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2014

NETBALL YOUR FREE GUIDE TO THE 2014 ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP

ANZ is awarding $100,000 worth of netball grants to help schools, clubs, teams and fans. – see page 20 for details


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CONTENTS & CREDITS

YOUR FREE GUIDE TO THE 2014 ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP

04 Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 06 NORTHERN MYSTICS 09 hAIER CENTRAL PULSE 10 MAINLAND TACTIX 13 ASCOT PARK HOTEL SOUTHERN STEEL 14 ANZ Championship 2014 Draw 16-17 ANZ FAN CLUB 20 COMPETITION PREVIEW

MANAGING Editor Oliver Lee

EDITORIAL Peter White Tania Dalton

PROOFREADING Elise McDowell

Photography Michael Bradley

Design

ONTIME ASSOCIATES LIMITED

PrintER

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Publisher

Box 331-667, Takapuna, Auckland 0740, New Zealand T: +64-9-486 6966 E: oliver@oliverlee.co.nz W: oliverlee.co.nz

EasiYo Tactix defender Jane Watson defends the 2013 ANZ Championship MVP Jhaniele Fowler-Reid

ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 22-23 MELBOURNE VIXENS

24-25 26

NSW SWIFTS

QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS 28 WEST COAST FEVER

30

Haier Pulse celebrate win, Donna Wilkins, Joline Henry, Camilla Lees and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit

COPYRIGHT Reproduction in whole or part by any means is prohibited. DISCLAIMER The opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Although material is checked for accuracy, no liability is assumed by the publisher for any loss due to use of material in this magazine.

2014

ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP

THE WORLD’S BEST NETBALL LEAGUE RETURNS TO

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TOO TIGHT TO PICK A WINNER The seventh year of the ANZ Championship begins March 1st, and it, TOO, is looking to be the closest one yet. by tania dalton. After the elation of Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic winning the 2012 ANZ Championship we were knocked back down to earth with a thud in 2013, with no Kiwi teams featuring in the Grand Final. So, what will happen in 2014? All of the Australian sides have strong squads and have recruited well in the off season. I believe a team that could produce the goods this season is the previously underperforming West Coast Fever under the guidance of Norma Plummer. This year, former Queensland Firebird Natalie Medhurst slips into goal attack, Chelsea Pitman to wing attack and they will feed the ever-improving 1.92 metre tall Caitlin Bassett under the goal. The shooting circle is certainly looking good. Down the other end, English import Ebony Beckford-Chambers, and Chanel Gomes will also strengthen their line-up. This could be their year. NSW Swifts have been disappointing over the last couple of seasons, however with the signing of intimidating Australian defender Sharni Layton, a player with a strong presence on court, they will win solid ball on defence. Add in the experience of Kimberlee Green and Susan Pratley, and they certainly have good depth throughout. I do like the makeup of the Melbourne Vixens squad. Bianca Chatfield again leads this side and her combination with Geva Mentor has to be one of the best defensive partnerships in the competition – if not the world. Cath Cox comes on board after her stint with the West Coast Fever, which will certainly give more shooting options for the Vixens after the retirement of Australian legend Sharelle McMahon. Madison Browne was outstanding last year, so they are another team capable of making the Finals Series. Defending champions Adelaide Thunderbirds have lost two of their starting seven with Sharni Layton moving to the Swifts and Natalie von Bertouch retiring. Big shoes to fill, but coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson seems to be able to get the best out of her young players. Runners-up Queensland Firebirds have a similar looking squad; the only big question for

4

Casey Kopua in full stride for Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

coach Roselee Jencke is who will be Natalie Medhurst’s replacement, as she was certainly the driving force in that attacking third. The New Zealand squads have quite a different look to them this year. With both Laura Langman and Irene van Dyk departing, a pretty big hole has been left to fill for new Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald. They are still strong defensively with Casey Kopua and Leana de Bruin, but their start to the competition will be critical for their confidence. Central Pulse cannot be ignored either, under the guidance of Robyn Broughton for the third season. They came so close last year, but in the end let a couple of games slip through the cracks which spoiled any chance making the Finals Series. Keeping the majority of their squad together, and adding van Dyk and Elias Shadrock from the Magic, has given them hope they can go all the way. Northern Mystics can only look forward after their nightmare 2013 season when they took home the wooden spoon. Coach Debbie Fuller, who led the team to the Grand Final in 2012, returns after a season off and the recruitment of Laura Langman in the midcourt will fix the distribution problems from last year. Anna Harrison is back after having her first child and will combine with Julie Corletto. Kayla Cullen is returning from knee surgery and hopefully she can remain injury free.

Maria Tutaia takes on the captaincy role and her combination with Cathrine Latu needs to fire this season. Latu’s exposure and opportunity at international level will give her great confidence heading into the season. Southern Steel are beginning to attract the title of ‘middle of the road’ team, which they will be desperate to lose in 2014. Retaining Jhaniele Fowler was massive for coach Janine Southby and keeping the nucleus of the squad can only help with continuity. Jodi Brown will take up the feeding role with the likes of Shannon Francois and Wendy Frew. The player to keep an eye on in this squad has to be Phoenix Karaka, who was called in to replace Casey Kopua in the Silver Ferns UK tour, and is a player with huge athletic ability. Southern Steel is a team that could well surprise this season. Mainland Tactix again do not have any so-called big names, however, the likes of young defenders Jane Watson and Zoe Walker, who impressed last season, can only improve. The real buzz has got to be the signing of Malawi import Mwai Kumwenda, who has been a star shooter for Malawi over the last few years. So, it is time to get ready for another 17 weeks of netball at its best! Who will be our ANZ Championship winners for 2014? Will we see a Kiwi team take out the title? Bring it on!

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NEW LOOK MAGIC SHOW SET TO GO The Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic squad has some major changes to it, with world-class players Irene van Dyk and Laura Langman moving on. But, new coach Julie Fitzgerald is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

LEANA DE BRUIN

CASEY KOPUA

TEAM

HOME AND AWAY: The Kia Magic have one of the more favourable draws in the competition which coach Julie Fitzgerald is pleased about.

