Te Ao Māori
Te Karere

Stars raring to go for ANZ Premiership Netball 2023

Fri, Mar 3

With round 1 of the ANZ Premiership getting underway tomorrow, Te Karere reporters Kruze Tangira and Tane Karamaina take a look at what to expect from the 2023 netball season.

The action kicks off tomorrow when the Mystics take on the Steel at Trusts Arena in Auckland at 7.15pm, followed by Pulse v Magic on Sunday at Fly Palmy Arena in Palmerston North at 4.10pm and capped off with Stars v Tactix at the Pulman Arena again in Auckland at 7.35pm on Monday.

Who to watch out for and what to expect

A new year means exciting new players. International star Joyce Mvula joins the Central Pulse from the UK. Having played in the Super Netball League, the goal shooter will add experience and height alongside co-captain Metuarau.

Further south, Laura Malcolm will add fire power to the Tactix mid-court. Having captained the national side, Malcolm's wit and flare will add the grit the team has been searching for. Domestically, young defenders Parris Mason and Carys Stythe will be looking to make their mark having secured permanent contracts for their respective teams.

While each team will be vying to secure two hands on the ANZ Premiership trophy, a bigger picture looms. The Netball World cup kicks off in July and as there will be no official trial, the competition will serve as a breeding ground for head coach Taurua, to select her team. Expect players to elevate their game, showcase their skill and fight to the end, in what will be another sensational season of netball.

Silver Ferns members reveal thoughts on season ahead

Appearing on Breakfast, Mystics shooter Grace Nweke and Stars centre Mila Reuelu-Buchanan both told presenter Jenny-May Clarkson they had no apprehension ahead of the new season.

"You know, we've got a new coach, but pretty much the same team," Nweke said,

"So just putting on from last year, it's been good so far."

Reuelu-Buchanan went on to elaborate that her side is looking forward to what’s ahead, albeit not having Anna Harrison on the team, but noted that her absence presents opportunity.

"We're looking forward to the season.

"Obviously, we've had a massive loss in our team with the likes of Anna Harrison not with us.

"But I think it's a great opportunity for the young ones to really step up in that defensive end."

Netball World Cup squad aspirations

While both players hold aspirations to be selected for the squad to go to South Africa for the Netball World Cup later this year, Reuelu-Buchanan has her eyes firmly set on enjoying the local season ahead which she believes will pay off.

"My focus is just enjoying the season.

“We say it all the time, but the more you enjoy it, the better you perform.

"Just focusing on that season and actually being able to win a premiership we've had like two opportunities, man, I'm over this third time lucky maybe!"

Nweke revealed candidly to Jenny-May the pressure that comes with trying to be again selected onto the squad and pulled back the curtain slightly on the commitment required at the training camps.

"Yeah, that definitely is a battle, I guess like everyone in that environment is good enough to play a full 60," Nweke said.

"Everyone's getting us to perform.

"So, you know those camps and those training's that we get into... you put your hand up for selection to get onto the court.

"Yeah, I know that's really tough, you know, my other goal shoot there, they're just as good working just as hard so I think we both make each other better, you know, pushing for that goal shoot bib."

Off the court

However, it’s not all netball for both the stars, as they explained to Breakfast presenter Jenny-May Clarkson, with Reuelu-Buchanan doing some mahi as a social worker with Women’s Refuge’s whare manaaki and the NZ Police.

"I was working for a women's Women's Refuge Whare Manaaki, as well as crossing over to the police with the family harm team," Reuelu-Buchanan said.

"So definitely a good perspective for me and a reality check outside of netball."

As for Nweke, she’s been hitting the books for a commerce degree and has a little way to go.

"So yeah in year four now and I've got over 10 papers to go but I study part time.

"So I'm doing about three a year, slow and steady.

"But I've slowly come to terms with but looking forward to whatever is next when I finish up."


More Stories