School holidays hampered the start of round two of Whanganui premier netball with only one match being played on Monday night.
Kaiwhaiki got the better of Mere Te Aroha 53-31 as several of the other teams in the competition that included secondary school students struggled to field teams. The premier competition will resume on Monday, July 23.
"We always knew that battling with our Mere Te Aroha whanaunga was going to be tough," Kaiwhaiki coach Terina Peina said.
"Our circle defence of Javell Pereka and Airini Potaka worked tirelessly to gain multiple turnovers as a result of in sync defensive efforts.
"Our midcourt duo of Cara Blake and Kahureremoa Aki were able to accurately hit their targets by feeding on and off the circle and used speed to ensure the defence did not have the opportunity to set up.
"Our shooting duo of Ahungarangi Whanarere-Nahona and Sharnarose Pehi were able to utilise the space in the shooting circle to finish off some strong phases of play against Mere Te Aroha's dynamic, aerial defence. With the injection of Te Rangimarie Maihi at half time it provided another facet of play which the opposition had to adjust to."
Peina said Waimanawa Potaka Osborne-Whanarere and Jordi-Ann Kotuhi-Brown were menacing on defence and that created opportunities for the team and themselves to hunt aerial ball.
"They were also effective at transitioning and bringing the ball through the court with the aid of Airini Potaka and Kahureremoa Aki. Overall we were pleased with the result, especially centre pass rate percentages, however, we will be continuing to fine tune the skill sets required to carry us through the season to ensure a complete performance," Peina said.
Meanwhile, Whanganui under-15 representatives, Whanganui Blue, beat Howick Pakuranga 32-23 to secure 13th place overall in the Waste Management North Island U15 Championships in New Plymouth this week after earlier defeating Rotorua 25-9.
The team featured Kara Adrole, Heavenelee-Peace Larkin, Sara Bishop, Te Whetu Matthews, Holly-Rae Mete, Rebekah Phillips, Mikayla Heka, Molly Bullock, Jaime Maybery and Shylla Tahana-Hopkins.
Whanganui representatives are also in action at the Netball New Zealand U17 Championships in Palmerston North next week.