KIA Magic Netball Zone: Waikato Bay of Plenty

Squad:

Katherine Coffin Leana de Bruin Ellen Halpenny Jo Harten Casey Kopua Brooke Leaver Bessie Manu Malia Paseka Jamie-Lee Price Grace Rasmussen Samantha Sinclair Courtney Tairi Joanna Trip

Coach:

Julie Fitzgerald

Website:

netballmagic.co.nz facebook.com/ WaikatoBOPMagic @MagicNetball

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact:

Brian Perry Sports House, Wintec Rotokauri Campus, Akoranga Road, Hamilton 3200

“You can have years when you end up with quite a difficult draw and you have to travel a lot but when you look at ours I think we have been very fortunate this year.” Magic play at three home venues, in Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua, which Fitzgerald says is a good thing, as more fans get to see them play. SIDELINE VIEW: The Magic’s playing roster has taken quite a hit with several high-profile players moving on, including Silver Ferns Laura Langman and Irene van Dyk. There is also a new coaching group in place under the guidance of former Australian Diamonds assistant coach Fitzgerald, with former Silver Fern Margaret Forsyth appointed as her assistant. Fitzgerald says she has focused on developing the new players in the squad, some of whom have never played the ANZ Championship before. “We have been putting plenty of work into them and it is all about combinations, making sure that everyone has a really good understanding on court.” The leadership team of captain Casey Kopua and Leana de Bruin will be fundamental to the Magic’s success and also gives the team a world class defensive pairing. “They are experienced, our two senior players, and I think they will be great leaders. They work really well together and will help bring some of the young players through.”

ELLEN HALPENNY

“I’m certainly looking to build on what’s already been put in place here at the Magic. I’m a great believer in that you don’t go in and coach a team to your style, you coach a team that compliments the strengths of the individual players that you’ve got, so we’ll be working to enhance the potential that they’ve already got.” WHO’S HOT: A host of new faces have a chance to make a name for themselves this campaign. Fitzgerald is excited about the potential she has to work with, including Malia Paseka and Brooke Leaver. “Malia I have known for quite a long time because she started off her netball career in New South Wales. I am really excited about her. I think she is a real talent for the future and Brooke is the same. Her mother played for the Silver Ferns and I have been really impressed with her work ethic at training and I think we will see a lot of improvement in her as well.” England international goal shoot Jo Harten will take over the role filled by van Dyk for so many years, and Bessie Manu will fill a key role in the wing defence position. Manu has played for the Tactix in 2008, the Central Pulse in 2009 –11 and back to the Tactix for 2012 –13, so her experience will be invaluable. TIP FOR THE TOP: Fitzgerald has a clear idea of who she thinks will contest the play-offs in June. “Magic, Vixens, Pulse, Mystics look most likely and I think Fever have improved their side enormously and they are the ones who may take people by surprise.”

Fitzgerald is not one to force her coaching philosophies on a team, preferring to work with the raw talent and see how to get the best out of them.

6

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


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Mystics set to break back Last year’s 10th place was a major disappointment for the Northern Mystics after making the Grand Final and Semi Finals in the previous two seasons, but Laura Langman will make a big difference.

MARIA TUTAIA

CATHRINE LATU

Home and Away: The Mystics have three of last year’s finalists to play in their opening four matches, which may well set the scene for their campaign. They start with the Vixens away in Melbourne, followed by three home games to build intensity in front of their loyal fans against the Magic, Pulse and Thunderbirds. “There is no doubt it will be a challenging start,” says coach Debbie Fuller. “The Vixens, Magic and Thunderbirds have all been consistently in the semi-finals for the past three or four years.” SIDELINE VIEW: Fuller returns after a 12-month break to focus on family commitments and she is determined to turn around last year’s unexpected 10th placing. “My aspirations for the season are that we can execute consistently under pressure and if so, we will put ourselves in a position where we can be contenders for the title,” she says. “If we can deal with pressure consistently throughout the season we should be able to make a top four spot and then challenge from there. “The competition is very marginal all round so you have to be realistic about where your starting point is, and our starting point is tenth. We want to build not only the capabilities in the team but the confidence with one another because we have new combinations.” Fuller sees great potential in the players she has to work with. “The thing I am pleased about our roster is the mix of experience but also the excitement of youth, so I think if you get that combination right in your team it can be really rewarding as a coach to see it when combinations click and we’ll just see how well we can make it work.

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM

julie corletto

“Often the teams that have come into the competition with a strong roster have sometimes finished bottom of the table. I’m not getting excited until I see us coming together as a team and seeing people that are prepared to work really hard.” Silver Ferns shooter Maria Tutaia will captain the Mystics for the second year in a row. WHO’S HOT: Without doubt the big signing of the ANZ Championship is world-class midcourter Laura Langman, who left the Magic to join the Mystics. Fuller says it is marvellous to have her in the squad. “She is a player who has come out of her comfort zone and come to a new environment, so I admire that, particularly in a mature player. It is admirable because that says she wants to extend her game and her learning in a new environment with different team mates and different perspective of the game.” Teenage defender Temalisi Fakahokotau is 1.82 metres tall and an exciting prospect, while Nadia Loveday and Jodi Tod-Elliott are capable players joining from the Magic. TIP FOR THE TOP: Fuller is confident her Mystics will make the Finals Series but admits the competition is so tight it is hard to pick the other teams. “I think us, the Queensland Firebirds and the Vixens will all make it and with the recruitment going on at the Fever they are looking pretty strong. The Magic or the Pulse could also be there.”

w

TEAM TEAM Northern Mystics Netball Zone: Northern

Squad: Julie Corletto Kayla Cullen Temalisi Fakahokotau Anna Harrison Laura Langman Cathrine Latu Nadia Loveday Bailey Mes Erikana Pedersen Jodi Tod-Elliott Elisapeta Toeava Maria Tutaia

