No real surprises were produced from round three of the Whanganui premier netball competition on Monday night.
Defending champions Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau eventually drew out to beat last season's runners-up Kaiwhaiki 66-50, while Phillips Electrical Whanganui High School pushed the score out to 50-38 over an improved Marist A1 and Mere Te Aroha came from behind to pip Cullinane at the post 43-40.
Despite the solid victory Kaierau coach Walter Edmonds still found plenty of his championship side to work on.
"It was a bit of a tussle early, but we managed to draw out in the end to win," Edmonds said.
"We started slow again and that's something we need to work on. We shouldn't have to put ourselves under undue pressure.
"I think our fitness again got us through to the last quarter. It was a team effort with everyone of defence and everyone on attack doing their job. It's great to remain unbeaten, but there's always plenty to work on."
Meanwhile, WHS led throughout their match with an improving Marist A1.
Coach Lisa Murphy said she was proud her girls remained composed in what was a very physical game allowing them to finally draw away to a convincing win.
"My girls did really well and remained composed in such a physical match. I thought Kara Adrole (GK) had an awesome game in defence and provided a lot of turnover ball, while I was pleasantly surprised Imogen Flower last the full game after returning from a week off. She was sick all week. But overall the girls played very well," Murphy said.
Cullinane coach Tash Bullock was devastated that her young side got rolled after leading throughout the first three quarters against Mere Te Aroha.
"It was very annoying to be just beaten in the final quarter,' Bullock said.
"My girls need to have a bit more faith in themselves and it doesn't help that some are dropping out, not realising the level of commitment required at premier level.
"They have the ability to win and can certainly put it all together at times, they just need consistency in their game. I though our defensive line-up did really well and gave us plenty of turnover ball."
Bullock singled out Talitua Leo (GK), Molly Bullock (GD) and Maggie O'Connor and Jayde Hawkes who share the wing defence role, for special mention.