Avatiu off to flying start

Tuesday 10 March 2020 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Netball


Avatiu off to flying start
Avatiu's Luciana Nicholas (right) defends against Alanna Smith of Titikaveka in round one of the domestic netball competition at Avatiu court on Saturday. 20030801/ 20030802

Defending champions Titikaveka faced a major setback after losing in the opening round of the domestic netball competition.

Avatiu made a strong start to their Netball Domestic Season 2020 campaign after a superb win over defending champions Titikaveka in round one over the weekend.

The side thumped Titikaveka 60-44 at home on Saturday. The win was a perfect revenge for the side after their loss in last year’s final.

Avatiu looked strong from the start and dominated Titikaveka who struggled to find their footing in the much anticipated premier match.

Led by experienced Luciana Nicholas and Marjorie (Mati) Toru, the home team came out firing and capitalised on the mistakes from the visitors to come away with the big win.

Titikaveka led by their star players Alanna Smith, Natalia Short and Claire Wilson, were unable to get their combination working. They struggled in both attack and defence.

Avatiu dominated Titikaveka in other grades as well – winning 8 and under, 12U, 15U, senior open II and reserves grades. Both teams were locked in 10U and senior open I grades.

The results of other two matches between Takuvaine and Arorangi, and Ngatangiia and Tupapa were not available when this edition went to print.

But Netball Cook Islands’ Tekura Moeka’a said: “A young, fit and talented Arorangi outfit annihilated Takuvaine’s premier grade with a 45 point margin – notably the largest margin in a domestic netball game.

“Ngatangiia – admirably is a growing club and has seen a surge of young and keen netball players as well as experienced and well-seasoned players took the court against Tupapa. This year Ngatangiia fielded a premier grade, the first time in just over five years, proving too strong for Tupapa.”

In round two competition which will start with the senior open 1 and open 2 games tomorrow, Takuvaine will host Ngatangiia Matavera, Titikaveka will take on Tupapa at home while Avatiu will play Arorangi.

Mii Maui, president of Netball Cook Islands, said the significant difference in this year’s competition was the increase in age group players from 8 and under to 15 and under.

“What would normally be a registered team of 10-12 per team has significantly grown to approximately 15-20 players per team. The growth is rewarding for Netball Cook Islands, and brings about an opportunity to re-look at what we offer locally in terms of tournaments or competitions in the local competition calendar to capture this age group interest and increase.”


Avatiu versus Titikaveka – 8U: 7-4 to Avatiu, 10U: 7 all Draw, 12U: 28-5 Avatiu, 15U: 31-17 Avatiu, Senior Open 2: 31-26 Avatiu, Senior Open 1: 36 all draw, Reserves: 32-30 Avatiu, Premiers: 60-44 Avatiu