• Key NGHS netballers to miss final rehearsal

Key NGHS netballers to miss final rehearsal

By all means watch Friday night's Super 8 Club Netball clash between Otane Force and Napier Girls' High School in Taradale's Pettigrew-Green Arena.

But don't expect it to be an accurate dress rehearsal for the following week's final between the same two teams at the same venue. Defending champions NGHS will miss the services of talented midcourters Ashleigh Poi and Parris Petera who will be playing at a tournament for Central Beko League and ANZ Premiership players in Wellinton this weekend.

"It's never happened before in the history of the Super 8" NGHS head coach Charissa Barham said referring to the fact the two finalists will be playing each other in two consecutive weeks including the final.

"This week will provide another opportunity for us to build the depth within our squad. I've always had a commitment to the whole team and this week we will be putting faith in our younger players as we prepare for next year when we will lose seven of this year's squad," Barham explained.

She pointed out it was a pretty even clash when the two teams met in a pre-season tussle. Regular goal shoot Caitlin Smith is the only one of the NGHS attacking circle players who knows what to expect from in-form Thirsty Whale Otane Force goal keep Valentine Kahukura.

Otane head coach Annemarie Kupa, who is also an NGHS team assistant coach, pointed out her team will also miss two key players in shooter Millie Ironside, who has work commitments in Auckland, and midcourter Penny McLeod, who will be on holiday.

"It will be a good opportunity to run some of our girls who haven't had a lot of game time. In a way it is a nothing match but we still want to maintain our unbeaten run," Kupa said.

Kupa won't be at the match as she will be taking Poi and Petera to Wellington on Friday. In her absence her sisters Becky Baker and Tammy Kupa, will be in charge of the Otane outfit. 

The other 7.50pm match will see Vet Services Central Sports take on Hastings Girls' High School. In the 6pm tussles Tremains All In Elusive will meet House of Travel Havelock North Kauri and BM Accounting HHSOG Huia will take on  Optimise Physio Outkast Sports.

Regardless of the outcomes of these games All In Elusive will take on Huia in the September 11 playoff for third place.