould players' templates but also offer mentors insight on how to tackle games.
"Hastings Girls had only seven so they did bloody well for 60 minutes out there," she said, revealing HGHS had a couple of broken ankles but it wasn't simply a case of pulling players willy-nilly because they were club tied.
Central Sports Vet Services beat All in Tremains Evasive 50-40.