Aussies end New Zealand tour on winning note

Gold1It’s been a triumphant tour across the Tasman for Australia’s 19/U squad as the Trans-Tasman Tournament wrapped up in Rotorua today.

Australia Green finished with four wins from its six matches over the three days while Australia Gold grabbed two victories.

Australia Green was also declared the tournament’s overall winner from the New Zealand Secondary Schools team with Australia Gold third.

The final day of action saw Green win both matches, including a high-scoring 54-53 thriller in the last game of the tournament over NZSS.

The Green team raced away to an early advantage and appeared to have the match securely in their grasp at half-time, leading by 12 goals with the NZSS defenders struggling to contain shooter Emma Ryde.

The half-time break appeared to inspire the home team, who came out firing in the third term to cut the margin to seven goals heading into the last quarter.

The NZSS continued to charge home in the final 15 minutes and scored the last four goals of the match. But ultimately they came up one goal short.

Ryde finished the match with 42 goals at 89 per cent accuracy and was supported by Kiera Austin (10 goals at 77 per cent accuracy). Hannah Petty and Phoebe Wilcox were again prominent in the midcourt while Kate Eddy stood defiant at goal defence before being shifted up court to wing defence.

Earlier, Green scored their second victory over the Aotearoa Maori side for the week with a dominant performance in the opening match of the day.

Green started and finished strongly in the 39-28 result. After leading by 10 goals at half-time, the Maori side stepped up their defence in the third term to cut the margin to five goals.

Gold2But Green regained the ascendancy with Austin scoring 22 goals at 92 per cent accuracy and  Petty and Tayla Honey were busy in the midcourt.

Ryde also helped set up the win with 13 goals at 93 per cent accuracy in the first half before being spelled.

A slow start proved the difference for Gold in their 38-33 loss to the New Zealand Secondary Schools side.

Gold trailed by five goals at quarter-time and that ultimately proved to be the final margin.

Jane Cook shot 19 goals at 95 per cent accuracy, Claire O’Brien led the way in the midcourt while Ashlee Unie’s introduction to goal defence sparked a third quarter revival for Gold.

Their final game was undoubtedly Gold’s best performance of the week as they scored a convincing 59-41 win over the Maori team to end their tournament on a high and easily reverse the three-goal loss they suffered in their earlier meeting on the opening day.

Alison Miller was the star for Gold with 42 goals at 93 per cent accuracy. Thanks to Miller and Cara Koenen, Gold got away to a flyer to lead by 12 goals at quarter time.

The Maori side did close withing five goals mid-way through the second term, but they had no answer for Miller, who was brilliantly fed by Koenen and Cook along with O’Brien, Casey Adamson and Jessica Anstiss.

Petty was named the tournament’s best midcourter.