Otamatea Ex takes aim at title after unbeaten run

The Otamatea Ex netball team has its sights set on reclaiming the Rodney Netball Centre Premier Grade title, after finishing unbeaten in the preliminary round robin.

The team won the competition in 2015, but went down 46-42 to Ruawai Jetz in last year’s final.

Team captain Maree Stewart says there is still plenty of hard work to do.

“It would be great to end the season on a high, but we need to stay composed as everyone will have a bit of nervous energy,” Maree says.

Title holders Ruawai Jetz left the competition this year, so the main opposition for Otamatea Ex will be Ruggals.

“We are all conscious that we don’t want to lose in the final again so we won’t be underestimating any of our opponents.”

Otamatea has won all seven of its round robin matches and Maree is pleased with her side’s team work.

“We all know each other outside of netball so on court, the synergy between players is really good.

“We’ve worked out which players are the best fit for each position making us more dynamic.”

She says two players who have been particularly impressive together are goal attack Taira Ohara’Lambert and goal shoot Mirna Manuell.

“Taira is an amazing long range shooter when she’s on form, making it difficult for defenders and Mirna usually finishes it if there’s a rebound.”

Otamatea will face the other top three sides in the premier grade before a final. The format for the finals is yet to be confirmed.

“The team that can retain possession and capitalise on its opportunities will finish on top.

“We’re focusing on making sure that we reduce the number of basic errors we make in each game.”


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