Coach: Debbie Fuller

Online:

northernmystics.co.nz facebook.com/ northernmystics @northernmystics

Tickets: See website for details

Contact:

The Trusts Arena, 65 - 67  Central Park Drive, Henderson, Auckland 0610

9


Pulse may be Title CONTENDERS Last season saw the best ever result for the CENTRAL Pulse, and with a seasoned squad strengthened by Irene van Dyk, the omens look positive for a real shot at the FINALS SERIES in 2014.

paula griffin

TEAM Haier Pulse Netball Zone: Netball Central

Squad:

Ama Agbeze Katarina Cooper Katrina Grant Paula Griffin Gemma Hazeldine Joline Henry Claire Kersten Camilla Lees Liana Leota Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit Elias Shadrock Irene van Dyk Donna Wilkins

Coach:

Robyn Broughton

Online:

pulse.org.nz facebook.com/ Haier.Pulse @HaierPulse

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact:

ASB Sports Centre Level 1, 72 Kemp Sreet, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6022

donna wilkins

HOME AND AWAY: The Haier Pulse start with the Thunderbirds and Steel at home before five straight matches on the road before they get a well-earned bye round. Experienced coach Robyn Broughton says they have a lot of time on the road this year, which surprised her. “I did query the draw when I saw it, plus we play in the regions, which is fine, but you are still away from home and have to pick up and go somewhere new.” SIDELINE VIEW: Broughton says they had some disappointing results last year where she thought they could have crossed the line ahead. The former Southern Steel mentor is in her second season at the Pulse and she says they will be looking to remedy that this year and turn those close losses into wins. “This year we are delighted with what we have got, with some very good players who have come in. I am sure I can go back to the old adage that says ‘a team of champions does not make a champion team.’ It is really up to us as coaches and players to make sure that we get the spark and the fire that we need, and the combinations just working effortlessly. “Like Donna (Wilkins) and Irene (van Dyk) haven’t played together for years but I have seen there is a really good connection and I am hoping that can become a real strength for us.”

camilla lees

Certainly, there is a buzz in the Central Zone about this season to come. Season memberships sold out four months ago and after sell-out seasons in 2012 and 2013, and the selection of an exciting squad packed with international players, the prospect of all home games selling-out looks likely. WHO’S HOST: Clearly picking up the world’s most prolific shooter from the Magic is a huge asset to the Pulse. Van Dyk’s consistency and professionalism will help lift the performance of all the players. Broughton is pleased with her new-look squad which is a mix of international class and talented youngsters. “I have been impressed with Elias Shadrock’s attitude and her conscientious approach to training and the games we’ve played. Liana (Leota) will be back after she’s had the baby, which will be good, and Gemma Hazeldine has looked good and worked really hard at training.” TIP FOR THE TOP: Broughton says this year is harder to pick because the Australian teams have had so many changes to their teams. “Certainly, Fever should do a lot better than they have as they recruited well. Mystics will certainly improve on last year, Steel have the best performing goal shoot, and I would be disappointed if we didn’t reach our potential.”

The Pulse provided the highest number of players to the Silver Ferns squad that travelled to the UK in January, with five of the 12 squad members: Camilla Lees, Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Irene van Dyk.

10

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


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Tactix after dramatic improvement Former Silver Ferns coach Leigh Gibbs is determined to reverse the fortunes of the Tactix and she has a settled squad to help do it this year.

ANNA THOMPSON

HOME AND AWAY: EasiYo Tactix start with two successive home games in Christchurch against Magic and Swifts, before the arduous journey to Perth to face the West Coast Fever. Coach Gibbs is not one to worry about the in’s and out’s of the draw. “You get what you are given really and it is a matter of just getting on with focusing on what you can control. We have a lot more home games on Sundays, which means we can keep a normal week.” SIDELINE VIEW: Tactix finished ninth last year, after three successive years in either ninth or last place, so Gibbs is only interested in making progress away from that end of the championship table. “We want to keep moving upwards, no question at all, recognising though that everyone is in that same position of wanting to be better than or maintaining their previous position,” says Gibbs. The Tactix have had more time together than the other squads due to the lack of Silver Ferns which Gibbs sees as an advantage. “We did not have any players away with the Silver Ferns, but we do have one squad member in Anna Thompson, and two internationals in Jade Clarke and Mwai Kumwenda. But, we want to be the team clearly getting results for ourselves, but also where players become Silver Ferns.” Gibbs has eight players back from last year which she says is important.

JADE CLARKE

WHO’S HOT: Without a doubt the biggest signing – in more ways than one – is Malawi international Mwai Kumwenda. The 1.84-metre tall goal shoot, with a flamboyant style all of her own, will become the first player from the southeast African nation of Malawi to feature in the competition. The 24-year-old steps into the vacant shoes left by English international Jo Harten, who has joined the Magic. Gibbs could not be happier with her progress. “We have been delighted with Mwai. She has come in and just really embraced the opportunity. I understand to play in this competition has been a desire of hers. She has fitted in really well and has a lot to offer because she works really hard on the court both on attack and defence, and she is unorthodox. For us, it is learning how to get the best out of her, with both the players around her on court, and the coaching staff. “She just brings a different element to the team. She has amazing skills and her timing of knowing when to jump is very, very good.” Jess Moulds and Hayley Saunders are two other new recruits, who joined from Mystics. TIP FOR THE TOP: Gibbs says in this competition, on their day, any team could win, but the teams that do have more experience and international players in their line-up have an advantage. “So, I am looking at Pulse, who would clearly want to be in the top four this year. Fever I think have recruited well and Mystics would be rated after not achieving to the level they had previously done, and maybe the Vixens.”

