Netball: Salter's side falters against tough Auckland defence

Salter Silicone Kitchen Scale $91.95
Salter Silicone Kitchen Scale $91.95
Otago coach Georgie Salter said her side was overawed by Auckland Waitakere on Saturday, but there were some promising signs.

Otago was well beaten 62-40 by the North Islanders in round two of the national championship.

Salter put the heavy defeat down to some excellent work by Auckland Waitakere defensive duo Kate Dowling and Rachel Rasmussen.

The pair disrupted Otago's supply of ball in the first quarter and marked promising shooter Greir Campbell tightly.

The former Otago Girls High School pupil was outstanding last week, helping Otago beat Waikato 60-53.

But she struggled with the taller defenders, landing 17 of her 25 attempts.

"We were just a bit overawed by their experienced, tall defence," Salter said.

"They niggled and basically roughed her [Campbell] up and caused a lot loose ball, which they chased up.

They really disrupted our goal circle," she said.

Otago was without four players who were on duty with the New Zealand under-21 side.

Camilla Lees' distribution from wing attack and her combination with Campbell were sorely missed.

"She [Lees] has a really nice relationship with Greir, and not having her there probably told on Greir's ability to cope with the two big defenders."

Otago's decision to travel on game day also told.

The visitors made a sluggish start and trailed Auckland Waitakere by 17 goals at half-time.

The game tightened up in the second half but Auckland had built an unassailable 23-goal lead with 15min remaining.

Otago produced its best period of netball in the final quarter but only when the result was beyond doubt.

While Salter was disappointed with the loss, she did get the opportunity to give 10 players a run, and she thought the side showed good character not to give in when the match was getting away on it.

Otago will play Southland in Invercargill on Sunday in what shapes as a crucial game in its national championship campaign.

Southland had a close win over Auckland Waitakere, 46-43, in round one.

In other results on Saturday, Western beat Waikato 43-39 and Canterbury thrashed Counties Manukau 78-32.

Auckland Waitakere 62 (Patti Te Huna 33 from 42, Jade Topia 29/32), Otago 40 (Greir Campbell 17/25, Rihi Salter 6/11, Jess Tuki 17/19).


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