With sister Kimiora Poi a Silver Fern, one would assume Ashleigh Poi doesn't have to look too far for inspiration but the Napier Girls' High School pupil takes a yeah-nah approach.

"Yeah, sort of but I still kind of still see her as my sister so for me she's not really a Silver Fern," says Poi, whose 21-year-old sister is a midcourter for the Mainland Tactix.

The younger Poi made her debut, with fellow Year 12 school mate Parris Petera, for the title-winning New Zealand Maori Secondary Schoolgirls team last weekend.

The 16-year-olds contributed in a team which went through undefeated in nine games against international opposition in the five-day tourney at Palmerston North.

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NZ Maori beat Australia 23-22 in the final after overwhelming Auckland Samoa 41-25 in the semifinals. The tourney includes teams from Fiji, South Africa and Tonga as well as an Australia Indigenous side.

Poi came away wiser for her seven games, mindful she can make improvements in her individual game.

"I probably could be a little bit stronger," she says, harbouring a desire to return for the NZ Maori next year and earn the right to slap on a bib in the starting seven.

"It was fairly exciting for me, I guess, because it was my first time playing at an international level," says the midcourter who wore the centre bib for almost a quarter in the final between late in the third spell and early in the fourth one.

"It was quite testing at times because there was a bit of physicality there."

Poi says the NZ Maori also had to muscle up a bit more against Auckland Samoa.

Ashleigh Poi (left) and Parris Petera have made gains after their debut for the title-winning NZ Maori Secondary Schoolgirls' netball team last week. Photo / Supplied
Ashleigh Poi (left) and Parris Petera have made gains after their debut for the title-winning NZ Maori Secondary Schoolgirls' netball team last week. Photo / Supplied

Overall she enjoyed interacting with unfamiliar teammates from around the country rather than the comfortable familiarity of playing alongside her NGHS outfit, bar Petera.

She sees making the NZ Secondary Schoolgirls squad as a goal now.

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Petera, who is in the NGHS First team with Poi in the Super 8 Bay women's premier competition, definitely wants to make that step to the NZSS squad after playing in all nine games last week although the NZ Maori debut also gave her an immense sense of accomplishment.

"It was pretty surreal, actually, because I've always aspired to be in that team [NZ Maori]," said the wing attack whose mother, Annemarie Kupa, coaches the NGHS First team which created history last season when it won the Super 8 and Shield titles.

Petera made the NZ Maori cut after showcasing her skills in the Pacific Cup squad of 20 for the tourney in Auckland in March before it was whittled down to 12.

She hopes to carve a career in netball and is trying to secure a berth with an ANZ premiership franchise.

Tactix mid-courter Kimiora Poi is off to hone her skills in Australia, with the blessing of her franchise, after missing out the Netball World Cup. Photo / Photosport
Tactix mid-courter Kimiora Poi is off to hone her skills in Australia, with the blessing of her franchise, after missing out the Netball World Cup. Photo / Photosport

Kimiora Poi will head to Australia to play in the remainder of the Suncorp Super Netball season as a replacement player for the Collingwood Magpies, after missing out on the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, next month.

A centre during the 2019 ANZ Premiership and already contracted to play in New Zealand next year, she will have a stint with the Magpies for the remainder of the Australian league.

The Super Netball competition across the ditch is in recess to accommodate the World Cup but resumes from July 27.

"We don't believe this will set precedents for our athletes to look to the Australian league," Netball Mainland chief executive Brigit Hearn said of Poi, whose dynamic approach to the game has been likened to former Silver Ferns linchpin Temepara Bailey.

"But the way the competitions have lined up this year opens a unique opportunity for players like Kimiora to continue playing and developing at an elite level.

"We feel this is of benefit for our athletes who have already signed on for next year's ANZ Premiership to extend their court time this year," Hearn said.

"Kimiora is an exceptional athlete who has the speed and skill set to compete with the best," Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek said. "She is still very young so this is a chance to carry on her development in a different environment. We look forward to seeing the growth she has and what she can add to her game."

Kimiora Poi was a member of the New Zealand U21 team which won the World Youth Cup in 2017 and made her Silver Ferns debut against England in January.

Internationals Geva Mentor and Madi Browne co-captain the Magpies who are fourth on the ladder with two wins. The league playoffs are in September.

Wing attack Parris Petera, here with the ball in NZ Maori Secondary School colours in Palmerston North, is eyeing an NZSSC berth next year. Photo / Supplied
Wing attack Parris Petera, here with the ball in NZ Maori Secondary School colours in Palmerston North, is eyeing an NZSSC berth next year. Photo / Supplied