KESHIA GRANT

TEAM EasiYo Tactix Netball Zone: Netball Mainland

Squad: Jade Clarke Sophia Fenwick Keshia Grant Mwai Kumwenda Nicola Mackle Jess Moulds Julianna Naoupu Hayley Saunders Louise Thayer Anna Thompson Zoe Walker Jane Watson

Coach:

Leigh Gibbs

Online:

tactix.org.nz facebook.com/ MainlandTactix @TactixNetball

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact: Apollo Project Centre, 295B Ilam Road, Christchurch 8053

“Consistency is important and that was part of our thinking when we were putting our squad together. We haven’t got the Silver Ferns but that consistency of selection is valuable.”

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM

13


Steel celebrate being back home Invercargill’s ILT Stadium Southland has been out of action for three long years, and the Steel are hoping a return to their spiritual home will lead to rewards on the court.

PHILLIPA FRENCH

TEAM Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel Netball Zone: Netball South

Squad: Jodi Brown Gina Crampton Phillipa Finch Jhaniele Fowler-Reid Shannon Francois Wendy Frew Phoenix Karaka Erena Mikaere Stacey Peeters Storm Purvis Rachel Rasmussen Te Paea Selby-Rickit

Coaches:

Janine Southby

Online:

southernsteel.co.nz facebook.com/ SouthernSteelNetball @SteelNetball

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact:

ILT Stadium Southland, Surrey Park Road, Invercargill 9810

JODI BROWN

Home and Away: Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel have a draw weighted in their favour for the home stretch, with three of the last four games at home. If the Steel can be in contention coming into that final month then their renowned home support could be a factor in their final placing. Coach Janine Southby says it is nice to have that final home flourish rather being on the road at the end of a long, hard campaign. SIDELINE VIEW: Last season the Steel finished sixth, which was a big improvement on the previous year’s ninth placing, but Southby says they were still disappointed with that result. “We let ourselves down in a number of those games towards the end of the season, and the learning we have taken out of that is to be consistent throughout the length of the season. There is uniqueness about our Zone and how we are structured, so we need to make sure we manage our players well from the travel perspective.” Last year, Jamaican goal shoot Jhaniele Fowler was named the league’s most valuable player in her debut season, with her 666 goals breaking the league’s records for most goals in a season. She will again be a key player in 2014. Southby says Fowler’s combination with the experienced Jodi Brown is a special strength to the Steel’s attacking force.

JHANIELE FOWLER-REID

who’s hot: Tall, athletic defender Erena Mikaere has joined from the Magic and has impressed her coach. “It is nice having that little extra height. Last year, there were a number of teams that had very tall shooters, and just for the defence to have a bit more of a presence, you definitely need that height.” Southby sees New Zealand Under–21 players Stacey Peeters and Gina Crampton as having the potential to make an impact this year. “Gina has worked really hard on her fitness in the off-season and arrived back in really good shape. She has a really good feed and does see space really nicely and has good vision on court. We are looking forward to her coming back in, as she did have a stint with us two years ago. “Stacey in the last two games of the Youth World Netball Championships against Jamaica and Australia certainly showed what she is capable of in turning over ball. She is just a real hard working kid who just loves being out on court.” tip for the top: Southby says Pulse will be the team to beat in 2014. “They have internationals in nearly every position, but the Mystics still have firepower and underperformed last year. I also think Steel will be there and the Fever might take a few by surprise.”

“Jodi has a really good netball brain and she is very smart and respected on court. I think her ability to read the game is sometimes quite rare in a player and that is something we are building up in the other players around her as well.”

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ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


ANZ Championship 2014 Draw ROUND DAY

DATE

LOCAL TIME HOME TEAM

1

Saturday 01 March

Sunday 02 March 12.18pm

4.20pm

AWAY TEAM

VENUE

LOCATION

Mainland Tactix

WBOP Magic

CBS Canterbury Arena

Christchurch

NSW Swifts

West Coast Fever

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Sydney

Hisense Arena

Sunday

02 March

2.18pm

Melbourne Vixens

Northern Mystics

Sunday

02 March

7.20pm

Southern Steel

Queensland Firebirds ILT Stadium Southland

Invercargill

Melbourne

Monday

03 March

7.40pm

Central Pulse

Adelaide Thunderbirds Te Rauparaha Arena

Porirua

2

Saturday 08 March

4.20pm

Central Pulse

Southern Steel

TSB Bank Arena

Wellington

Sunday 09 March

9.18am

West Coast Fever

Melbourne Vixens

Challenge Stadium

Perth

Sunday 09 March

1.18pm

Queensland Firebirds Adelaide Thunderbirds Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Brisbane

