Hamilton have lived up to the pre-tournament hype with a comprehensive 66-38 opening win over Manawatu at the Lion Foundation Netball Champs in Dunedin.
Despite Manawatu boasting two Silver Ferns in Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Katarina Cooper, Hamilton paid little attention to reputation with a slick display of skill and athleticism on the More FM Arena Show Court.
With cowbells ringing out from the stands, Manawatu could do little to halt the flow of ball into the shooting circle which was duly converted.
By halftime the result was in no doubt with Hamilton pulling out to a considerable lead. Hamilton coach Margaret Forsyth used the advantage to ring in the changes, giving most of her bench a run in the 60 minute match, introducing Brooke Leaver, Alix Stevens and Rachel Fabling into the match after strong showings by Jodi Beaumont, Kathrine Coffin and Jessie Waitapu.
Captain Elias Shadrock was impressive in the mid-court. Her energetic style of play outshone and outsmarted the opposition on more than one occasion with the Manwatu defence barely keeping pace as the ball jettisoned from one end to the other.
A strong start, but there are tougher pool games ahead with Hamilton coming up against Auckland later in the afternoon.
In other results today, defending champions Otago A defeated North Harbour 80-43, Wellington accounted for Counties Manukau 62-31, Christchurch beat Otago B 71-32, while Auckland were too good for neighbours Waitakere 69-33.