Competition and Sportsmanship Shine at the 2023 National Tertiary Netball Championship

Competition and Sportsmanship Shine at the 2023 National Tertiary Netball Championship

The National Tertiary Netball Championship, held at the Ākau Tangi Sports Centre on September 23 and 24, was a thrilling showcase of talent, determination and sportsmanship as students from seven universities vied for Netball glory. This year's competition draw also rounded out by the addition of an invitational team from Wellington.

Intense Competition in the Pools

The championship warmed up with increasingly intense battles in the initial rounds. In Pool A, the University of Auckland triumphed over the University of Waikato with a score of 43-36, while AUT dominated the Wellington Invitational team with a convincing 41-24 victory. In Pool B, Lincoln University secured a 38-23 win over Victoria University of Wellington, and Massey University narrowly lost to the University of Canterbury, with a final score of 29-32.

Teams Pushing to Secure Their Spots

As the competition continued to intensify in Round 2, University of Waikato fought hard against AUT but fell short with a final score of 36-39. Meanwhile, the University of Auckland showcased their strength by defeating the Wellington Invitational team 49-26. In Pool B, the University of Canterbury secured a 30-24 victory over Lincoln University, and Massey University bounced back with a 37-33 win over Victoria University of Wellington.

The Road to Semifinals and Beyond

Round 3 witnessed more thrilling matchups, with the University of Auckland maintaining their momentum with a 40-32 win over AUT, while the University of Waikato secured a 44-37 victory against the Wellington Invitational team. In Pool B, the University of Canterbury continued to impress, defeating Victoria University of Wellington with a commanding score of 50-35, while Lincoln University and Massey University played to a 24-24 draw.


The semifinals provided little trouble for the top two teams who had gone through un-beaten in Pool Play with the University of Auckland securing a spot in the final by defeating Massey University 34-26, and the University of Canterbury clinched their place with a resounding 44-24 victory over AUT.

The Final Showdown

In a grand final that had fans on the edge of their seats, the University of Canterbury emerged victorious over the University of Auckland with a score of 46-40, earning them the prestigious title of National Tertiary Netball Champions for 2023.

This marked a historic moment as it witnessed the University of Canterbury clinching the Netball championship title for the very first time and also marked the inaugural victory for a South Island university in the history of the Netball competition. The University of Canterbury's triumph broke the trend of North Island dominance that had seen the title claimed by the University of Auckland in 2016 and 2019, Victoria University of Wellington in 2017, and Massey University in 2018. The years 2020 and 2021 brought unprecedented challenges, with the championship cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. However, in 2022, the University of Auckland emerged again as the victors before the University of Canterbury's win in 2023.

Medals and Honorable Mentions

In the battle for bronze, Massey University displayed their mettle with a 38-18 victory over AUT. Meanwhile, Victoria University of Wellington secured fifth place with a convincing 48-21 win against Lincoln University. In the clash for seventh place, the University of Waikato outperformed the Wellington Invitational team, concluding the competition with a final score of 59-35.

Congratulations to all the teams for their outstanding performances and also to the Tournament Team players as named below:

GS: Vika Koloto, University of Canterbury
GA: Ivana Rowland, University of Auckland
WA: Parris Petera, University of Canterbury (MVP)
C: Piper Manolas, University of Auckland
WD: Erana Ngarimu, University of Waikato
GD: Julia Wynands, University of Canterbury
GK: Leila Atkins, University of Auckland

A special mention also to Lincoln University who emerged as the proud recipient of the UTSNZ Spirit Award at the National Tertiary Netball Championship, a distinction conferred upon them by their peers in recognition of their exceptional sportsmanship and positive attitude throughout the tournament.

A special thank you also to Netball Central, the Wellington Invitational side and to the Wellington City Council for their support. 

Final Placings:

1st University of Canterbury
2nd University of Auckland
3rd Massey University
4th AUT
5th Lincoln University
6th Victoria University of Wellington
7th University of Waikato
8th Wellington Invitational

Spirit Award:

Lincoln University

All games can be viewed via UTSNZ TV and all event photos are available via the UTSNZ Flickr Account here.

Posted: Mon 25 Sep 2023