Sunday 09 March

7.20pm

Mainland Tactix

NSW Swifts

CBS Canterbury Arena

Christchurch

Monday 10 March

7.40pm

Northern Mystics

WBOP Magic

The Trusts Arena

Auckland

Challenge Stadium

3

Sunday 16 March 11.18am

West Coast Fever

Mainland Tactix

Sunday 16 March 12.18pm

Melbourne Vixens

Queensland Firebirds Hisense Arena Central Pulse

Perth Melbourne

Sunday

16 March

7.20pm

Northern Mystics

The Trusts Arena

Auckland

Monday

17 March

7.18pm

Adelaide Thunderbirds NSW Swifts

Netball SA Stadium

Adelaide

Monday

17 March

7.40pm

WBOP Magic

Southern Steel

Claudelands Arena

Hamilton

Southern Steel

West Coast Fever

More FM Arena

NSW Swifts

Queensland Firebirds Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

4

Saturday 22 March

Sunday 23 March 12.18pm

4.20pm

Dunedin Sydney

Sunday 23 March

2.18pm

Melbourne Vixens

WBOP Magic

Hisense Arena

Melbourne

Sunday 23 March

7.20pm

Central Pulse

Mainland Tactix

Pettigrew Green Arena

Napier

Monday

7.40pm

Northern Mystics

Adelaide Thunderbirds The Trusts Arena

24 March

Auckland

5

Sunday 30 March

11.48am

Adelaide Thunderbirds Southern Steel

Netball SA Stadium

Sunday 30 March

1.18pm

Queensland Firebirds Northern Mystics

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Brisbane

Adelaide

Sunday 30 March

7.20pm

WBOP Magic

West Coast Fever

ASB Arena

Tauranga

Monday 31 March

7.40pm

Mainland Tactix

Melbourne Vixens

CBS Canterbury Arena

Christchurch

Monday

7.48pm

NSW Swifts

Central Pulse

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Sydney

31 March

6

Sunday 06 April

10.18am

West Coast Fever

Thunderbirds

Challenge Stadium

Perth

Sunday 06 April

7.20pm

Southern Steel

Northern Mystics

ILT Stadium Southland

Invercargill

Central Pulse

Monday 07 April

7.40pm

WBOP Magic

Monday 07 April

7.48pm

Queensland Firebirds Melbourne Vixens

Claudelands Arena

Hamilton

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Brisbane

Byes: NSW Swifts / Mainland Tactix

7

Sunday 13 April

12.18pm

NSW Swifts

Melbourne Vixens

Sunday 13 April

12.18pm

West Coast Fever

Queensland Firebirds Challenge Stadium

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Sydney Perth

Sunday 13 April

7.20pm

Northern Mystics

Mainland Tactix

The Trusts Arena

Auckland

Monday

7.40pm

Southern Steel

Central Pulse

ILT Stadium Southland

Invercargill

14 April

Byes: Adelaide Thunderbirds / WBOP Magic

8

Saturday 19 April

2.18pm

Melbourne Vixens

Sunday 20 April

12.18pm

Queensland Firebirds NSW Swifts

Sunday 20 April

7.20pm

WBOP Magic

Northern Mystics

Claudelands Arena

Hamilton

Monday 21 April

7.40pm

Mainland Tactix

Southern Steel

CBS Canterbury Arena

Christchurch

EASTER WEEKEND

Adelaide Thunderbirds Hisense Arena

16

Brisbane

Byes: West Coast Fever / Central Pulse

Catch all the action of the ANZ Championship live on

Melbourne

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

.

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


ROUND DAY

DATE

LOCAL TIME HOME TEAM

AWAY TEAM

VENUE

LOCATION

9

Friday

25 April

1.48pm

NSW Swifts

Southern Steel

AIS Arena

Canberra

Saturday 26 April

4.20pm

Central Pulse

Melbourne Vixens

TSB Bank Arena

Wellington

Sunday

27 April

12.18pm

Queensland Firebirds West Coast Fever

Sunday

27 April

7.20pm

WBOP Magic

Adelaide Thunderbirds Energy Events Centre

Rotorua

Monday

28 April

7.40pm

Mainland Tactix

Northern Mystics

Christchurch

ANZAC WEEKEND

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Brisbane CBS Canterbury Arena

10

Saturday 03 May

1.48pm

Adelaide Thunderbirds West Coast Fever

Netball SA Stadium

Adelaide

Sunday

12.18pm

Melbourne Vixens

Hisense Arena

Melbourne

04 May

NSW Swifts

Sunday 04 May

2.18pm

Queensland Firebirds Mainland Tactix

Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre Gold Coast

Sunday 04 May

7.20pm

Northern Mystics

Southern Steel

The Trusts Arena

Auckland

Monday

05 May

7.40pm

Central Pulse

WBOP Magic

Te Rauparaha Arena

Porirua

11

Sunday 11 May

11.48am

Adelaide Thunderbirds Queensland Firebirds Netball SA Stadium

Adelaide

Sunday 11 May

7.20pm

Mainland Tactix

TBC

Central Pulse

TBC

Monday 12 May

6.48pm

West Coast Fever

NSW Swifts

Perth Arena

Perth

Monday 12 May

7.40pm

Southern Steel

WBOP Magic

ILT Stadium Southland

Invercargill

Byes: Melbourne Vixens / Northern Mystics

12

Sunday 18 May

12.18pm

Melbourne Vixens

West Coast Fever

Sunday 18 May

2.18pm

NSW Swifts

Adelaide Thunderbirds Allphones Arena

Hisense Arena

Sydney

Melbourne

Sunday 18 May

7.20pm

Central Pulse

Northern Mystics

Arena Manawatu

Palmerston North

Monday 19 May

7.40pm

WBOP Magic

Mainland Tactix

ASB Arena

Tauranga

Byes: Queensland Firebirds / Southern Steel

13

Saturday 24 May

2.18pm

Queensland Firebirds Central Pulse

Sunday 25 May

11.48am

Adelaide Thunderbirds Melbourne Vixens

Netball SA Stadium

Sunday 25 May

2.18pm

NSW Swifts

WBOP Magic

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Sydney

Sunday 25 May

7.20pm

Southern Steel

Mainland Tactix

More FM Arena

Dunedin

Monday

7.40pm

Northern Mystics

West Coast Fever

The Trusts Arena

Auckland

Melbourne Vixens

26 May

14

Saturday 31 May

4.20pm

Southern Steel

Sunday 01 June

11.48pm

Adelaide Thunderbirds Mainland Tactix

Queen’s BIRTHDAY WEEKEND NEW ZEALAND

Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre Gold Coast Adelaide

ILT Stadium Southland

Invercargill

Netball SA Stadium

Adelaide

Sunday 01 June

7.20pm

Northern Mystics

NSW Swifts

The Trusts Arena

Auckland

Monday 02 June

5.48pm

West Coast Fever

Central Pulse

Challenge Stadium

Perth

Monday

7.40pm

WBOP Magic

Queensland Firebirds Claudelands Arena

02 June

Hamilton

FinalS Series: Semi-Finals: Sunday 8 June and Monday 9 June Preliminary Final: Sunday 15 June or Monday 16 June (date to be confirmed) Grand Final: Sunday 22 June or Monday 23 June (date to be confirmed)

FOrMAT Semi-finals: ● 1 v 2 – team finishing first host major Semi-final (subject to venue availability) ● 3 v 4 – team finishing third host minor Semi-final (subject to venue availability)

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM

● Winner 1 v 2 directly into Grand Final. Loser hosts Preliminary Final (subject to venue availability) ● Winner 3 v 4 contests Preliminary Final against loser of major Semi-final (subject to venue availability)

Preliminary final: ● Loser of Major Semi-final hosts Preliminary Final against winner of Minor Semi-final

Grand Final: ● Hosted by winner of Major Semi-final against winner of Preliminary Final Please note that game schedules are subject to change. Please check game details with home team or venue.


