City nets men’s champs

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The New Zealand Men's Netball Championships are staged in Invercargill this week.

Southland netball fans will experience a new dynamic to the game when the New Zealand Men’s Netball Championships are staged in Invercargill this week.

Hosted by Southland Men’s Netball at ILT Stadium Southland, the 33rd annual tournament will feature 18 teams, including three from Australia.

Organiser Angee Shand said spectators would be treated to “netball like they’ve never seen before”.

“It’s exciting, it’s aerial… they’re going to see an amazing standard and quality of netball,” she said.

“I think our netball community will really embrace and relish the opportunity to see the game like they haven’t seen before.”

The Australian teams – Australian Reserve, Under-20 and Under-17 – add another element to the tournament.

“The Australians use this tournament to develop their teams because they recognise this is a really strong competition. It’s also a fantastic gauge to see how we’re going and how we stack up in comparison,” Shand said.

Of the New Zealand teams, defending champion North Harbour is seeking its fourth consecutive title, while Christchurch boasts 18 previous titles to its credit and remains the most significant threat.

Southland has two teams competing, with Natalie Avellino at the helm of Southland A and Tina Frew coaching Southland B.

New Zealand Men’s Netball Championships, ILT Stadium Southland, today 9am-4pm, tomorrow 9am-6.30pm, Saturday 9am to about 5pm, with B Grade and age group finals at 1.30pm and the A Grade final at 3.15pm. Entry is free.

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