Top 16 teams confirmed in Netball NZ U17 Champs
The top 16 teams have been determined after day two of the Netball NZ U17 Champs at the Pukekohe Netball Centre, with sides from the Waikato Bay of Plenty stamping their mark.
Both Eastern Waikato and Eastern Bay of Plenty went through pool play unbeaten to advance to the play-off rounds which begin tomorrow.
They are joined by the Mt Maunganui-based Harbourside, who edged out the top Waitakere team for a top 16 place, by virtue of a 43-42 nail-biter over Whanganui in the morning. Trust Waikato Hamilton City made it the fourth team from the Waikato Bay of Plenty zone to progress through to the top playoffs.
The Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone continues to grow in force through a strong focus on developing its community coaches.
The biggest upset of the day was handed out by Hutt Valley, who toppled the otherwise unbeaten Manawatu side in the morning’s rounds. Playing as a team and carrying out the basics well, the Hutt side pulled off a spine-tingling 31-30 victory. But it wasn’t quite enough to see them through to the top 16, with Waitakere 2 claiming the spot on goal differential.
The leading teams from Auckland and Wellington continued their assertive runs at this tournament, using their strong benches to good effect and notching up sizeable victories to round out pool play unbeaten. North Harbour and Howick Pakuranga have also advanced without a blemish from their four qualifying matches.
The Netball NZ U17 Champs is the largest event on Netball New Zealand's calendar – this year featuring 38 teams and more than 450 talented young players across the four-day tournament.
Post-section play begins at 8.15am tomorrow, with the quarter-finals played in the afternoon. It is the first time a national Netball tournament has been held at the Pukekohe Netball Centre.