2014

ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP CATCH ALL THE ACTION ON

RETURNING SATURDAY 1 MARCH The 2014 season promises to serve up the best elite netball entertainment ever seen in New Zealand and Australia. Catch all the action live on Sky Sport and get to the games to support your team.

www.northernmystics.co.nz facebook.com/northernmystics @northernmystics

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INTERNATIONAL NETBALL 2014

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BEHIND EVERY GAME. Visit anzcourtside.co.nz ANZ are behind every game at every level. Whether it is first timers or the elite, we’re supporting players and fans all over New Zealand, helping you to get more from the game you love. Just like ANZ’s support, the ANZ Championship has gone from strength to strength and is now in its seventh year running. Watch New Zealand and Australia’s best teams battle one another for the title when the ANZ Championship kicks off on 1 March. $100,000 WORTH OF GRANTS TO THE NETBALL COMMUNITY Support doesn’t stop at the whistle. When it comes to supporting netball at all levels, ANZ are ready to help in any way that we can. That’s why we’re awarding $100,000 worth of netball grants to help schools, clubs, teams and fans with anything they need to get more from the game. Whether you need help with purchasing new uniforms or gear, new hoops and nets or even help getting to a tournament – whatever it is, if it helps to keep you playing, you can apply for a grant. To apply, simply visit anzcourtside.co.nz and let us know what you need the grant for and why. Then, get your friends and family behind you by voting for your application – the more votes you get, the more chance your application has of winning a grant. From the Sideline to the Spotlight Today’s young netball fans are tomorrow’s ANZ Championship stars. That’s why we’re helping them get one step closer to their dreams by taking them from the sideline to the spotlight with the ANZ Future Captain competition. All ANZ customers can nominate a child to fly the flag for an ANZ Championship team on centre court, meet the team captains, receive four tickets to the game and $50 into a nominated bank account. To nominate a child (aged 8  –15) for the opportunity of a lifetime visit anzcourtside.co.nz KEEPING YOU UP WITH THE ACTION Stay up to date with all the ANZ Championship action with anzcourtside.co.nz With match news and reviews, game commentary and information about ANZ netball promotions, you’ll never miss a pass. You can even test your skills against other keen netball fans with our virtual tipping game, as well as answer our weekly quiz for the chance to win double passes to an ANZ Championship game in your region. We’re behind every level of netball this year, from the school yard to the elite, so go online to see how you can get more from the game you love – anzcourtside.co.nz To apply for each ANZ promotion or competition and for full terms and conditions and eligibility criteria visit anzcourtside.co.nz

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ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP THANKS ITS SPONSORS PRINCIPAL SPONSOR

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Thunderbirds seek third title The Adelaide Thunderbirds clinched the title last year after a thrilling Grand Final win over the Firebirds. They are the first team to have secured two title wins in the Championship.

EMILY BEATON

REBECCA BULLEY

CARLA BORREGO


HOME AND AWAY: The defending champions have a tough start against the Pulse away and then a trip to Brisbane for a repeat of last year’s classic final against the Firebirds. In fact, 75 per cent of the Thunderbirds opening nine matches are away from home. Coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson says they are better off having a long away stretch at the start of the season when they are fresh. “We like being on the road so it is not a disadvantage for us at all, and a chance for the new players to get to know each other better. Plus, it gives us a great run home.” SIDELINE VIEW: How do you match a season when you finish Minor Premiers and then win the Grand Final to claim the magic double? Woodlands-Thompson says this year’s squad is better prepared to take on the task of defending the title – never before done in the competition’s history. “You have to learn from your experience. We had so much happen after we won the first championship in 2010 and got caught a little unawares. We just weren’t prepared for all the things we got invited to, the mental state of the sense of such a great accomplishment. “So, we have certainly been very aware of 2014 being a new start for us and to take the positive learnings from last season. You can’t have the same recipe and hope it works. It is a different team and different opposition, so the players and coaches have been mindful of that. We have turned over just enough of our playing roster to keep things fresh and have kept the best of our traditions to make sure we have a blueprint for our best practice.

“So, I do feel better prepared and we have a more experienced team in the back-up year this time than we had after 2010. We are in the best shape we can be.” WHO’S HOT: Thunderbirds have signed two of Australia’s best young talents in Madeleine Proud and Cody Lange. Woodlands-Thompson says it is always good to have some fresh blood in, although they were part of earlier Thunderbirds squads. “They are young, but they are experienced and had some wonderful experiences last year at the Youth World Champs. They are well versed in our key values and how we operate, and they will help shape our enthusiasm for the season quite well. “We also have Andrea Gilmore from the Fever and she has been a wonderful asset for us. She brings a lot of experience and depth to our defence line.” TIP FOR THE TOP: Woodlands-Thompson says the talent is really divided on the Australian side of the ditch, so this will be the most even season there has been. “I will go out on a limb with, of course, the Thunderbirds. It is hard to see the Vixens missing out, so I will put them up there, Fever have the best ranked list, and Mystics have a pretty stacked team. The Pulse could be in there somewhere as well.”

TEAM ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS Netball State: South Australia

Squad: Emily Beaton Erin Bell Carla Borrego Rebecca Bulley Andrea Gilmore Renae Hallinan Cody Lange Laura Packard Samantha Poolman Madeleine Proud Kate Shimmin Leigh Waddington

Coach:

Jane WoodlandsThompson

Online:

thunderbirds.netball.asn.au facebook.com/ AdelaideThunderbirds @AdelaideTBirds

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact:

Netball South Australia, 155 Railway Terrace, Mile End, SA 5031

AvAilAble FRee ONliNe

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Vixens eyEing another title The Melbourne team needs to improve on their second-half of the competition performance, which was their downfall in 2013.

