Skip to main content

Exciting new addition to Ōtaki pre-season tournament

The inclusion of the Queensland Firebirds will add another dimension to the seventh edition of the Te Wānanga o Raukawa hosted pre-season netball tournament in Ōtaki on March 15 – 17.

Ahead of the season-proper, fine-tuning remains the major focus for all participants but this year’s tournament, involving Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse, Stars, Tactix and Firebirds, adds a trans-Tasman flavour and with it an exciting new element.

Playing three games apiece, all matches involving the Firebirds will include the super shot, where shooters can score two goals from one shot from a designated zone within the goal circle for the final five minutes of each quarter.

With the physical aspect of the pre-season occupying their focus in recent weeks, the Pulse are now eager to see how their court-craft is operating in Ōtaki.

``It’s our first hit-out against some of the other (ANZ) teams, so we’re looking forward to seeing where we’re at and if we’re on track or not,’’ Pulse coach Anna Andrews-Tasola said.

``We’re really grateful to have the opportunity to be in Ōtaki with Te Wānanga o Raukawa and also the opportunity of having the Firebirds as part of this pre-season tournament as well.

``What we want to get out of this weekend is to solidifying our combinations, understand where our gaps are and what we need to plug up for the next couple of weeks before we head into our first (ANZ Premiership) game. And just go out there to compete which will give us a gauge on how we’re tracking.

``We’re excited about the two-point shot component. It’s something different for us, and something we’re going to have to strategise and think about. It will keep us on our toes but we’re up for the challenge.’’

The Pulse have retained an experienced core of seven from last season with Kelly Jackson (nee Jury) and Tiana Metuarau set to assume the co-captaincy duties for the third year while Whitney Souness and Maddy Gordon complete an experienced leadership group.

In a unique experience, all four teams, including management, officials and umpires will be accommodated at the Te Wānanga o Raukawa campus in Ōtaki, north of Wellington, for four days.

All matches will be played at the Māori Tertiary Education provider’s health and fitness facility, Ngā Purapura with time for all involved to embrace and enjoy the special significance of the cultural engagement which includes a pōwhiri for all teams and officials, cultural activities and living together on the marae.

``This is a wonderful opportunity for the Firebirds and we really appreciate it,’’ Firebirds coach Bec Bulley said. ``To combine the netball with a cultural experience makes it even more special.

“These games provide a chance for us to test ourselves against different opposition and playing styles. I would expect, coming up against three New Zealand teams in the Stars, Pulse and Tactix, that they will all be very different, and this will be a good challenge for us and to see how we go with analysing and adapting whilst out on court.


“Pre-season games are important for us to expose our players to high level competition and to develop combinations. We’re really looking forward to the trip which offers a great opportunity to spend time together as a team and the whole experience sounds amazing.”


Friday, March 15:

Firebirds vs Tactix, 5pm

Pulse vs Stars, 7pm

Saturday, March 16:

Tactix vs Pulse, 10am

Tactix vs Stars, 2pm

Pulse vs Firebirds, 4pm

Sunday, March 17:

Firebirds vs Stars, 10am



For media enquiries and interview requests, please contact:

 Jane Hunt | Media & Communications Manager 
E: [email protected] 
T: +64 21 107 0287