BIANCA CHATFIELD

KARYN BAILEY

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Three of the best social functions you will ever attend • Grand Finale and VSL Awards Ceremony • Welcome Party • The Great Golden Oldies Festival Picnic Day • Food, drink, entertainment and dancing included

Phone: +64 9 486 1644 Fax: +64 9 486 1639 Email: netball@goldenoldiessports.com Web: www.goldenoldiessports.com


HOME AND AWAY: The Melbourne Vixens have three of their first four games at home, which is ideal to get their season off to a flyer. However, coach Simone McKinnis is more concerned with the log jam of matches to come around April, “We look at that block and it is six games in five weeks, with four of them on the road and two in New Zealand,” she says. “So, it is a pretty tough schedule and we want to be getting through that as well as possible.” SIDELINE VIEW: Coach McKinnis had her first season in charge at the Vixens last year. Her team looked favourites to win a second title at the halfway point, but they faltered badly to lose four of their last five games. They still finished second on the table but were bundled out of the finals by the Firebirds in the Preliminary Final, at home. McKinnis admits they lost their way in the second half of the year. “In a lot of ways, it was the little things we let ourselves down in, like ball skills, and towards the end of the year we had quite a few general errors within our game. So, that’s certainly a focus, being spot on in everything we that do and expecting that all the time.

WHO’S HOT: Australian Diamonds legendary shooter Catherine Cox is the major signing for the Vixens, and McKinnis says she has made a major impact within the squad.

TEAM

TEAM

MELBOURNE VIXENS Netball State:

“One of the things we love about Cath and what she brings to our group is her capacity to perform under any situation. That kind of experience, mental strength and leadership is really invaluable for the team.”

Victoria

Squad:

A player with genuine promise is midcourter Caitlyn Strachan. She is a highly regarded young centre who is creative, has speed to burn and combines really well with the players around her. tip for the top: McKinnis thinks this season is going to be the most competitive one yet. “I just think it is going to be really tight. It is hard to judge because teams have a number of substantial changes like the Swifts, and there is a team like the Pulse who have Irene van Dyk now, so that changes everything for them. I wouldn’t begin to try!”

Karyn Bailey Tegan Caldwell Bianca Chatfield Catherine Cox Erin Hoare Kate Moloney Geva Mentor Madison Robinson (nee Browne) Caitlyn Strachan Amy Steel Elizabeth Watson Joanna Weston

Coach:

Simone McKinnis

Online:

melbournevixens.com.au facebook.com/ melbournevix @MelbourneVixens

“We lost that consistency throughout the season so that is something heading into this season that is an important focus for us. Adjusting what we do pre-season or mid-season is what need to do to keep ourselves focused and pushing forward.

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact:

Netball Victoria, 487 King Street, West Melbourne, VIC 3003

“There’s a lot to learn from last year, particularly for me as a coach. I certainly feel in a better place starting this year and there’s a really good feeling among the group.

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Swifts overdue to make their mark The Swifts have underperformed since last making the finals in 2011, but are desperate to show their true ability in 2014.

SUSAN PRATLEY

TEAM NSW SWIFTS Netball State:

New South Wales

Squad: Carla Dziwoki Kimberlee Green Paige Hadley Madeline Hay Sharni Layton April Letton Abbey McCulloch Brooke Miller Sonia Mkoloma Susan Pratley Gretel Tippett Caitlin Thwaites

Coach:

Rob Wright

Online:

nswswifts.com.au facebook.com/ NSWSwifts @TheNSWSwifts

Tickets:

swiftstickets.com.au

Contact:

Netball NSW Office, Anne Clarke Centre, Church Street, Lidcombe, NSW 2141

APRIL LETTON

HOME AND AWAY: The New South Wales Swifts have a home game against the Fever and then two away games, followed by two further games at home, creating a nice even start to their season. Coach Rob Wright says he is pleased with the balance of home and away games, plus having five of their seven home games on Sundays. “It gives us a really nice routine that we can develop, especially for our training weeks through the season, when you have so many games on the same day. We are very happy with that.” SIDELINE VIEW: The Swifts placed eighth last season, recording only four wins, to produce their worst competition result since 2009. Coach Lisa Beehag was replaced with Wright, who served four years at the Swifts as assistant coach to both Julie Fitzgerald and Beehag. Wright becomes the first male head coach in the ANZ Championship and says of the feat, “It is really cool that it is me. I think it is a fantastic honour to coach in this competition because it is the world’s best domestic league. Not my gender, but hopefully my experience and knowledge, are what I get judged on. “We want to be playing finals. I’ve been with the Swifts for four years and we haven’t tasted a finals victory in that time, so that’s certainly something we want to fix.

carla dziwoki

WHO’S HOT: Caitlin Thwaites arrives from the Pulse with a great reputation earned through hard work and consistent performances; she was the fourth highest goal scorer of the competition in 2012, her statistics showing a high shooting percentage. Wright says losing experienced international defender Mo’onia Gerrard was a big blow, but he is pleased to have picked up Sharni Layton from the Championship winning Adelaide Thunderbirds. “I wanted to get a world class defender to replace Mo and Sharni obviously fitted the bill because she has the unique ability to play the back three positions. We also wanted to strengthen our line across court and went with a philosophy of getting a Diamond in every third, a senior player in every third and a rookie in every third. “We are creating a list that will do well in the short term, but also in the medium-to-long-term.” TIP FOR THE TOP: Wright firmly believes that because of all the changes in team personnel, this is the hardest season yet to predict. “Clearly the Fever are looking incredibly strong, the Mystics look an absolute force across the court, the Pulse have a team that can really push, and any of the rest of the Australian teams can make it.”

“We were the lowest scoring team last year, and with so many gun shooters in the other teams that were really good targets, it was something we were lacking. So, when Caitlin Thwaites came up it was a fantastic opportunity.”

26

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


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Firebirds after second title The Queensland Firebirds came so close to winning last year’s Grand Final, and clearly their objective in 2014 is to claim their second championship title.

KIMBERLEY RAVAILLION

TEAM Queensland Firebirds Netball State: Queensland

Squad: Romelda Aiken Laura Geitz Nicola Gray Demelza McCloud Clare McMeniman Jacinta Messer Stephanie Puopolo Kim Ravaillion Gabi Simpson Verity Simmons Ameliaranne Wells Amorette Wild

Coach:

Roselee Jencke

Online:

Firebirds.net.au facebook.com/ QLDFirebirds @TheFirebirds

Tickets:

See website for details

Contact:

Netball QLD, 210 Beaudesert Road, Moorooka, QLD 4105

laura geitz

romelda aiken

HOME AND AWAY: Coach Roselee Jencke would like to see a change to the draw, seeing as every season the Queensland team ends up with a trip to New Zealand. “It would be nice to have a bit of variety there, but overall the draw is quite okay for us.”

very hard and consistently on that and getting the ball in transition through court.”

SIDELINE VIEW: Last year the Firebirds finished fourth in the regular season, meaning they had to travel away for the Finals Series. But, they performed magnificently to beat the Magic and Vixens away, before they fell at the very last hurdle in Adelaide.

Jencke says everyone at the franchise is thrilled to have her back as she adds so much experience and professionalism to the group.

Jencke says the lessons learnt from those games are not part of their strategy for 2014. “We have not spoken about 2013 at all. That’s totally put to bed now as 2014 is a new season and we are a really different team to last year. We have a whole new forward line in attack and the defensive end is pretty stable. “It was a great way to end last year with those tough matches on the road. I think what is good about this year is we have a really well-tuned format on the road that helps us play consistently. We travel well because we have really good practices, and we need to make sure we have equally good practices at home, because last year we didn’t perform so well at home. We need to make sure our home court is a fortress for us.”

WHO’S HOT: The big signing for the Firebirds is undoubtedly former Diamonds wing-defence maestro Clare McMeniman, who has been out of netball for two years.

“She is such a good leveller, a really honest, hard worker who has been up front with where we are as a team, which is really refreshing and positive. She has been training really well and it is great to have her back.” Verity Simmons adds depth to the forward line and will add variety to the wing attack role with Nicola Gray. TIP FOR THE TOP: Jencke has a clear idea on which teams are likely to be in contention at the end of round-robin play. “Pulse, Mystics, Swifts, Firebirds and Fever are the top five contenders. Magic are always likely to surprise but I think those five teams will be the contenders come finals time.”

The Firebirds main pre-season priority has been developing their forward line and having their combinations link consistently together. “We have new players like Amorette Wild and Stephanie Puopolo, plus Ameliaranne Wells who has not had a lot of court time. That takes a lot of time to gel and we have been working

28

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


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Fever pitch on the West Coast The West Coast Fever has recruited an outstanding group of players and coach Norma Plummer wants nothing less than a crack at the title.

Ebony Beckford-chambers

TEAM WEST COAST FEVER Netball State:

Western Australia

Squad: Caitlin Bassett Eboni Beckford-Chambers Kate Beveridge Shae Bolton Ashleigh Brazill Courtney Bruce Chanel Gomes Josie Janz Natalie Medhurst Chelsea Pitman Kaylia Stanton Khao Watts

ASHLEIGH BRAZILL

HOME AND AWAY: Coach Norma Plummer does not get fazed by things like fixture lists, it is the tyranny of distance away from all the other teams that is her biggest issue. “You can either start whinging about it or you can just get on with it. It doesn’t matter which way it goes because our mileage we cover will be triple any other team. Flying in New Zealand is nothing to us flying on every trip we get on. Adelaide is our shortest and it is two and a half hours. We are okay with that now and we have to cope with it, and have put in great measures to handle it all.” SIDELINE VIEW: West Coast Fever has broken its all-time membership record after the most successful pre-season membership drive in the club’s history, which is a portent to what the home supporters feel about Plummer’s 2014 squad.

Online:

Plummer made it clear early on that all starting positions were up for grabs – a tactic that worked so well for her at the helm of the Diamonds for years.

Tickets:

“You can’t have everyone thinking it is a right to play; it doesn’t work that way. I have had plenty of teams where a young player has come in and absolutely starred for the year.”

Coach:

Norma Plummer westcoastfever.com.au facebook.com/ westcoastfever @WestCoastFever Ticketmaster.com.au

Contact:

Netball WA, 565 Hay Street, Subiaco, WA 6008

SHAE BOLTON

WHO’s HOT: World class goal attack Natalie Medhurst joins the Fever from the Firebirds, and is the best of Plummer’s key new signings. “She is just so elusive and she will captain this team. She has taken the role with both hands and is really pushing the girls at training and they have learned a lot of new ideas for them as a team,” says Plummer. “I am also pleased to have Chelsea Pitman with me. I picked her out of the blue for the world championships in 2011 and she has come over from the Firebirds. She is at a fantastic fitness level this year.” Plummer says former Magic player Khao Watts is an understated player who never wastes any ball. “She is a wing defence/centre who came through our age group programme and I like that she will bring a lot of stability to our midcourt.” TIP FOR THE TOP: Plummer says she asked her staff for their viewpoints and compared them with her own before coming up with the four teams she thinks will make the play-offs. “In no particular order, Pulse, Swifts, Fever and Vixens – that is what we are looking at purely on paper.”

Last year Fever came in seventh place with five wins, but Plummer has her eyes firmly focused much higher on the table this year. “We have far more intelligence to help us out on court this year from players who have played at the top level and know the game a little bit more. We have some really good depth in our attack end and we will have our full twelve fit and raring to go.”

30

ANZ-CHAMPIONSHIP.COM


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ANZ Championship Netball 2014  

Your Free Guide to the 2014 ANZ Championship

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